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3 ways print marketing still beats out digital marketing

With all of the hype around digital marketing, it can sometimes feel like you are behind the times as a professional if you use print marketing, but it still has distinct benefits digital marketing simply cannot deliver.

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Modern marketing

Modern marketing techniques center on digital and online formatting. If you’re an entrepreneur, chances are you have experience in online ads and banners, blog posts, and keyword-targeted content. All these things are great and definitely should have their place in your marketing arsenal. However, don’t leave out digital marketing’s predecessor—print marketing. While print marketing may seem archaic, there are actually ways to use print marketing to best benefit your company and advance your professional efforts. Remember, digital marketing doesn’t always trump old-school print marketing. And here are three ways to prove it.

Home-field advantage

1. Use Your Home-Field Advantage – With the current trend of increased support of local businesses, this is your time to really network within your community. A great way to do that is through print marketing—post cards, brochures, posters, flyers, and catalogs. Depending on your target market, you can drop off your marketing materials to other local business that would benefit from your product or services, set up a booth at a local event and hand out informational packets, or send them through the mail to local residents. Some consumers would rather go someplace with a physical storefront than just browse online, and with the use of print marketing, you can reach a whole new demographic.

A little something extra

2. Give Your Customers a Little Extra Attention – Send your customers, whether longtime or new, a little something in the mail now and again. Let them know that you appreciate their business and remind them of upcoming sales, discounts, and specials. However, there is a required balance to this method. You want to send them enough correspondence to let them know that you’re aware of them and their loyalty, but you don’t want to spam and annoy them—that will only drive them away. If you can, personalize the letters, cards, or flyers. This doesn’t just mean you put their name on it. For example, send them something for a birthday or holiday.

As an example, the realtor I used to purchase my first home sends me a card and a five-dollar give certificate to a local ice cream shop twice a year—on my birthday and on my home-buying anniversary. It’s a small, simple effort, but it goes a long way. To me, this shows he’s willing to give his clients a little extra attention. In turn, this keeps his services at the forefront of my mind, so I can recommend him to others or so I can use him again with my next home purchase. Sometimes digital media just isn’t the same as a letter in the mail.

Expanding your reach

3. Introduce an Entirely New Target Market to Your Company – There’s no debate that there is a different set of people who only stay abreast of things through digital and online means and those who prefer the “old-fashioned” way—physical books, newspapers, magazines—to using modern technology. So, instead of choosing one method over another, why not use both? Yes, many of the ways to market your company online are free—blogs, social networking sites, and sometimes even creating your own website.

And yes, it costs money to use print marketing. But they each have their unique benefits. Depending on the nature of your business, you may not be solely targeting the youngest generation of digital-lovers. Perhaps you’re targeting an older, more mature age group or business professionals who don’t have time to surf the web for leisure, but make time to read a magazine or physical newspaper each day. Or, maybe you just want to cast a wider net. Whatever your reason, using print media to reach a new demographic will keep you a step ahead of your competition—who, undoubtedly, is relying on digital marketing.

Redefining the benefits

It’s time to redefine the benefits and usefulness of print media. It may not be hot, new thing in modern marketing, but it has its roots. It has stayed around so long for a reason. Make use of print marketing where you can and combine it with your current digital marketing efforts, and you’ll see the results. A successful entrepreneur always uses all available resources, and one of them is still print marketing.

The American Genius Staff Writer: Charlene Jimenez earned her Master's Degree in Arts and Culture with a Creative Writing concentration from the University of Denver after earning her Bachelor's Degree in English from Brigham Young University in Idaho. Jimenez's column is dedicated to business and technology tips, trends and best practices for entrepreneurs and small business professionals.

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Sheila Rasak

    March 17, 2012 at 9:57 am

    Absolutely! Keeping in touch with your client base is essential in keeping in a relationship that trust and time built over the months that you worked for them for their best outcome. I’ve had plenty of clients that were grateful for my role and work in their transaction, but would have more than likely forgotten me once the escrow closed.

  2. christinesousa12

    November 22, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    I always believe in taking extra care of customers, especially the old ones. They are the people who already know the quality of your product so they are much easier to convince to buy again than the new ones. Most referrals also come from them, so we have to extend extra attention to them. Print also remains an ideal way of reaching customers, so despite our highly electronic market, print should still be used. Read this article to see just how print remains effective in the electronic age: https://blog.printplace.com/print-media-marketing-and-advertising-in-the-changing-media-landscape/.

  3. My SMS

    December 28, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    The final thought for me is the most valuable, you must be doing both, print will complement digital, but when you see the effectiveness rate in print (23%) and compare against SMS marketing, a great tool for customer service and marketing, with an impressive 98% of lecture 5 minutes after received, for sure you will think twice about where to put your money, digital is here not just as a trend, it is here to stay and to change forever the business landscape, our recommendation for all small and independent business owners is to jump on it as soon as you can, you will be rewarded and recognized soon

  4. Pingback: The Surprising Power of Print Marketing to Leverage Your Ecommerce Site

  5. Pingback: The Surprising Power of Print Marketing to Leverage Your Ecommerce Site - Weblog.ws

  6. Pingback: The Surprising Power of Print Marketing to Leverage Your Ecommerce Site | Create StartUP

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Business Marketing

7 Low-budget marketing ideas for small businesses [sponsored]

(MARKETING) Marketing ideas are often expensive or ultra time consuming, but let’s talk about some proven tactics that won’t break the bank.

