In a world where the polarizing specializations of print and digital media rarely seem to overlap, it can be easy to forget how much the two media rely upon one another.
Companies that choose to specialize in digital media often make the mistake of cutting off all printing and converting many of their previously printed products into digital "equivalents." Occasionally digital editions of previously printed publications will take off or maintain readership, but many that switch to digital exclusively see a slight decline in their circulation totals.
On the other end of the spectrum, some media outlets go on to become pure printing companies that have more of the bells and whistles for specialized types of print jobs. Prints that require embossing, thermal transfer printing and foil stamping are some examples of these specialty types of jobs. While they are highly specialized, both the digital only and print only shops still have a need for maintaining a presence in and a knowledge of producing high quality print publications. So rather than stepping off your print production entirely, it might be best to adapt and re-purpose some of it.
This can be accomplished easily by finding a way to bring your digital marketing and print marketing together, so they build off of each other and effectively reinforce your brand’s messaging for your potential customers.
One method to marry digital and print is through the inclusion of social media icons or tags on your printed products. Since many posters and brochures already do that, it’s pretty much industry standard to include this information so viewers will possibly seek out your brand on social media to interact further.
The QR code is an extension of this, but it was fading in popularity since only Android devices could use them without installing a third-party software to scan them. Recently, however, the iPhone camera app added the ability to scan QR codes just by including them (in focus) in the field of view, so there has been an upsurge in the usage of this linking method again.
QR codes are basically fancy barcodes that can be “scanned” by phone cameras or apps to link someone to a specific site or app. They can easily be generated for free at sites such as QR-Code-Generator.com. There are also options within Adobe’s InDesign that allow for the creation of variable data coupon codes and QR codes for various print applications.
Since all social media now has the ability to hashtag certain words or phrases, including them on your printed media is one way of directly encouraging people to look at what your brand is posting on social media.
Customers can also use hashtags (or even just your brand’s handle) on social media to ask questions or keep up to date with your latest news posted there. There are also creative ways you can incorporate hashtags through various social campaigns for specific products, events, or brand phrases or offerings.
For example, Always Deodorant ran a campaign that featured the tag #LikeAGirl that encouraged social media users to interact with the brand on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. They included the hashtag itself on printed ads in magazines, flyers and their actual products themselves to increase the visibility of the campaign and increase the likelihood of those unfamiliar with the brand to become participants by joining in the conversation.
Whether you decide to incorporate hashtags or incorporate QR codes into previously existing printed materials, the key thing to remember is not to give up on print. The longevity of printed products and the ads in them greatly exceeds that of the digital ad that viewers may only momentarily glance at on the sidebar of a website they’re visiting. Re-investing, at least a little, in print could be your solution to solving efficiency problems with your brands’ marketing efforts.
If you'd like help striking that perfect balance for your marketing strategy, call one of our marketing specialists today. You can also email us or start a chat on our home page to learn more about Conquest Graphics' print and digital offerings.