Reel in Prospects by Adding Print to Your Content Marketing

Content is king in advertising and communication concept, colorful arrows pointing to the word CONTENT at the center with chess king on black cement wall, creativity of brand website and social mediaResearchers estimate that in 1984 a person saw an average of 2,000 ads per day.

By 2014, they saw about 5,000. With the explosion in spam and social media ads, that number increases daily. But consumers are fed up with in-your-face advertising that seems disruptive or manipulative. Instead, they’re attracted to authenticity and friendliness in a brand.

How can you build that kind of culture in your business?

It’s All About Content

Narratives and content marketing can bring fresh life to your marketing mix!

Content marketing is a strategic approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience. It shifts your team away from a “message” focus to a more optimal “people focus,” building trust and driving more profitable consumer action.

Content marketing generates stronger leads, increases sales, and enhances customer loyalty. Consider these facts:

  • 77% of internet users read blogs
  • Small businesses with blogs get 126% more lead growth than small businesses without blogs
  • Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about three times the leads
  • A 2014 Brandshare survey found that the majority of consumers are suspicious of brands’ intentions, but 87% said they would like a more meaningful relationship with their preferred brands

Why Print + Content Marketing = Success

When people consider content marketing, they typically think of digital media.

However, true diversification means thinking bigger. The Content Marketing Institute suggests two out of three marketers don’t include print in their content marketing, but there is strategic value to including printed content elements.

Why?

1. The Information Factor

Nielson found about 56% of consumers rely on printed matter for sales information, and:

  • 56% preferred mailed or delivered circulars
  • 52% relied on newspaper circulars
  • 37% relied on in-store printed pieces or store-generated e-mails
  • 27% relied on store websites

Print is seen as a concrete, reliable source, especially by prospects nearing a decision. If you neglect printed content marketing you may minimize your chance of landing a valuable client.

2. The Trust Factor

With today’s “fake news” paranoia, trust in digital media has decreased.

A 2017 study showed that printed news magazines are the most trusted news source (72% rated them positively) while only 33% believed social media provided honest information.

Even print versions of national newspapers were regarded as more trustworthy than the websites of that exact same publication!

Because of the physical nature of the medium, print is naturally viewed as more informative and trustworthy than digital media.

So how can you add print to your content marketing strategies?

  1. Use embedded QR codes in game-style promotions or in-store displays. Check some inspiring examples here or here.
  2. Look for ways to get your business or product featured in magazine or newspaper articles.
  3. Employ printed “how to” postcards or maintenance checklists with online coupon discounts included in the text.
  4. Print inserts for invoices or point-of-sale kiosks that highlight an excerpt of your blog to lead them online.
  5. Consider generating your own quarterly or bi-annual niche publication.
  6. Print custom thank-you notes with a snippet of your brand story or the first paragraph of your blog on the back.

Printed content marketing should be used as “bait” to generate nibbles from your potential customers.

If you don’t have a place to reel them in (like a “get started today” link) or a way to keep them in the net (a defined sales funnel or a customer retention program), all your time and energy will be useless. So be strategic, be customer-focused, and get out there and fish!

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Out-of-Office Messages with Personality

Market-353For many people, taking time away from work can be difficult, but setting up your out of office (OOO) message is one of the first steps that can help you disconnect and feel less stressed when you are away from work.

Many people are hesitant to disconnect entirely from their email, even when on vacation, and fear an OOO could lead to missed opportunities. However, OOO messages can be a creative way to create emotional connections with prospects, clients, and coworkers.

Regardless of why you are out of the office, your message can help recipients feel more connected to you socially and can even serve as a conversation starter the next time you speak.

For example, you could say “Hi, I’m away from the office celebrating our 20th Anniversary with my beautiful wife. I’m hoping to perfect my sailing skills, and if I’m lucky, I will have a story to tell you about catching a few great fish! I won’t be checking my emails until (date), but if you need something urgent, please contact (add name and email).”

Another creative OOO that you can customize for contacts already in your address book could include sharing a helpful resource, such as saying, “I’m out of the office at a conference until (date), but in the meantime, I wanted to share this article featuring 20 great tips for XX. Enjoy!”

Not only can a well-crafted OOO give you the separation you need from your business emails, but it can also give you the opportunity to connect with your contacts more deeply upon your return.

Promote it with a Postcard

A VERSATILE AND AFFORDABLE MARKETING TOOL

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Postcards are a versatile and affordable marketing tool that can boost recognition and sales. Because postcard coupons don’t have an exterior envelope, they grab attention with a bold message and get to the point quickly. Here are a few creative postcard ideas to consider for your next marketing campaign:

    • Express your gratitude by sending a postcard with a handwritten thank you note.
    • Design your postcard as a coupon to help increase sales.
    • Use postcards as a tradeshow pre-mailer, with a convenient tearaway portion to drop at your booth for a chance to win door prizes or other giveaways.
    • Demand attention with a folded or oversized postcard, which also has more room for information.
    • Extend the life of your mailing with a tearaway reply card, information request form, or business card.
    • Save on postage and envelope costs by designing your newsletter, brochure, or catalog as an oversized postcard.
    • Create a “we’ve missed you” or product reorder reminder campaign to help reactivate old customers and boost sales.
    • Consider adding a magnet to the back of “save the date” postcards to increase their staying power.
    • Create a monthly product spotlight postcard campaign that highlights various products or services you offer, and includes a coupon discount.

