We already talked about why relying solely on social media marketing can be a big mistake for your small business. So this time, let’s look at the flip side. Why does print marketing still work for small business? We’ll talk about a few of the reasons here:

  1. People tend to trust print advertising more
  2. Print makes a stronger emotional connection with customers
  3. Less competition helps you stand out
  4. Hyper-local (more personal)
  5. Reach people not on social media

Lastly, we’ll talk about the types of print media to consider.

Five Ways Print Marketing is Better Than Social Media Marketing

1. People Trust Print Advertising More

This may not come as a surprise when you really think of it. These days, we tend to question almost every single Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram ad we see. Print ads seem more trustworthy to us. And there is proof that’s true for most people. According to an October 2016 survey by MarketingSherpa, 82% of U.S. Internet users trusted print ads when making a purchase decision, more than any other medium. That’s almost twice as much as social media ads, which sat at 43%. “Consumers trust newspapers and magazines more than any other advertising channel at the point in time that matters most to marketers — when they are making a purchase decision.”

Print also lasts longer. On the other hand, if you don’t read a tweet within a couple of minutes or even a few seconds of it being posted, chances are you’ll never see it.

2. Print Makes a Stronger Emotional Connection with Customers

Woman connecting with a brochure. Print ads make a strong emotional connection.

This one isn’t quite as intuitive. According to research, we interact differently with print ads than with online or social media ads. Viewing print ads “involves more emotional processing, which is important for memory and brand associations.” We follow our emotions a lot when it comes to making buying decisions. We want to feel good about our choices. Print ads help us get there faster and with stronger connections.

Print can also transfer some of that emotion – not to mention that trust discussed above – by using it in partnership with your online advertising. We’ve all seen QR codes, for example. Whipping out our phones and following that link to your website, your video, or your Facebook page, etc. automatically makes it more trustworthy. Not to mention the fact that they are now actively engaging your content! Sometimes it pays to use print ads to grab their attention and online content to give them more information than can fit in a print ad.

3. Less Competition Helps You Stand Out

Competing for ad space has been an age-old problem. It’s what drove magazine ad sales through the roof. EVERYONE wanted to be in Time Magazine or National Geographic or one of the other many other magazines. “But those magazines are closing,” we can hear you say. Yes, many have. But the ones that are still around have a very targeted readership. That’s especially true of local publications, which offer affordable advertising options and great readerships in your area. And with fewer businesses savvy enough to pursue print advertising anymore, it’s much easier to stand out.

Direct mail is another area where less competition means more from you. We all get dozens, maybe hundreds of emails per day. But mail in our actual, physical mailbox seems to be getting less and less. In fact, direct mail marketing remains one of the most effective marketing methods.

4. Print Great for Hyper-Local

Bakery with print advertising.

Building on the last point – advertising in local print publications is a great way to stand out. Hyper-local, which roughly means your neighborhood within a five-mile radius, is by its nature highly targeted to a very specific geographic region. The advantage is that potential customers reading your ad are just minutes away from your storefront. So they could be reading a local publication in a local coffee shop and pop over to your local store all in one morning. This idea is especially popular with the “Buy Local” movement – building neighborhoods and communities by supporting each other.

Print doesn’t just mean magazine ads though. You can put up posters (where legal), create a direct mail campaign targeting your hyper-local market, give coupons in bags after a sale, print bookmarks and other items people hold onto, and of course give out business cards. You want to develop a rapport with customers in your area, and printed items are one way of doing that.

Trade and retailer shows are also great ways to reach your potential market. Print materials including brochures, flyers, and business cards make it easy for customers to “take your business” away with them.

5. Reach People Not on Social Media

We dedicated a whole post on why you relying solely on social media could be a huge mistake, so we won’t go too in-depth with it here. But it is worth underlining that not all your customers will be on social media. And don’t assume it’s related to age, either. Lots of younger people take “social media breaks” either temporarily or permanently. Print will help you reach them, too.

A Few Last Words about Print Marketing…

Too often, small business makes the mistake of trying to emulate big business. It’s important to underline that what may work for business may not work for small business, and vice versa. It’s also true that what may work for one small business may not work for another small business. So it’s important to find out what works best for you.

Billboard poster on a busy local street.

Hiring a small business marketing firm like Elite Marketing + Promotions can help you find what works best. With our years of experience, we can help you find your target markets, craft messaging that will resonate with them, and create marketing including print marketing to get that message in front of them. There are many ways to use print media including:

And, we can also show you how to integrate print marketing with social media marketing – often, it doesn’t have to be an either/or situation.

Contact us with our email form or call us directly right now at 215-491-0400. Our creative team of small business marketing professionals will help you put together the killer print marketing campaign – or any marketing campaign you need – to get your business noticed.