Sit down and look around on any commuter train, and you’re certain to see a sea of screens — iPads and Kindles and cell phones occupying the attention of their owners. A decade ago, the scene would’ve included newspapers, books and magazines, leading many to proclaim that print is dead.
Print, however, still matters (and we don’t just say that because one of our jobs is producing print products — honest!). Why?
1. It’s easy to connect to.
When you hold something in your hands, it produces an emotional connection that can’t be replicated in a digital medium.
2. It stands out from the crowd.
These days, print is kind of rare — and that can be attention-getting. The typical American household receives about 15 to 17 pieces of advertising-related mail per week, according to research by Pitney Bowes, which is far less than what they’re getting via e-mail. A well-designed content marketing piece filled with meaningful text is likely to stick around on countertops, being read by multiple household members and flipped through on more than one occasion.
3. It gives you more time to get your message across.
Weave great storytelling into a print piece, and you’re likely to have readers hooked in a way that would be much tougher to do online, where clicking to the next thing is almost an automatic response.
4. It’s not an all-or-nothing proposition.
Print and digital products can — and should — complement each other. When San Diego retail center Seaport Village sent out a holiday direct mail campaign, they netted a traffic rise to their website of more than 25%. On your print materials, include your website, Facebook page, Twitter handle, and whatever other campaigns you’re running online, and encourage people to connect with you there. Having multiple avenues to reach customers is never a bad thing.
5. It’s cool.
A nice print piece is just plain awesome. Sure, we love our smartphones as much as the next person (the ability to settle random factoid disputes in a matter of seconds is one we’re sorry we ever had to live without), but on that long commute, we’re the ones pulling out a magazine. There’s just something about print that will always keep it relevant — and worth being a component of any business’s content marketing strategy.