5 Ways to Use Print in Your Digital Advertising Strategy

In an ever-increasing digital landscape, it may seem like print media is dead, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Print media isn’t dead; it has simply reinvented itself.

Ever-advancing digital technology has enabled print media to branch out in ways never seen before. Print and digital media aren’t opposing forces; rather, they’re two sides of the same coin. The future of print still holds a certain cachet not achievable anywhere online.

While media and advertising have gone primarily online, print design and production still play an important role in the current digital landscape.

Below, we look at five ways that print can help elevate your digital advertising strategy.

  1. Social media and print advertising

Social media is an essential tool for any brand looking to increase its brand awareness and attract more potential customers. Facebook alone has over two billion users. This has huge potential for any brand looking to employ social media as part of their advertising strategy.

But how does print media enhance a brand’s social media presence?

There are several ways to incorporate print advertising to promote your social media platforms. Business cards, print mailers, newspaper ads, and traditional billboards can display links back to your social media accounts.

Also, creating custom social media URLs enables your brand to differentiate between the traffic sources of each marketing channel. This ensures you get an optimal view of how each advertising channel is performing.

  1. Augmented print campaigns

Immersive interactivity is the name of the game in digital advertising. Augmented reality (AR) is an emerging technology that is creating new opportunities for more immersive advertising campaigns, particularly when it comes to print media.

AR can bridge the gap between print and digital by creating engaging, more impactful ad experiences.

In brick-and-mortar stores, AR creates interactive experiences that bring a brand’s product to life. AR can transform any printed material, from catalogs to ads, into virtual, 360-degree interactive experiences.

This turns print into an interactive sales channel while enhancing the in-store shopping experience.

  1. Integrating QR codes into print media

Since its release in 1994, QR (Quick Response) codes have been met with varying skepticism. Many believed that the full potential of QR codes was never realized. But this all changed in the last five years.   

When Snapchat launched QR-based Snapcodes in 2015, the QR stock received a much-needed boost. Then, in 2017, Apple’s iOS 11 camera app came with an integrated native QR code reader. There’s also Masterpass QR, Mastercard’s new payment solution harnessing QR technology.

QR codes have also experienced tremendous success in certain regions such as the Asia-Pacific and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). In these global markets, QR codes are used for everything from making payments to interacting with a brand on a messaging app.

QR codes can be positioned across various print media. This can include providing digital opt-ins from direct mail, promoting QR coupons via mobile, and linking to specific, targeted landing pages on your brand’s website.

  1. Providing personalized, relevant collateral

Print is a medium that provides literal weight to your brand’s presence.

The modern consumer is more tech-savvy than ever. This means that more and more are becoming blind to digital advertisements. Print is an alternative to these digital advertising methods and allows a brand to rise above the digital racket.

The best way to leverage print collateral is to create personalized content for your audience to engage with.

Identify trends in your analytical data to inform certain triggers and activity behaviors. This can be transformed into personalized collateral that encourages your customers to engage and increase conversions.

  1. Incorporating CTAs into print material

Even with print marketing designed to promote products or spread awareness, too often, print materials are designed passively. One way to combat print’s passiveness and increase cross-platform marketing coordination is by incorporating clear CTAs.

Using calls-to-action (CTAs) on print materials eliminates print’s passiveness and puts it to work in collaboration with your digital advertising strategy.

Several types of CTAs that can encourage customers to engage with your printed materials include:

  • Encouraging a potential customer to visit the website to learn more
  • Sending them to a specific URL to purchase
  • Incentivizing with a value proposition (special promotion codes)
  • Capturing information with a landing page web form

These CTA examples highlight how both print and digital materials can boost traffic and improve the effectiveness of your cross-platform advertising strategy.

Print in a digital age

While more companies are dedicating increased resources to a digital advertising model, print continues to be a valuable medium. Consumers still need to engage and interact with a brand’s physical presence, whether that is through a retail store or a branded event.

By understanding how print media can provide a complementary balance to your digital assets, your brand can create an advertising campaign that offers consumers the best of both worlds.