With seemingly countless digital communication channels at your fingertips, modern marketing opportunities appear endless – particularly due to the explosion of social media sites in the past several years. In fact, many businesses have all but abandoned more traditional marketing techniques for digital media campaigns with the high hopes of reaching more potential customers than they ever thought possible, along with increased profit – all for the low cost that sites like Facebook and Instagram seem to offer. After all, with Facebook boasting over a billion users, social media just has to be the best marketing route, right? Not so fast. As you may have discovered already, digital marketing is inherently complex – so much so that even the most talented marketing minds scramble to understand the ever-changing digital landscape that continues to leave many businesses wondering if solving a Rubik’s Cube might not be easier. But here’s a thought: while there may be billions of social media users, there are way more folks who receive good old-fashioned mail. Just in case that concept alone hasn’t convinced you, here are 5 more reasons why print media is better than social media.
1. Print Media Is More Engaging
Multiple studies researching the effects of digital versus print text conclude that reading on a screen just doesn’t grab or hold people’s attention in the same way that printed text does. In fact, screen readers tend to scroll quickly, scan chunks of words in a haphazard manner, and lose focus quickly. This may be attributable to what researchers believe is a lack of physical interaction with the text. Either way, unless you have a talented graphic designer and copywriter on hand who can create mind-blowing social media campaigns, don’t be surprised if your digital ads and posts just aren’t getting the attention you anticipated. Research shows that print media is far more engaging. Consider this in-depth 2008 study published by The Print Media Academy of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG and the Faculty of Advertising and Marketing Communication of Stuttgart Media University which compared the effects of BMW’s print versus digital campaigns. Not surprisingly, they found that the print ads were far more effective than internet advertising.
2. Print Media Has Better Reach
If you had to choose between a small reach (and an even smaller response rate) and a more impressive reach and response rate, which would it be? Unless you like spending advertising money and getting little in return, we’re guessing the latter, right? Then you’ll definitely want to reconsider print media. Print media such as newsletters, direct mailers, and flyers consistently beat social media in both reach and response rates. Did you know that over 56% of digital ads are never even seen, according to Google? We’re not suggesting that target customers are so excited about your mailers that they’re framing them, but there’s a very strong chance they’re at least getting noticed as your printed media recipients sort through their mail. And the response you’ll receive is over twice as likely.
Print media is not only more engaging but also has a much better chance of getting noticed. Consider this: Google reported last year that over half of all digital ads are never seen by a single person.
3. Social Media Puts Your Mistakes and Weaknesses on Display.
Blunders are inevitable. Whether your customer service rep accidentally misinformed a client, you ran out of a high-demand product and the new shipment is delayed, or a customer was simply feeling moody, all it takes is for one dissatisfied customer to call attention to it on one or more of your social media channels and yikes! You’ll soon find yourself in social media ninja mode, constantly managing comment threads, online reviews, and more. With print media, complaints can’t go viral. Sure, a disgruntled customer might tell a friend or two how disappointed he/she is, but you won’t find yourself inundated with the glare of a lone red or yellow star across your screen or disparaging comments or spam that glare on display for hours, if not days, until you notice and delete them.
4. Print Media Doesn’t Limit You to Rules
When’s the last time you worried about how much text your direct mailer contained? Or a printing company declined to print your ad because the model in your image had bare arms? These are the types of issues you’ll encounter frequently if you want to pay to promote anything you post on social media. And you won’t know your post or ad is denied until after you set it up to run. Thus, if your ad or post is time sensitive, you’ll quickly find yourself in a frenzied scramble trying to piece together graphics that your social media channels deem suitable for promotion.
5. Print Media Can’t Crash Or Be Hacked
Consider the following scenarios:
- You’re having a big sale that relies heavily on social media marketing and one of your social media outlets experiences a technical difficulty that prevents users from signing in and seeing your ad.
- Your online publishing platform isn’t displaying your uploaded images that are an integral part of your content, and you’re stuck with a text-only blog until you can find a solution or write new HTML code that overrides the problem.
- Your company’s social media account is hacked into and a dissatisfied employee or competitor writes a potentially libelous or reputation-damaging post on your behalf. (Read this real life horror story if you don’t believe how ugly it can get).
The above synopses happen to businesses all of the time and can prevent you from relaying valuable content to your target audience. With print media, unless you expect mail to be delivered on a federal holiday, your hack-proof newsletters, postcards, magazines, etc. will be delivered to your recipients without fail.
While we’re not suggesting that you shun digital and social media marketing altogether, many businesses that may have dumped print media for digital and social media have been disappointed with the results (or should we say lack thereof) and experienced a new host of issues they could never have anticipated. Take back control of your marketing and consider the numerous benefits of printed media. Have questions about a printed project you’re considering? Don’t be shy – we enjoy sharing our expertise and look forward to your phone call, email, or inquiry via our online chat support.