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5 Reasons Print Advertising is Still Relevant

Here’s why print advertising is still a powerful marketing tactic, and why your business should consider investing in print advertising.

Print Design
September 25, 2023
4
min

Table of Contents

Learn what the main benefits of print media are when it comes to advertising your business.

Yes, digital advertising is big. So big, in fact, that any and every business must invest in it. But what about print media? Is it still a worthwhile investment or a thing of the past?

It goes without saying that for certain brick-and-mortar businesses with a local reach, handing out flyers is a no-brainer marketing tactic. But actually, print marketing still holds several advantages over digital, which every marketer should know.

Whether your marketing budget includes print advertising, or this is something you may want to consider in the future, here are just a few benefits that print media offers.

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Print ads mean longer attention spans

The ever-growing amount of digital content has had a serious impact on our attention span. Averaging at just 8 seconds, our ability to focus on online content has never been lower. However, this also means a serious advantage of print media.

On the other hand, if you take the time to look at a flyer, or buy print editions such as magazines or newspapers, chances are that you will spend a lot more time on it, than glancing at a digital ad you catch on your feed.

And research confirms this. A Lumen study from 2016 suggests that 75% of people view print ads for an average of 2.2 seconds, while digital ads are seen by less than half this number for an average of 1 second.

Although we might think that print advertising is primarily used for older demographics, when it comes to readers’ attention, it’s the younger generation that finds it most helpful. A study from 2017 suggests that 92% of 18 to 23-year-olds say print ads are easier to read than digital ones. So, if you want to create ads that people actually read and remember, print might be the best way to go.

Print lasts longer

How many times have you decided to try out a restaurant thanks to a flyer found in your mailbox? Or have you ever found yourself sticking an interesting-looking flyer on your fridge for later consideration?

While we are quick to discard digital ads (one study shows that 82% of Americans ignore them), once spotted, a print ad can have a much longer lifecycle. Sure, sometimes a flyer is thrown away instantly, but if people decide to keep it, it can sometimes lead to more than one purchase (for example, a restaurant flyer you’ve kept in your fridge).

Similarly, magazines in waiting rooms and the like often stay there for a while, so a single purchase of a magazine might lead to dozens of people seeing your ad.

Print media inspires agency

So, it’s clear that people dedicate more time and attention to an ad in print. But do these actually inspire them to purchase?

The answer is absolutely yes, and here are some stats that prove it:

  • 80% of consumers act on direct printed mail advertisements compared to 45% that act on electronic advertisements (Hearst Bay Area).
  • 64% of people who read a print ad take action compared to 55% for digital ads (Newsworks)
  • Direct-mail marketing response rate is 37% higher than the email rate (Relevance)

So although they are definitely more expensive to produce, a print ad can really boost your profit. Of course, it may not be the ideal solution for a brand just wanting to test the waters with their products or identify a target market.

But if you have built some brand awareness with your target audience, a print ad can be exactly what they need to make that purchase decision.

Build reputation and trust

Anyone with Internet access can advertise online these days. With plenty of tutorials and tons of automation tools, even complete beginners can launch marketing campaigns in just days.

But, placing an ad in a well-known print publication is not for everyone. Of course, an ad in magazines and print media with a national reach can cost hundreds of thousands, but you can also place an ad in a local newspaper, for as little as a couple of hundred dollars.

This can be a great return on investment. Advertising on social media offers you the opportunity to target specific demographics, and a local newspaper often means the same. Say you place a pet food ad in a specialized magazine for pet owners. Chances are that people without pets won’t be buying the magazine or seeing this ad, but then again you don’t really need to target them anyway!

It’s also useful to remember that print is a multisensory experience. Reading a magazine or newspaper means being able to touch and smell it (anyone else loved those scented magazine pages as a kid?), as well as see the text and images. In that respect, “experiencing” an ad in print (or receiving a flyer from another person) creates a much more powerful experience that customers will associate with your brand.

Reaching offline demographics

Believe it or not, there are still people who prefer to get their information offline. In 2017, Marketing Charts found that over a half of weekly newspaper readers stick to print editions exclusively, while 81% read the print as well as digital editions.

Whether it’s older people, or those living in rural areas, print marketing can be the ideal way to promote your products or services.

However, this isn’t to say that print advertising is only useful for a specific demographic. As we’ve suggested above, there are still a number of ways in which print advertising can be more appealing and effective even with digital natives such as millennials.

The only question is whether it makes sense to your brand and what are your marketing goals.

Want to learn more about print design?

Want to know more about print advertising? Browse our blog for tons of articles on best flyer and brochure designs, as well as 2021 Brochure trends guide, our guide on pamphlets vs brochures and these examples of creative print ads.

On the other hand, if you want to get all your ad designs in one place, professionally and at one affordable price, we suggest you check out our service!

Here’s why print advertising is still a powerful marketing tactic, and why your business should consider investing in print advertising.

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