By Dorothy York, President and CEO of North American Precis Syndicate (NAPS)
As the world has become increasingly digital, print marketing has kept pace or exceeded performance of online offerings. With fewer printed publications and fewer pages being printed, the value of information in newspapers has increased, due to a greater likelihood of being seen, as people are more easily able to read small, suburban community newspapers, cover to cover in a short amount of time. The digital versions of newspapers often have many more pages, as there is comparatively little cost to adding more and more content online.
As online publications are inundated with thousands of requests per day for inclusion of branded content, and the volume of site traffic remains relatively stable, the value of each individual placement in the online versions of newspapers is diminished and diluted by the influx of new information.
The visibility of the printed word as compared with the value of the same word in online versions, has always been far greater, by any measure, which is reflected in the cost of getting seen in newspapers in print versus the digital publication. As the gap widens, and digital publications add more and more pages for sponsored content, advertorials, and the like, the value of the printed word will increase.
For those targeting Boomers or seniors, who generally read more in print than online, the disparity is especially appreciated.
For those targeting Millennials, they will reach more if they cover print than if they don’t, both directly, as many read newspapers, starting with High School and College newspapers, and as a result of referred traffic from peers, co-workers, friends and family members. The printed versions can easily be shared online as many are replicated as a pdf version on an affiliated digital site with social media channels. Some take a picture of articles to share.
All things considered, here are five good reasons to add print media to your marketing mix:
1- Printed Newspapers Trigger Multiple Senses: Many people seek time away from touching their mobile phones, computer keyboards, and TV remote controls. It’s nice to get the feel of a printed newspaper or magazine, with glossy pages, the smell of the ink, and the sounds of the pages flipping, which have been simulated online in digital flip books, by popular demand. It’s easier to see a printed page in bright sunlight, instead of the glare or reflection on a screen.
2- Print Engages More Readily: Content that lives online doesn’t engage as well if it is in an abbreviated format, requiring readers to click through to another page to see the rest of the article. Many readers are impatient when reading online, feeling they don’t have time to stop and read a whole article or blog post, so they merely skim, scan and move on to the next. Print readers tend to slow down and actually read, not only the news, but also the ads, especially those that are native and relevant to the adjacent articles they read.
3- Brains React Differently To Paper Than Screens: The human brain processes information differently depending on the presentation in print or on a screen. Readers of print have longer attention spans because screens have far more distractions. The act of deep reading, which occurs more naturally in print, creates deep thinking, which means readers can become fully engrossed in the content. When readers see relevant sponsored content next to the publisher generated content, they are more easily swayed to think about that as well.
4- Print Drives Online Engagement: To get people to take action and interact more with your brand, you can capture attention in printed media and drive your audience to your online assets.
5- Adding Newspapers To The Mix Increases ROI: For the message you worked so hard to craft and deliver online, you can get more mileage out of it, for very little extra cost, by covering print media, to reach more people in your target audience, and to achieve goal oriented outcomes.