Now is a better time than ever to use a combination of both print marketing materials and social media tactics in a glorious cycle of promotion that gets all of your great content seen. While social media is king of communication and customer engagement these days, its ubiquitous presence is making print advertising more and more of a nostalgic novelty. In a world of things digital, our brains respond to advertising that is tangible and demands to be seen.
But how do you make your signage and social media accounts the perfect tag-team? There’s more to the strategy than tacking an array of social media icons onto your printed advertisements. Your content must interact coherently across all channels to advance your overall image and message.
Be Consistent with Your Content
Expend the effort to really hone the voice and image of your brand. Is it casual and relatable? Humorous? Sophisticated and formal? It is impossible to maintain consistency across all channels if you haven’t nailed down the impression you want to make. After developing a voice, you have the responsibility to keep it consistent across various platforms that call for different types of content. Maintaining the same tone in a 140 character Tweet as in a thousand-word blogpost will probably take a little thought. The same applies to visual content as well: a TwitPic or printed ad representing your brand should somehow convey the same overall feel as your onsite content.
Make sure all of your information across every channel is accurate. Don’t create a physical flyer advertising a 50% off sale if your social media flyers and website claim the sale is 30% off. Managing a handful of various platforms encompassing print and online can potentially cause a lapse in accuracy, so double check everything before you post.
Use Signs to Drive People to Your Social Media Accounts
The more your printed content interacts with your online content, the more accessible it will be to a range of audiences. Those with low online participation will be exposed to the physical ad, while those with high online participation will be encouraged to interact with your business online.
In order to effectively cross-promote, you have to give your audience a reason to care about your online presence. Rather than merely displaying social media icons on your ad, directly tie your online links to a specific promotion. Use a call to action that makes the viewer want to find out more. Invite the customer to take advantage of easily-accessible special offers and additional info.
Use QR codes to lead the customer to your mobile website. They are convenient for the customer to use and act as a cost-free tool to boost your online traffic. However, before implementing a QR code on your advertisements, test the code to make sure it works and is easy to use. A common QR code mistake is leading users to a desktop website. Since most QR codes are scanned by Smartphones, make sure it leads to a mobile website.
Master the Cycle of Integrated Marketing
Printed ads should lead audiences back to knock-your-socks-off online content. If your website and social media accounts are packed with enriching information and stunning visuals, users will be more likely to hang around and, ultimately, either make a purchase or provide you with the information you need to reach out to them. Either way, you can use their interest as an opportunity to send physical ad content. Whether it’s giving them a coupon as a reward for their purchase or a personalized flyer enticing them to make a purchase, your printed content can act as a reminder of their experience with your company. If you’re a brick-and-mortar business, the physical ad content may even lead them to your store, where more signage can help them find what they’re looking for. Toss a flyer in with their purchases that points them back to your online resources, and you have mastered the cycle.