June 29, 2015
5 min read
Web-based marketing has become one of the most frequently touted tools available to businesses today. However, it’s not a cure-all, and in many instances, it’s not as effective as traditional print-based marketing. While it certainly has its place in your toolbox, you can’t hang your success on that single peg. You need to use print marketing as well, but it’s very different from the web. Here are five vital differences that you need to know between the two.
1. Design It Once
One of the single most important advantages over print media is the fact that you can design your ad or other marketing collateral just once, and use it repeatedly. That’s not true with web-based marketing. You need something fresh each time. For instance, you can’t write an article as a guest blog post, and then use it on your own blog as well – Google will penalize you. Of course, that doesn’t mean that print marketing shouldn’t be tailored to the audience, iterated on, and evolved, but it does make things a lot simpler (and sometimes quite a bit more affordable).
2. Short Is King
Yes, Google might be telling everyone that it’s rewarding longer-form content, but consumers still prefer short web-based text. And they don’t read the entire thing, so your well-crafted prose is going to waste it online. Consumers skim web material, picking up important points along the way. Very few will actually read a 600-word blog post all the way through. The opposite is true with print materials – you can count on your audience to read the entire thing, slowly, digesting it as they go.
If you’re not creating search engine optimized content for online use, you’re never going to gain traction. Keywords and phrases must be skillfully woven into the content to help search engines index and rank it, but so that those words don’t stand out to your human readers. In the world of print, you’re writing only for human beings, with no need to worry about artificial keywords in the content. It can be freeing.
4. No Audience Development
Even creating a very modest audience through blogging or social media can require an immense investment of time, energy, and money. And once you’ve built that audience, you must continually interact in order to remain relevant and noticed. Print isn’t that way. There is no cost to develop your audience, only to get your ad or other content out there.
While the Internet has allowed unprecedented information sharing, it has come at a price. Information online is often perceived as not being credible. “Trust, but verify,” has turned into “Never trust until you’ve verified through 10 different sources”. There’s simply too much incorrect and downright falsified information online for consumers to really trust what they’re reading. Print, on the other hand, remains one of the most credible mediums for businesses.
Yes, online marketing has its place. However, print does as well, and more and more businesses are finding that’s true.
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