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The following marketing ideas are provided to you buy Threadsy:

No matter the size of your business, marketing matters! It’s important for small and big businesses alike to attract new customers, establish brand awareness, and to create buzz around products and services. But we know that not every business owner has tons of funds to devote to their marketing strategy. The good news? There are some highly effective marketing tactics that are also budget-friendly!

Here are seven low-budget marketing strategies for small business owners and side hustlers to grow their reach:

1. Sponsor Local Events

One of the best ways to get to know potential customers? Actually meet and talk to them! When you sponsor local events, you can be on-site to help people put a face with your business’s name. Sponsoring events is also a fantastic way to offer branded merchandise that can help you get your name and your logo out there.

Besides branded materials like signs, banners, or fliers, think about offering some fun items like wine bags to give away to attendees. Goody bags also make fantastic take-home options for local events. A branded canvas tote can be repurposed as an environmentally-friendly grocery bag, lunch bag for work, or a carry-all accessory for conventions and tradeshows. Print your logo on the outside and fill your goody bags with customized items like water bottles, notebooks, pens, and towels.

2. Let Your Colors Fly

Make some cool t-shirts featuring your logo! Wear them to the sponsored events mentioned above, out in the community, or anywhere you may encounter potential customers and can strike up a conversation. You can also offer t-shirts at a discount in-store or online, and turn your loyal customers into advertisers.

Quick tip: Purchase wholesale shirts to reduce manufacturing costs.

3. Social Media

If you’re not already leveraging social media to promote your business, it’s time to start! Think your customers aren’t using social networks? While certain demographics use various platforms more than others, according to fundera, 74% of consumers rely on social media to guide purchasing decisions. Plus, 96% of small businesses say they use social media in their marketing strategy.

So use your social media channels to level the playing field. To maximize your time and effort, determine where your audience members spend their time. Which platforms are they using? If you have a dedicated social media strategist on staff, they can perform audience research to tailor your approach to your existing and potential customers. If you’re running your own social strategy, spend some time digging into the demographics to determine which platforms make the most sense for your brand. From there, you’ll need to decide on the types of content you want to post, how to interact with your customers online, and create a social media calendar to plan your strategy.

4. Host a Giveaway

Once you’ve got your social media strategy up and running, why not host an online giveaway/sweepstakes to build some buzz, boost engagement, and attract followers? Pick a social media platform where you already engage with your customers. You’ll want to offer an item as the prize. This can be anything from a free product, a discount on an expensive product or service, or inexpensive swag like hats to help you promote your brand.

Once you’ve chosen the prize(s), decide on the terms for your giveaway. For example, an Instagram sweepstakes might look like this:

  • Create posts about the giveaway and explain the rules (multiple stories and 1 or 2 posts depending on the length of the contest)
  • These posts should specify the terms, for example:
    – In order to enter, potential winners must follow you
    – Encourage your followers to tag other people who may be interested. Each “tag” gets them another entry into the contest
    – You can also specify that contest applicants must share your post on their own profile
  • Once the contest has ended, pick a winner. Tag them in a post and story announcing what they’ve won and ask them to also share these posts to their own profile

Quick tip: You can also offer smaller or less-expensive items as consolation prizes. People love free swag and it’s an easy way to get your name out there!

5. Referral Discounts

Offering friends and family discounts on your products or services can help you establish loyalty and promote exclusivity. Offer discount codes or create a refer-a-friend program. You can also offer small incentives for customers who share about your brand on social media. Referral discounts are a great marketing strategy whether you use them in-store, online, or both.

6. Create or Update Your Blog

If you already have a website, you can put it to use to help build brand awareness and attract high-funnel customers. Blogging is a low-cost way to generate organic traffic (website visitors via Google or other search engines). If you don’t already have a blog, there are a number of free and inexpensive blog platforms you can use including Wix and WordPress.

You’ll want to write about topics that are related to your product or service and are of interest to your customers. For example, if you offer graphic design, you might want to create content about how to find an effective graphic designer online, or which projects you can do with an online platform like Canva vs. more complex projects where you should hire a professional designer.

Your website and blog are also great places to post “about us” content to offer website visitors an opportunity to learn more about you, your business, and your mission and values.

7. Update Your Google My Business Profile

Google My Business (GMB) is a free tool that allows you to share important information about your business like your address, hours of operation, and contact information. When your listing is optimized with this information, it’s displayed in Google Search and will also appear in Google Maps, which can help you attract local customers.

To get started, you need to create a GMB profile and verify your business information. This is a relatively simple but important step to ensure customers are able to find your business or service online. Make sure to keep your listing updated if you change any information like your website URL, address, or hours.

