Five Marketing Campaigns Your Print Business Can Execute in One Hour or Less
All too often, owners and managers of print businesses make the mistake of shrugging off the idea of marketing, viewing it as a burden as opposed to an opportunity to generate new sales. Underestimating the value of a targeted online, print, or multi-channel marketing campaign can prove to be a fatal flaw for your business. You might be thinking to yourself, “Sure, I understand that concept, but I just don’t have the time to execute a campaign like this.” Well, maybe three years ago that excuse would fly, but not now. Marketing software has become so advanced (and at the same time, so simple) that every print business can find the time to market and reach their target audiences, especially with the right marketing software there for assistance.
Let’s look at five quick campaigns that your print business can execute in one hour or less, using a marketing automation software to help you easily complete these campaigns and generate more sales leads:
1. Content Download
Whether it be white papers, eBooks, case studies, infographics, or fact sheets, downloadable electronic content is one of the strongest forces a print business can offer to their audience. It may seem like these pieces are time consuming to produce, but there are many options to cut down on the time spent. Some of these include outsourcing, reusing, or repurposing content from prior sources and works. Remember, content should always be focused on value. Remind your readers why print is still relevant, and how your services can benefit their business and their own marketing operations. Offer up examples of your prior work to demonstrate your company’s abilities, and always poise yourself as a knowledgeable source. Readers want to know that they are obtaining information from a subject matter expert in the industry, especially when it comes to the print industry where there is massive potential to win the trust of customers and earn repeat businesses. Once your content piece is created, it’s time to offer it up online. Access to your content should not come free — instead, force your audience to fill out a simple landing page to download the content. In doing so, you will receive contact information from credible, qualified leads who need printing services. This whole process (yes, including the landing page implementation) will take you under an hour ... assuming you have the proper marketing automation system in place!
Videos remain one the most underutilized marketing efforts by print businesses today. However, they can be highly effective in reaching a large prospect base. Videos are one of the best means of “humanizing” your brand (i.e. showing that you are a business, run by people, who cares about its customers). Many customers in both B2B and B2C arenas today are looking for the quickest information about products and companies, and videos are right at the fingertips of most consumers. For these reasons, it’s essential that your print business begin showcasing your staff, products, services, company, and overall value by producing videos. They don’t need to be long, and you don’t need expensive equipment to produce (even a smartphone will work!). Videos, if executed correctly, should be fun and light in nature, and will only take you about 30 minutes to produce, edit, and post online. Other video ideas are product demonstrations, case studies of past clients, and success stories from customers who have chosen your company for their printing needs. Remember to continually promote your videos, as well on your corporate website and social channels to drive traffic.
3. Social Media Promotion
Whether you personally agree with it or not, social media has rapidly become one of the most effective means for corporate marketing and promotion. This goes for businesses of any size — from small-scale production print shops, to large Fortune 500 companies in the industry. In a matter of seconds, you can publish messages that will reach thousands of online viewers and prospective customers. One of the best new features that has been offered by marketing automation applications is the ability to “schedule” social posts, allowing you to write several and schedule times for them to be automatically triggered and published online (on a variety of channels such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, and more). These messages can also be tied to other campaigns through automated marketing, such as a post after a white paper campaign is launched, allowing the software to do the work for you! By taking most of the work away from the common print business owner, social media marketing is an effort that you NEED to be capitalizing on. Successful campaigns can be accomplished in a matter of minutes, never mind a full hour.
4. Personalized Letter
Although it may seem “old school,” those in the printing industry understand and appreciate the value that a hardcopy piece of marketing collateral can have on the everyday consumer. Direct mail pieces that showcase your company’s product/service offerings, postcards, and flyers are all still valid and widely utilized marketing mediums. With that said, the key to success with print campaigns has proven to be personalization. A personalized letter, for instance, is much more likely to gather and retain interest from your audience than a blanket postcard with a generic message, and it’s much cheaper and quicker to create! Personalized letters, much like electronic content that we discussed above, need to focus on value. Give your prospects reasons for choosing you as their print service provider, and offer a personalized experience by including their name, company information, demographic information, geographic profile, and/or other targeted data that is highly relevant to them. And always remember a strong call to action that will lead them to your online e-store, website, blog, or any other way of connecting with you again. Variable data print engines are more often than not selected for mass-producing personalized letters, print, and direct mail campaigns. However, don’t rule out the power of marketing automation in this process as well. With today’s most current marketing technology, communications even through hardcopy print methods are made much simpler by setting reminders or triggers for the print components of a multi-channel campaign effort. In many cases, collateral can be stored in these systems as well for future use and easy access at any time.
5. Blog Post
Last but certainly not least, blogging is one area of online marketing that simply does not get enough attention. Yes, blogs can be written and posted in under an hour, but are they actually successful? Will it be worth your time to publish blog posts regularly, for example? These answers to these questions are unequivocally, YES! Marketing trends show that 83% of prospects searching for service providers online value companies that offer an interactive and current web experience. Blogging offers a mechanism for achieving this. Blogs can be short in length, and can be about a wide variety of topics. Seasonal posts, internal corporate news, tips and tricks, or even industry event coverage are all valid ideas for blog posts. The point is that repeat business can be driven by a prospect’s willingness to reconnect with you in the future, and an up-to-date, relevant, and interesting blog is a great way to capture repeat interest. Additionally, you can take the opportunity to write blog posts about your products, print services, prior customer success stories, or other promotional news for your business that will reach potential customers who are already visiting your site. Videos can be incorporated as well, turning the blog post into a mini-multi-channel effort within itself. Blog posting should take no more than 45 minutes out of your day; and with marketing automation, you can easily re-purpose content and schedule it weeks in advance, cutting the time down even further for a marketing effort that has a very high potential for returns.
Don’t limit yourself. Try executing a multi-channel campaign to reach your audience via multiple sources all in one promotional effort. The more methods of communication and distribution of information you can conquer, the more likely you are to attract and retain business. But remember, automation is the name of the game. It’s imperative that you find a software platform that can handle these types of campaigns; doing so will cut the time you spend on marketing while making it more efficient.
The Bottom Line
It’s time to embrace marketing and create campaigns to drive customers and prospects to your print business’s products and services. Marketing automation solutions are designed to help make executing your marketing tactics easier and act as an extra marketing hand for your company. They’re truly a time and money saver, and will allow your print business to execute targeted, multi-channel campaigns in less than one hour. If you’re interested in marketing automation, we highly encourage you to check out MarketWithMAX.com and learn about MAX and the other benefits marketing automation solutions have to offer. MAX is an affordable and easy-to-use marketing automation solution that was designed to help print companies tie all their multi-channel marketing efforts together in one place.
John Foley Jr. is the CEO of interlinkONE and Grow Socially. John and his team help printers get on a strong path to marketing success. Their approach includes software solutions, consulting, Website development, marketing audits, and strategic marketing plans. interlinkONE’s software solutions for the print industry include their marketing automation platform, MAX, and ilinkONE V8. Learn more about MAX: Marketing Automation. Executed. by visiting MarketWithMAX.com, John at JohnFoleyJr.com, and his companies at interlinkONE.com and GrowSocially.com.