When Print Comes to Shove, Improve Your Marketing

Guest Post By: Jon Davis

Cushing Guest Contribution
Who doesn’t love print, right?

The hum of a flatbed printing a foamcore sign. Or the bright colors of new brochures. No matter what: it’s much more than paper and ink. There’s always a purpose behind the print piece. Or an exhausted small business owner or marketing team behind the work!

Joe Pulizzi, is the founder of the Content Marketing Institute, a leading voice in the content and digital marketing space. Recently, he brought up the fact AirBNB just started their own print magazine.

A major voice in content marketing brought up a leader in the sharing economy, using print? That is powerful. Small to wide format, it is encouraging news for the printing industry. Guess what? We still have work to do.

Let’s get communicating! Here are some cost-effective ideas to put pep in your marketing outreach.

Host A Lunch & Learn

Do you work with marketing professionals or want to attract more of them? Partner with a local marketing agency or expert and invite them to present at your office. OK, easier said than done … wait a minute. Start with vendors you work with: who designed your website? Give them a call and see if they have spoken in your city or at a conference.

Have you printed collateral for a marketing agency? Invite them to discuss the value of branding through print. Or the benefits of marketing with social media? No, I’m not forgetting the food. Have you completed a project for a restaurant that wants to increase awareness? Ask them to contribute lunch and extend a discounted rate to the lunch partner. Be sure to add their logo and website link to the event page. Don’t forget to include them in your next email newsletter.

Educational events provide value and reason for customers to visit your shop.

Join a committee

Local associations are great for networking and building contacts. But this is a not a “set and forget” consideration. Have you considered joining a committee? When printing needs arise, who do you think they will toner, oops, turn to? Volunteering puts you in position extend your referral network and customer base.

It goes beyond the boardroom or conference room. For instance, assist with checking in guests at the registration table. Or hand out drink tickets for a business after hours (true story, as I recently helped out at an event in Chicago.) Sure enough, it led to several qualified prospects for our sales team. Not bad for a couple of hours on a Tuesday evening.

Write!

Despite the exclamation point, I’m not advocating typing away for the sake of it (but if you do, please use spell check). Tell a client success story, interview a long-standing customer, describe a problem you solved through collateral (or wayfinding signage.) How about a printed poster, or a … you get the idea…!

Do you support a non-profit? Tell us why and how you got involved. Helped a business increase market share through a direct mail campaign? Blog about it, share with your clients and drop it in your next email newsletter. People want to know more about your business. Show them through customer stories and organizations you support.

Social Proof

The study is almost five years old, but still rings true: in 2012 Nielson released a trust factor report. 70% of consumers stated they trusted completely consumer opinions posted online. It sets up my favorite part of outreach: asking clients for website testimonials. And you don’t have to go cold!

Potential testimonial leads come from your sales, customer service or production teams. Ask them to share positive experiences or clients they think would be a good fit. If they received an email note from a happy customer, ask them to forward along. Call the client and see if you can use. Don’t forget to ask for a headshot! Photos can boost credibility and increase conversions. If they are not comfortable, what have you lost?

We’d love to hear your ideas and thoughts on spreading the – printed – word. What ideas and strategies are you incorporating into your marketing?

Jon Davis is in the marketing department at Cushing, a digital printing company in Chicago. Cushing opened their doors in 1929 as a blueprinting company. Venturing into the world of display graphics, their team produces items such as custom window clings for businesses and banner stands in Chicago and beyond. He is very excited to contribute to inkondapaper.com on behalf of Cushing!

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