If you need help creating the perfect postcard your customers will love, let us know today!

Employee Newsletters

Market-351While many companies use newsletters to build relationships with their customers, many overlook the team building potential that an internal newsletter could have on their own employees. An employee newsletter is a great way to boost employee morale and focus on their successes.

Here are a few tips for creating an employee newsletter your team will love:

    • Include “Employee Spotlight” articles as a fun way for employees to get to know each other. The info could range from the employee’s position within your company to their hobbies, interests, family photos, etc.
    • Acknowledge employee birthdays, corporate anniversaries, new hires, promotions, team successes, and more.
    • Keep your team informed with customer survey results, customer compliments, and thank you notes from appreciative customers.
    • Assign a few teams to specific parts of the newsletter each month, such as pulling company stats (sales volume, tradeshow outcomes, etc.), taking photos at company events, etc.
    • Create an ideas library. Stockpile various ideas, photos, jokes, quotes, seasonal graphics, etc. to save time down the road.

Our creative team would love to offer ideas if you need help creating or getting started on a newsletter. Give us a call at 856-429-0715 or stop by today.

Tips to Push the Envelope

ENSURE YOUR ENVELOPES GET NOTICED AND OPENED

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Envelopes are just as important as the marketing materials inside them. If your audience doesn’t open your envelope, your entire effort is a loss. Here are a few ways to ensure your envelopes get noticed and opened:

    • Plan your envelope design early – it shouldn’t be an afterthought. Design your envelope with the contents in mind, including a teaser, deadline, photo, or description of what’s inside.
    • Consider a variety of colors and textures (linen, cockle, matte, translucent, coated, glossy, metallic, etc.).
    • Include a hook message that piques the curiosity of your reader, such as “Open immediately to see your savings!”
    • Consider an oversized envelope that will stand apart in a stack of mail.
    • Address the reverse side of an envelope (the side with the flap) and reserve the full front as a mini-billboard for your marketing message.
    • Take advantage of your marketing real estate by printing on both sides of the envelope.
    • Consider adding stickers to add emphasis, such as anniversary seals, product guarantee labels, or a warranty sticker.

Do you need help getting your creative juices flowing? Ask us for some promotional envelope samples today!

 

Down-Selling Pays Off

SHOW YOUR CUSTOMERS YOU HAVE THEIR BEST INTERESTS IN MIND

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While we’re all familiar with upselling and cross-selling to boost sales, few salespeople will practice down-selling. Although your higher-priced items likely have a more substantial profit margin, down-selling can be just as, or more, important to your company.

Down-selling is a great sales technique to show your customers you have their best interests in mind. For example, if you think a customer is considering an overly featured product that has no value for their simple needs, down-selling can be a great way to build rapport with a customer and still get a sale.

Down-selling can also be used as a backup if customers reject your original offer or have budgeting issues. For example, you can suggest a comparable product or service at a lower price that better matches their budget or needs. If you haven’t already, this is an excellent example of the importance of categorizing your products when possible, ranging from value/entry level to premium.

Down-selling is a great way to keep the customer engaged in the sales process. In addition, if a customer trusts you and appreciates your honesty, they will likely purchase from you again in the future, creating a loyal customer. After all, a satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all.

Boost Your Facebook Reviews

FACEBOOK IS ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR REVIEW SITES

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While there are many online resources where customers can leave reviews, Facebook is one of the most popular. Since the majority of your customers are likely already on Facebook, writing a review and recommending a business takes minimal effort. While you can also ask customers to write Yelp or Google reviews, they may not already have a Yelp account or Gmail account and may be less likely to open new accounts just to review your business.

Another benefit when customers choose to review your business on Facebook is that their review is also visible to their friends, family, and other connections, extending the reach of their review.

When you search for a business on Google, a box on the right side appears showing an overview of the business with photos, hours of operation, Google reviews, AND overall review scores from the web, such as Facebook and other sites. This enables anyone to view your Facebook review score, even if they don’t use Facebook.

One of the easiest ways to get Facebook reviews is to ask your loyal customers directly. Make a habit of asking customers how their experience was, and when they provide a positive response, say, “We’d appreciate it if you would take a moment to share your experience on Facebook!” Or “We’re glad to hear it! Please review us on Facebook!”

You can also include review requests as a note enclosed with a package, as a tagline on your email signature, in a handwritten thank you note, or even post a public request on your Facebook page, such as “We hope you enjoyed our latest promotion! Leave us a review to let us know what you think.”

Before requesting a review, ensure that your Facebook page has reviews enabled. Go to Settings > Edit Page > scroll to the bottom and select Add a Tab. From there, select Reviews. Then, drag and drop the order of your tabs to position them the way you want on your Facebook Page.

When asking customers to provide a review, include the direct URL for your Facebook Reviews tab: www.facebook.com/pageusername/reviews.