There are some people who will argue that catalogs and other print ads such as those in magazines or newspapers are dead, especially since we are living in a world where digital advertising is taking over. Print advertising is not as popular as it once was. However, before you decide not to rely on catalogs and print ads, you have to think carefully about the decision because it can end up backfiring on you.
Believe it or not, even in a world where digital advertising is taking over, printed catalogs and print ads are still a great way of engaging an audience and getting more customers for your business. It takes a lot of exposure to your brand before you get real traction with consumers. Taking your advertisements out of the digital and putting your brand into the hands of your customers can mean all the difference for making that critical connection.
Strategies for Using Catalogs and Print Ads
Like any marketing channel, print has its own unique methods of getting attention and driving customers to you. Because the vast majority of ordering takes place online, often the goal is to get visitors to your website. So setting up your print ads to help customers leap from paper to your site is very important.
QR codes have become a popular method of getting consumers from one medium to another. Readers scan a barcode on their phone and are taken to a landing page on your site. You can track scans and tailor landing pages per QR code. This technology is free to use, but does take up at least a one inch by one inch space in any design you create.
Call to Action
Tell your readers to go to your site or call you! This is the simplest call to action that exists and it works. Don't just put your information in a catalog or in a newspaper ad and leave it at that. Encourage them to get in touch or research the product more on their own.
Coupons and Sales
These technically fall under the call to action heading, but they are so different that it's worth separating them. When you include a time-sensitive sale or offer a discount for use of a coupon, you encourage consumers to act sooner rather than later. This extra pressure can mean the difference between a broad response to your print ads or none at all.
It's increasingly critical that any print ads be tailored specifically for a target audience. Don't waste your time with a broad market. Focus, focus, focus on a specific group and design every piece of your print ad to resonate with them. Consumers won't give you the time to develop a story - you have to get their attention fast. But the only way to do that effectively is to target a niche group and develop adverts that connect specifically with that group.
Catalogs and print ads still have a place in advertising and always will for a simple reason: it's a different marketing channel that connects with consumers differently than digital advertising. The key is to create focused ads that connect with a target audience. Using QR codes and a clear call to action are just two ways to get people from the print ad onto your site where they, hopefully, fill up their shopping carts.