Print versus digital is a common dilemma faced by the most people marketing their business. Everyone seems to be chasing their tails trying to evaluate how it all fits together when technology moves so fast. Faster broadband speeds means we’re often looking at a tablet whilst the TV is on, screens competing for our attention. All the while, we pine for simpler, longer periods of time with the paper or a magazine, or even a book.
The question we must ask of our potential customer is,
‘Where do you look when you are considering buying a photographer’s services, personally or on behalf of your company?’
The answer is EVERYWHERE. The proliferation of information online means that the customer journey has jumped forward a few steps before they are ready to commit. They will have found out a number of things before they come knocking at your door, or see the promotional material you may have put out there for them to find whilst doing their research.
It sounds obvious but whatever you do, do it well. The benefit to the advertising shake-up in the last few years is that the audiences on whatever channel you choose are clearly defined. Print titles can no longer be vague about their readerships because digital channels can drill down to specifics. On the other hand, recent trends have shown a marked return to the tangible benefits of holding a printed object in hand. Again, quality is key to this. Align the advertising with the right channel and the audience will appreciate the synergy.
Overall the main driver is to use the platforms for their strengths, and a guide to these is below.
● Tangible. People love to hold things in their hand and experience the physical interaction. With print advertising the format has a much longer lifespan and the potential to be passed around and to refer back to.
● Time. With digital, the overriding urge is to click onto something new and not spend too long on one particular thing. With printed matter, one is more likely to spend quality time engaging with everything in there (including your advert or content).
● Size. Space in print is literally bigger than running a banner ad on a laptop screen, for example.
● Interactive. The overriding aspect of this format is being able to take action on something you’d like to know more about, i.e. clicking through to your website or offer.
● Data. You are spending money on buying advertising and you want to know what your money is being spent on, who the advert is reaching and perhaps even contact the people clicking on your advert or content.
● Flexibility. What if you could dictate when and where your advertising appears? If you’re a wedding photographer, consider when brides-to-be (let’s face it, the majority of those looking will be female) might look. Like most people, probably in the evening or on the weekend.
In reality, the question is not as simple as print versus digital, but print plus digital.