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4 Effective Ways to Effectively Combine Print and Digital Marketing Strategies

In the digital world we live in today, marketers have instant access to digital marketing tools more than ever before.

Historically, advertising for most small and medium businesses came exclusively in forms like print ads in newspapers or magazines.

However, these are still very effective at increasing a brand’s awareness in certain industries and markets.

In fact, the Digital Marketing Institute reported that consumers want to make contact with brands in a variety of ways; so there is a demand for a mixed marketing strategy.

Understandably, most companies spend a large portion of their marketing budget on digital strategies.

But, mixing print and digital can actually be a cost-effective way to reach the most people and convert more prospects into real customers.

Which begs the question - how can you combine print and digital marketing strategies together to maximise marketing efforts?

Here are 4 effective ways to effectively combine the two…

1. QR Codes

Leaflet with a QR code on it.

Have you created an eye-catching advert for a printed magazine and have a user-friendly, high-quality website?

Have you ever wondered, how can I bridge the gap between the two?

Well, QR codes could be the superhero you’ve been looking for!

Whilst they may look simple, QR codes can store a lot of data and regardless of what they’re intended for, when they’re scanned they should give the user instant access.

In regards to marketing, when your audience scans your QR code on their mobiles, not only are they engaging with your printed material, but this will drive traffic to your online platforms as well as offer some interesting insights - such as where the QR code was scanned, when and how many times.

Another positive to point out is QR codes can be printed in almost any colour, design or background so you won’t have to compromise on the visual design of your print.

2. Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality (AR) takes QR codes to a completely different level and is making waves in marketing and advertising.

In essence, AR is the technology that alters your reality by activating your senses.

What it does, it helps your audience not just notice your printed material, but to step into that world and further engage with your message.

An example of this is when IKEA included AR technology in their catalogue which allowed people to “try out” furniture in their homes

As such, AR is an excellent way to bring a dynamic design to life through digital connectivity.

For instance, let’s say you’ve created a poster or flyer, AR can make it come to life and bring your customers into the online space.

Here, the call to action will convince your audience to scan the code and either be surprised with entertainment or useful information.

3. Drive Traffic From Print to Digital

Theatre flyer with a online call to action.

Back in the day, printed marketing materials were designed to spread the word about a product or service.

Of course, this still applies today, but if you end the material with a clear call to action, your audience will be encouraged to visit your other social outlets, such as your company page on Facebook or a link to your direct website.

To put it simply, including a call to action in your offline material will drive more traffic online.

And what’s great is that you can track and measure the success of this campaign (see how many people visited your site because of a magazine ad), by using a customised URL to your website on the printed version.

Importantly, all marketing campaigns need to be analysed to understand what elements worked well (or not so well) and learn how your audience responded.

4. Social Media Virality

Supersize poster advertising an art gallery.

OK, so no one can predict what’s going to go viral on social media.

But, there are a couple of things you can do to your printed material to try to maximise your chances.

Firstly, use striking imagery that is picture-worthy enough for people to want to take pictures of it and share it online; a billboard, for example.

Secondly, you need to tell a story - sometimes a strong visual is not enough.

So, think about how you can create a narrative that will stimulate interest and inspire others to share it on their social media platforms.

Just like magic, your print marketing material will be shared on social media and maybe even go viral, and therefore increase your reach by merging print and digital together.

Top Tip: Always remember to include your social media handles on your print (like the example above). This will ensure your audience know who to tag when they share it online.

Finishing Thoughts

It goes without saying, if you are combining both marketing efforts, you must still follow best practices and more importantly, ensure the content you create for any medium provides value to your target audience.

All in all, using print and digital marketing together will take your highly targeted strategy to the next level, but don’t forget, both online and offline material should include a clear call to action so your audience knows what to do next.

To learn more, get in touch with us today.

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