The takeaway:

When creating your marketing strategy, remember to stay true to your brand. Not every tactic will be the most effective for every business. Choose the tactics that make sense for your brand or product offering. Another way to prioritize is to consider the perceived impact and effort of each marketing strategy. Use the strategies that require the lowest effort but will potentially drive the highest return.

Once you have those in place, decide which of the other strategies make sense for your customers and your business goals. Also, make sure to keep track of all of your marketing expenditures and the sales from these tactics so you can assess which ones were successful and which ones you may need to re-evaluate or alter.

Remember, when it comes to marketing, it’s an ever-evolving system. Trust the process and try to have some fun with your marketing strategy!

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Business Marketing

Yelp listings now show companies’ COVID-19 policies

(BUSINESS) Yelp has updated their settings to allow business owners to make their COVID-19 policies public, so consumers are aware in advance.

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yelp covid policies

Yelp recently added tools to help businesses share their COVID-19 restrictions and policies with consumers, focusing for now on vaccinations. This is the latest in a series of attempts to combat misinformation and illegitimate reviews plaguing the platform.

Yelp has rolled out two new attributes for businesses to add to their profiles last week.

One option, a tag that reads “Proof of vaccination required,” communicates clearly the need to carry one’s vaccination card (or, presumably, wear a face covering) to gain entry. The other – ”Staff fully vaccinated” – speaks for itself.

These attributes stand to increase customer awareness of the circumstances facing them before visiting a business, thereby cutting down on frustrations – at least in theory.

The general public’s dearth in understanding regarding social distancing protocols and business restrictions certainly wasn’t helped by the fact that different states had different responses to COVID-19 – and that’s not even taking into account the microcosmic changes cities found themselves making.

For example, while the state of New York may not require proof of vaccinations to enter restaurants, New York City certainly does.

Rumors are that San Francisco may be implementing similar legislation, positing that other cities may very well go in the same direction.

To compound on this lack of uniform response, small businesses are finding themselves having to make their own policies as the cities around them ease up on restrictions. It isn’t out of the norm for a restaurant staffed by at-risk employees to ask customers to wear masks, so as Delta surges in places with low vaccination rates, it isn’t terribly surprising that those same establishments would ask to see proof of vaccination.

Yelp looks to make this process as transparent as possible with their profile attributes, but they’re aware that there was a general uptick in frustrated customers leaving poor reviews for restaurants that required masking or other social distancing actions.

“Yelp says the practice [of review bombing] has gotten worse in recent months,” reports TechCrunch.

In response, Yelp will be employing both automated and human moderation measures to ensure that businesses aren’t unfairly targeted for their protocols. This is actually something the company did after adding the “Black-owned” attribute (and subsequent identity attributes) last summer as well.

If you’re interested in adding either of the new attributes to your business profile, you can find them on the “Yelp for Business” page.

As the pandemic continues to develop, we may see additional COVID-19 attributes from Yelp.

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Business Marketing

Society has changed – no one wants help in a store anymore

(CUSTOMER SERVICE) Times are changing in the retail environment: a once customer-service driven experience is evolving into a minimalistic customer service approach.

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retail store help

Once upon a time, good retail management meant good customer service skills – asking customers if they needed assistance, helping them decide what looked best on them, and politely stalking customers to insure a sale was completed.

As technology evolves and become more prevalent and pervasive in our lives, these skills are no longer needed or wanted. A new study suggest that shoppers want to be left alone while browsing in stores, rather than be stalked, questioned, and coaxed into buying items they may not explicitly want due to persistent pressure from sales associates.

An HRC survey found that a whopping 95% of shoppers would prefer to be left completely alone while navigating the retail environment, rather than shopping under a constant barrage of questions: “Can I help you find anything?” “How are you today?” “What brought you in?” and the seemingly endless stream of inquiries, not to mention the sales pressure from those employees working on commission, can simply be too much for consumers looking to relax, browse in peace, or simply get in and out of a store quickly.

While the greater majority of shoppers may prefer to be left alone, this should not come as too much of a surprise, considering how much technology has supplemented the shopping experience. With enhanced apps and self-checkout lines it’s not hard to understand why most shoppers prefer to browse solo.

Smartphones have given us the ability to check prices, order goods, and check stock all without interacting with another human.

For many shoppers, this is an efficient way to save both time and money while shopping. For other shoppers, like myself, smartphones offer another way to shop without triggering my anxiety. Asking for help, or a price is nearly impossible – I’d rather go without an item than have to ask someone for help.

Sounds ridiculous? Believe me, it feels ridiculous too, but nevertheless, having alternative ways to shop without interacting, is a blessing for many people, for a variety of reasons.

What does this mean for stores? It’s time to take another look at your apps and/or mobile presence (and in-store wifi availability). Since customers are shying away from human interaction, is your app allowing people to scan for prices? Can your customers check stock and order things online to be picked up in store? Can customers use your app to enhance their shopping experience in-store? If not, you may lose customers to stores that offer these enhanced apps.

Times are changing.

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