I was talking to a successful business marketer this week about what they are doing for their next content marketing move. What she had to say both surprised and excited me.

This is what the current landscape looks like:

Businesses are scrambling.

The online space is saturated with content.

Marketing budgets are limited.

Your customers are desperate for the good old days.

And everything you do right now needs to matter, and it needs to stand out.

Where does this leave you?

Firstly, you’re probably in exactly the same situation as thousands of other business owners right now. If you’ve been keeping tabs on what your competitors are doing (and you should be), you have likely noticed the huge migration to online media.

Everyone has a Facebook business page. Everybody is on Instagram. Every business is blogging. Left right and center, you are being bombarded with sales messages and Linkedin groups full of Covid-19 debates. 

“How”, you ask yourself, “am I supposed to begin to even TRY to be visible in all this?”

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You’ve heard of content marketing…

Let’s define content marketing. According to Forbes, content marketing is “a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.” 

People are bombarded – every hour of every day – with sales messages. No place is safe. Check your email. I’m willing to bet you’ve received at least 2 emails so far today that is trying to get you to buy something. 

Even YouTube, which used to be a platform to kick back and relax on, is absolutely filled with sales messages. Most videos can’t start playing these days until not one, but TWO ads have played first. 

So it’s clear to see why content marketing has become so popular. Providing value to your prospects so you can create a positive association with your brand, rather than screaming “Pick me! Pick me!” with a garish advertisement… it makes much more sense in an overpopulated online space with an increasingly annoyed audience.

But even content marketing (as we know it) doesn’t cut it today.

What is the one big detriment of online advertising to your brand?

The option it provides prospects to not see it. 

Any online ad, email or notification has the option to opt out of it or close it. This is where print has a one-up over online media any day of the week. Print delivers your message directly into the hands of your prospect or client. Add to this the fact that print is the definition of nostalgia and the good old days in a world filled with screens and advertising noise.

Print in a contactless world.

Not to mention the basic power of touch. We’ve all been starved for our normal lives. Hugs, coffee in the morning with a friend, lunch with coworkers. These are all things that have mostly been taken away or changed completely, and people are not taking these changes lightly. 

As a country, we’re all connected via social media. But people have never felt more disconnected.

In fact, the recent large-scale Covid-19 democracy survey conducted jointly by the University of Johannesburg’s Centre for Social Change and the Developmental, Capable and Ethical State research division of the Human Sciences Research Council, found that 33% of South African adults were depressed, 45% fearful, and 29% lonely during the lockdown.

Offering your prospects a real, tangible, sensory experience right now in the form of print is necessary. Use print to connect in a tangible way. Promote multimedia elements like bonus digital content and interactive social media features in your print pieces. 

You can’t put a website on your coffee table. If you want to show off design, and connect with your prospects on a human level (which is exactly what we all need), print is your medium.

5 reasons why print should be part of your content strategy.

  1. It is easier to cut through the noise and clutter.
  2. Print is tangible.
  3. It is a component of a diverse, cross-platform strategy
  4. Print is beautiful
  5. Print is novel

The world has changed, yes. Maybe for the foreseeable future. But with these changes, it is also important to remember what is fundamental to what makes us human. What is the best way to really connect? 

P.S. You know that expert marketer I mentioned in the beginning of this post? I recorded the entire discussion. She explains exactly why print should be part of your content marketing strategy. Why digital media is not cutting it by itself, and why people are so fed up with the same old sales messages. 

I compiled this into an easy-listening podcast for you. Check it out here (you just need to sign up – it’s free): https://bit.ly/2Low52E

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