With so many ways to communicate electronically you may think printed materials such as business cards and brochures are a thing of the past but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Printed material still holds its place in todays business and it’s important you remember to utilize both the printed and the electronic mediums.
Let’s take a look at just a couple of reasons printed materials are still needed:
You go to a meeting, conference or even a Tweetup or Meetup. You’re meeting new people, networking, etc. How are they going to remember you? How will you ensure they have your information somewhere other than relying on their own memory? You need the business cards to hand out.
But now there’s a twist. Now on your cards you should be including your web address and your social media links. This way you are giving that new contact more than one way to connect and grow both your communication and your connection.
The same thing goes for your brochures or sell-sheets. You can be sure to have a pdf version for easy downloading from your site, but having hard copies on hand will suit you better if working tradeshows or other conferences where you want people to remember you after walking away.
Again, all of your contact information should be included so customers can search you out, ask questions on many interfaces if they choose and follow you until they feel confident that you are their only choice.
TIP: If you’re handing out brochures or sell-sheets, you could include a blurb asking them to join your mailing list. Tell them how to get to your site and fill out the form, what they can expect and voila! You have continuous contact and the ability to really share your products or services with them over time.
No paper…no memory!
People forget. It doesn’t matter how excited or enthusiastic they were about your product when they were talking to you, by the time they leave they’ve already forgotten. Electronic communication is amazing and here to stay, but remember even that has a tendency to get lost in the mountain of other emails and conversations going on.
Choose the materials that work for you.
You really need to take a look at what materials are going to serve you most and chuck the ones that don’t for the sake of expense. Business cards are still at the top of the list along with your company letterhead. If your on a budget, that’s all you need. If you can swing it, create a small brochure or one-page sell -sheet that provides more information than your business card and includes all of your contact information and a call to action.
Online Printing Companies Make it Cheap and Easy
You can find some amazing printing deals using online companies such as Vistaprint. Not only do they offer you the choice between uploading your own design or choosing one of the hundreds they have in stock, they can take that design and use it to create all the other marketing materials you need with the click of your mouse. And this can all be done without leaving the office.
Watch for deals from these companies including Staples or your local stationary giant. They tend to offer some fantastic specials which is when you should cash in and bulk up.
Choose a Design and Layout that Attract Attention
I absolutely love looking through the designs on business cards these days. You can get as unique as you want and you don’t have to stick to the typical rectangular card anymore. But, it does depend on your business and the impression you want to portray. If you’re in banking, being a little more conservative might be better, but if you make cupcakes, you could make it fun and exciting. The point is to always remember your brand and your reputation are at stake, but that doesn’t mean you have to have the same boring materials we’re used to.
Remember, printed materials, while seemingly old-fashioned in todays paperless society, are still essential marketing tools. By using them wisely and in conjunction with your online marketing efforts, you’ll be amazed how effective they still are.
Have you been creative with your own printed material? Inspire us with your work by leaving a comment below.
Image source: Creativebits.org