The Energy and Flow of Digital to Print

Print-Digital

Get to know your audience in the digital realm: Here’s a thought: content makes content and good content makes sales.  There is so much content out there that it’s difficult to know what to publish and what not to.  How do you determine what it is that your audience is looking for?  What makes content gain momentum and go viral?   Here are a few places to look that will help you decide what content to publish for your target group:

  • Look at the content your competitors are posting
  • Test topic and keyword popularity by following #hashtags
  • Read social media posts from your consumers to find out what is interesting to them
  • Learn what people are searching for with Google (search trends)

 

Give them what they ask for in digital IN PRINT! Once you know what drives your audience and what kind of content they want to see, then you can take that content and put it in print for them!  As print always does, it will give the content more life, more value, and more longevity.  For as many catalogers who have decided to move entirely onto the ecommerce platform, there have been just as many (if not more) ecommerce companies who have decided to add print to their marketing mix.  Ecommerce sites have been very successful moving to print catalogs.  These companies have discovered the benefit of getting to know their consumers in a digital space and they really understand what will be the most effective to their consumers in print.

 

This whole web to print movement has proved to be extremely effective for companies even outside of the cataloging industry.  For example, the website mysocialbook.com  will use your FaceBook and Instagram accounts to create a long lasting scrapbook.  Here’s the thing, the books are actually quite nice.  The company has been quite successful.  Why? Because they are giving people what they want. They are taking what people love and what they want from the digital space and they are putting it in a permanent space.   We post things on social networks because they are important to us.  This is just one example.  How many books began as e-books or blogsites before they became printed books being sold in the bookstores? Moving from internet to print might seem a little backwards from our traditional methods of thinking, however, it is working and we see it happening everywhere.

 

If you are an ecommerce site, perhaps now’s the time for you to make a move to print.  If you are a cataloger already, maybe it’s a good time to consider looking at your program from a more digital standpoint.  What are your consumers asking for online and how can you incorporate more of it in your catalog program?

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Once in print, give them a road back to digital: The problem with having a goal or a destination is that once it’s achieved, your journey ends. Your goal should be to use technologies such as Augmented Reality and QR Codes to keep your audience cycling.  You don’t want to create a dead end street for your audience, but rather you want to create an ever flowing highway with exits and entrances and fun little rest stops along the way.  In other words, you want to drive your audience back to the digital world.  It takes many forms of media to fully engage your consumer and give them a whole brand experience.   Here are some useful tips on how to achieve this:

  • Use Augmented Reality
  • Use QR Codes
  • Recommend websites/articles/resources in your catalog
  • Give them a promo that can be honored online only
  • Use PURLS (personalized URLs)
  • Simply ask them to visit you on the web

 

The flow from digital to print and back again to digital is an important concept for multi-channel merchants.  It is important to understand the vital role that print plays in marketing strategy, but it is equally important to understand the benefits of digital as well.  The web is like a consciousness filled with ideas—lots and lots of ideas.  Print is like a manifesto of those ideas. Remember it works both ways. If it seems counterintuitive, then it’s often worth a second look.  We think because we are in an age of information we should concentrate our efforts on moving from print to digital.  But retailers such as Bobobos have demonstrated that’s not necessarily the case.   It’s also extremely beneficial to start from a digital space. Get to know your audience and then give them what they want…in print!

About the Author: Jim Gibbs

Vice President of Sales & Marketing at The Dingley Press. Jim has been with Dingley since 2002 and lives in Maine near our Lisbon, Maine plant location.