Content marketing is frequently thought of as an online-only strategy today, so the idea of incorporating print into your integrated content marketing strategy may not seem obvious. Despite this, several recent articles have been published about how print marketing is thriving and how print can drive online traffic.
And, as mentioned in my Using An Integrated Content Marketing Strategy article, print is an important part of your coordinated content marketing efforts.
Rumors of the demise of print have been greatly exaggerated. Consider the case of the e-book, which has picked up a considerable amount of steam in recent years. And yet, according to a recent report by Pew Research Center, 70 percent of people still read physical books. Furthermore, fewer than 5 percent of Americans have gone to e-books exclusively. That means 95 percent of people still read old-fashioned print materials on a regular basis.
And, print marketing isn’t limited to slick postcards or brochures. Most companies who market their products with a catalog have found that their print catalog is vital to online order volume. After all, some 58% of online shoppers say they browse print catalogs for ideas.
IKEA even had some fun with the concept of the print catalog as being the next big innovation in their now viral video, Experience the power of a bookbook.
Print is tangible, always on, and something that can be held or passed along to others.
Think of print as a way to drive traffic to your website. A printed catalog may never be as up to date as a website, nor can it offer interactivity, but if the catalog is designed with eye-catching content, you’ve given readers enough to entice them to take the next step and navigate to your website as a motivated buyer.
The ease of ordering online and expanded product offerings are good reasons for ordering online, but moving customers to your website accomplishes something far greater. It gives you the opportunity to track your visitors as they journey throughout your site.
By providing a unique URL that’s available only to those who see your print ads, you’ll be able to tell exactly how many people visited your website after seeing your ads. You can then see where they go next and what parts of your site they visit most frequently. You can also see what they buy, and how much of it they purchase.
The result is a smarter company that knows its customers better and is better equipped to give them what they want.