Internet Marketing is Here to Stay… And So Is Print! February 10, 2015 0 comments The World Wide Web is 26 years old this year and it has certainly changed a lot in that time, especially in the way we communicate and do business. It’s also had a big effect on marketing and advertising, giving us a plethora of new ways to promote products and services. What hasn’t changed in the last quarter century, though, are the core challenges facing marketers. Namely: how do you get people to pay attention to your brand? Pleasing all of the people, all of the time Being online is essential, even for a local business. Around 90% of the population are internet users, so investing in internet marketing (whether that’s time or money, or noth) is definitely something you should be looking to do, if you aren’t already. In fact – particularly so if you are a small retailer reliant on local custom – all but those within the local vicinity will be searching for your business online. But while 57m of 64m UK residents are browsing the Web, not all of them are using PCs and mobiles to find you. Some will be; more than ever before… but not all. More than likely, your audience will hear about you through word-of-mouth, on a printed flyer or maybe by just passing by your premises. Having heard about you, they may then be inclined to find out more by calling you up, visiting you in person or – most commonly – searching for your business in Google. People embrace advertising in all its forms; it makes sense then for you to merge your offline marketing efforts with your online strategies. Integrating online and offline advertising Print has suffered somewhat of a hard time at the hands of the internet in recent years. However, rather than pack up and retire, traditional media has fully embraced digital. This is evident just about everywhere you look, from URLs on business cards to hashtags, @’s and ‘Like Us on Facebook’ messages on posters and flyers. Social media and print have a reciprocal bond that can really enhance your marketing: printed posters, banners and flyers can be used to enhance your social media profiles, which can in-turn be used to add weight to your print campaigns, by utilising positive comments and feedback as testimonials. Here are a few examples of how brands have integrated online and offline to great effect: 1. Nike 2. The Flatwalk 3. Crosstown Doughnuts Drawing attention to your online presence is as simple as a hashtag or URL. One small tip, though: avoid using social icons without a call to action – people will be inclined to ignore them. Encourage people to get online and find you with a “Like us on Facebook” or “Follow us on Twitter” message. Sticking with what you know Everyone is riding the internet wave, and rightly so – if that’s where your audience is you should definitely be there. But as a business that can benefit from print, the online marketing craze works in your favour. More people going all in on digital means more space in shop windows, on lampposts and in people’s letterboxes for your material. And if you can come up with something a little different – something that catches the eye – there’s a pretty good chance of success in a market that may have once been too crowded to have your voice heard. According to the Direct Mail Association, 90% of people couldn’t live without a letter box and 46% believe a future without print would be worse than today’s. People still trust and enjoy print, so don’t be swayed by any sort of wholesale migration to the internet. Why fix something if it isn’t broken? Merge the two together, but don’t favour new technology over proven traditional methods. The Internet is important and is only likely to become more so over time; but, no matter how much online spending increases, they’ll always be a place for Point of Purchase (POP) advertising. The fact small business posted sales of £72bn last year, with overall retail sales hitting predicted “all-time highs” of £342bn, is brilliant proof of that.