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Will Print Advertising Still Work in 2020?



Print Advertising

With experts claiming the internet has dwindled down newspaper subscriptions, it is tough to say where the future or even the present of print media stands, currently. Some say, the internet is the future while print media is on borrowed time. According to Statista, the newspaper industry has lost about $4.5 billion since 2011, as a result, even credible publications like The New York Times have downsized.

Digital content is the new face of the generation – Gen Z and millennials both are submerged in an era of digitalization and technology that refuses to give up with every passing day. In such a situation, what exactly is the future of the newspaper industry, or those magazines that we see at doctors’ offices?

Currently, print media is hanging on to its roots in one end of the spectrum while being tugged the other way by digital media and advertising. While digital media has reshaped the advertising industry, several marketers still cater to print media.

Mentioned below are a couple of reasons why the future of print advertising stands on a stake, despite any plausible effort for its rehabilitation.



Saving Paper is Ecological

Millennials and Gen Z users are brought up with a ‘Save the Earth’ mindset. That said, paper has become a material which most prefer to avoid, due to its cost-prohibitive value and constant need of nature.

More and more people are using the internet today, which means that they have accessible information right in front of them at every second. While the yellow pages are nowhere to be seen today, it is expected that due to the lack of recycling, the era of print media may have seen its last day.

Brands that use sustainable wood or recycled paper for printing might still make a profit, but they may not be able to beat the revenue and attention generated by digital media.


Digital Helps you Save Money

Helps you Save Money
With prints ads, you require paper, ink, pens, and a team to design the layout before presenting the ad to the copier for printing. You will then have to distribute copies to every home including business fronts and plaster your town with billboards and pamphlets.

Now consider the digital approach. All you need is a team of graphic designers and content marketers who can create digital pieces with enriched copy.

If you have a fixed budget, and an option to choose between digital and print media, we all know the former will win. With a single click, your digital ad will not only be on multiple screens – thanks to the power of social media – but will also be shared across different locations without the extra expense.

Consider Rally Towels, an online retailer that specializes in manufacturing high-quality towels with roughly 15,000 online customers. Their team delivers an optimum customer experience by catering to its consumers online. Not only can they publicize their ads via their website and social media channels, but also, they provide customers with guidelines, styling techniques, tutorials, detailed product information and a 24/7 live chat experience.

To weigh on the future of print advertising in 2020, we have five innovative ways that we believe can still uphold its legacy.


Merge print with digital

Most brands cater to printing advertisements both on paper and digital media. According to Timothy Nichols, referring to both ad platforms might serve as a vital source of customer engagement. Bernard May of National Positions adds to this statement, and consequentially recommends keeping up with the ad consistency for brand preservation and authenticity. For instance, if you’re primarily using print media for promoting your content, then boost your customer engagement by posting the same material on your social media channels.

Henry Kurkowski of One Wifi suggests that print should take the interactive route. By merging your print media with digital, you’re giving your customers an enriched yet complete brand experience. Offer customizable options or QR codes on print pieces that customers can use to their benefit when using social media applications.

Moreover, if you’re opting to tie print with digital, then introduce a couple of elements from your online campaigns to offline ones for bridging the gap. For instance, include your social media profiles and branded hashtags on print ads so that customers can immediately follow you online.


Print Media encourages preservation of physical presence

While e-commerce has revolutionized and taken the world by storm, there are several outlets and business models that currently primarily rely on print media for advertising. Consider the doctor’s waiting room, for instance, where print ads come in action for endorsing and upholding medical payment plans.

Many e-commerce brands usually have a retail store that requires ads to be plastered and printed all over their store and on billboards for maximum customer exposure and retention. Most retail stores celebrate events or introduce user-and-customer engaging conferences to provide a physical shopping experience for their customers.

Let’s not forget senior citizens. While Baby Boomers are using Facebook nowadays, a considerable chunk of them still relies on print media for regular updates and information. Senior citizens prefer checking direct mail and may as well subscribe to long-copy mailers.


Higher shelf life

While print media is a popular way to pass the time at the doctor’s office, you might find some tangible magazines and first editions in households as well. Let’s not forget the shelf life of collectors’ copies. First editions of comics, magazines, and journals are considered prime collectors’ items, and people flock to retail stores to add them to their collection.

Similarly, let’s not forget the tactile experience a paperback magazine or comic provides. Even with digital offerings, devoted fans still flock to stores to purchase these items.

Even though Gen Z users are always using digital devices, MNI believes that this age group might become one of the biggest consumers of print media, perhaps ushering in a new era for print ads.


Print causes long-lasting impressions

Let’s face it, even if you create the best promotional email, chances are it will get deleted. With the oversaturation of digital media, online users often ignore digital ads. However, for those engaged in reading printed pieces, advertisers know they have the reader’s full attention.

If you want to make heads turn, consider sending your brochure or e-book in printed form via direct mail to your leads.

Similarly, if you want to attract a target audience towards your retail store, then you can print out coupons that are only redeemable or refundable when visited in person. People still cut out coupons from newspapers and magazines when hunting for bargains, especially those who tackle week to week grocery shopping. Always remember, a penny saved is a penny earned, but while you’re saving by printing an ad, try focusing on its quality instead of trusting an all-neutral template.


Boost your copy

Approximately 92% of Gen Z users trust in the authority of print media as opposed to digital content, according to MarketingProfs. Print media is easy to read, comprehend and it isn’t as volatile as digital content. Moreover, approximately 34% of consumers prefer tackling a purchase and making a sound decision only if they see an ad in print. Given these statistics, it is not hopeless to say that the future of print advertising is entirely bleak.

To enhance these numbers, Timothy Nichols of ExactDrive, Inc., concluded that your brand should feature ads that add value to content in terms of both graphics and text. For instance, if you are a patron of a magazine, then instead of popping colors all about, try to introduce a bridge of formidable text with added blank spaces to motivate the reader. Similarly, inject a bit of pop art or graphics in ads that primarily rely on textual content and facts.


Make your copy short and interactive

If you’re creating an ad for print, then make sure you research your target audience much more vigilantly and proactively than for digital. There are no edits that can be done once the print ad gets approved, which can be challenging.

Research your target audience by perusing the marketplace and get to know the problems they encounter within your industry. Create a copy that is bold, short, and convincing enough to garner the attention of your readers. As mentioned earlier, create a template with a corresponding palette that defines your brand, and text that does justice to the message you’re trying to convey.

Go back to your previous social posts and note down the responses and actions generated by each ad. If your ads are performing better in newspapers and failing to generate a response from magazines, then reevaluate where you’ll buy your ads. Also, concentrate on the headlines that attracted a significant response from your readers, and use similar visuals and graphics to lure your audience.

If we weigh in on the debate between print and digital advertising, we will have to hand in our cloak and dagger and go with the latter. Digital advertising is morphing every second – it’s not only becoming more and more cost-effective as we speak but is also continues to gain momentum. Hyper-local markets, whose business thrives on printing advertisements to peak interest, is also shifting to digital, primarily due to expenses.

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