Day: March 24, 2022

Is Print Media Relevant for Your Retail Business in 2022?

With “digital” being the biggest buzzword of the 21st century, not paying attention to print media is only normal, especially for new retail stores. Many businesses tend to rule out print advertising because it’s expensive and difficult to track. 

However, promoting your business in reputed newspapers and magazines can be highly effective in tapping into new audiences and driving engagement. 

Let’s discuss why print media is relevant for retail businesses in 2021 and how you can use it to achieve business growth. 

Should Retail Businesses Use Print Media in 2021?

Coming straight to the question, “Is print media relevant for retail stores in 2021?” The answer is a big YES, and it will likely never become obsolete. Print media will be relevant and valuable where there is a physical customer experience. 

Ask yourself this. Have people stopped reading newspapers and magazines? Have brochures become obsolete? While people tend to consume the majority of information online, print media isn’t going anywhere. 

Besides, print media isn’t limited to brick-and-mortar retailers. Amazon, the world’s leading eCommerce company, readily places ads in newspapers to reach a broader audience. 

Moreover, the digital advertising space is crowded, as every retail business is advertising online. By leveraging print advertising, you can stand out from the competition and reach consumers via a new channel. 

So yes, print media is relevant for retail businesses in 2021. However, it isn’t the same as it was before. Running standalone ads may not be as effective. Almost 80% of smartphone users make a purchase online at least once in six months. Mobile has become the new shopping platform, and therefore, your print ads need to complement your digital advertising campaigns. 

QR codes do an excellent job of bridging the online-offline gap. You can create a custom QR code with a QR Code generator, include it in your newspaper or magazine ad, and link it to your website, landing page, or product page. This way, you can use print ads to support your digital marketing campaigns to achieve better marketing outcomes. 

Key Advantages of Print Media and Advertising

Now that we have established that print media is still relevant, let’s discuss the key benefits of using print media for your business. 

Build Reputation and Relationship

Inarguably the biggest benefit of print media advertising is that it facilities reputation development and relationship building. When you appear in a reputed newspaper or magazine, your credibility increases significantly. Therefore, print media is a highly effective strategy if you want to build a reputation in a local community. 

Cost-Effective Marketing

While print advertising may not be as cheap as Google display ads, they’re still fairly inexpensive. And unlike digital strategies that require a lot of optimization, print media ads are easy to implement and execute. All you need to do is develop a visually appealing advertisement and submit it to the advertiser. 

Most retail businesses tend to support their digital advertising strategies with TV ads and digital signage, which can be exorbitant, especially in competitive locations. Print media advertising is a cost-effective alternative that helps you enhance your advertising efforts without hurting your wallet. 

Long Shelf Life

Long shelf life is another major benefit of print media. When you run a digital ad, there’s no guarantee that the same user will see it again. Hence, it’s easy for users to forget your brand. TV ads are persistent, but you can’t run them forever unless you have a colossal advertising budget. 

Print media ads have the longest shelf life. People who are fond of reading magazines keep them for months or years. This means your brand has multiple chances of coming in front of your audience. The same goes for newspapers. People keep a newspaper for at least a day, so they’re likely to come across your ad more than once. 

And the more often a user comes in contact with a brand, the more likely they are to convert. In fact, marketing fundamentals state that a prospective buyer needs to see or hear a brand’s marketing message at least seven times before making a purchase. 

Control over Appearance and Placement

Another big advantage of print advertising is that you have complete control over how it looks. You can determine its size, placement, typography, and other attributes. You don’t have such control in digital advertising. 

If you use display ads, Google will show your ad on any website based on its algorithm. You’ll have no control over how your ad looks or how big or small it appears. This greatly reduces the impact of your advertisements. 

Increased Attention Span

The digital age has killed the human attention span. The average human attention span is eight seconds, almost the same as a goldfish. Information overload – too much information – is the biggest reason for this declining attention span. Therefore, when you market yourself online, you have only eight seconds to grab people’s attention. 

Thankfully, print media has longer attention spans than digital media. People tend to read printed materials slowly and deeply instead of skimming through them like they do on online platforms. 

Non-Invasive and Engaging

How many times do you see an ad online and feel good about it? People hate ads online. In fact, close to 800 million internet users use ad-block tools – 17% of all internet users. Thus, when you run an ad online, there’s a 17% chance that an ad-block tool will block it. Clearly, that’s a wastage of your advertising dollars. 

Print media ads aren’t invasive, and they don’t adversely impact the user experience. And if your advertisement is engaging, it can encourage instant action. You can include QR codes in your ads to enable readers to connect with your brand instantaneously. 

Effective Local Targeting

Lastly, print media advertising works great if you want to target a local audience. Suppose you have opened a new retail store and want to promote yourself to potential customers in your city. You can place ads in local newspapers to reach a large local audience in less time. Print advertising is one of the fastest ways to reach a highly targeted audience. 

How to Leverage Print Advertising to Boost Brand Awareness and Sales?

There are many advantages to using print media advertising for your retail store. But how do you get started? 

Here are six helpful tips to make your print media advertising campaigns more impactful. 

Find the Right Publications

The publication you work with is the biggest factor to consider when investing in print advertising. Ensure that the publication you choose has an audience that fits the profile of your target customers. For example, if you’re a fashion brand, you need to find publications whose audiences are interested in fashion.

There are many niche magazines available. These include Cosmopolitan in fashion, Wall Street Journal in business & finance, and Sports Illustrated in sports. 

Try to Provide Value

The golden rule of marketing – don’t sell; educate – applies to print advertising too. Instead of asking people to buy your product, try to educate them about how your product can make their lives better. 

Unify Your Message

Print media can be slightly expensive. So, when you find a slot in a popular newspaper or magazine, it can be tempting to include as many details as possible. Avoid cramming in too much information, and keep your message short, to the point, and memorable. 

Use More Visuals and Less Text

If you’re not sure how to keep your message snappy and avoid information overload, here’s an effective tip. Try using more visuals and less text. Also, make your design simple and sticky and include white space. Select colors wisely and use a clear, bold font that is easy to read. 

Leading companies like McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, and Apple are all known for their minimalist ad campaigns. Remember when McDonald’s launched a campaign to tell people that it offers Wi-Fi? The campaign included nothing but French fries forming a Wi-Fi signal, along with the McDonald’s logo. 

Integrate Your Print Campaign with a Larger Campaign

Running a print media ad as a standalone campaign isn’t the right strategy. To make it more effective, use it as a part of a broader campaign. In fact, it’s never the right approach to use advertising channels in isolation. An advertising strategy should be integrated, with print media complementing digital media and vice versa. 

As discussed, QR codes can help you bridge this gap. You can put up QR codes on your print campaigns and link them to landing pages, appointment booking pages, product pages, etc. 

Track Your Campaign’s Performance

The final tip is to track the performance of your print ad campaign. There are several ways to do that. You can closely monitor how your sales have increased after launching the ad. If you sell online, tracking direct website visits can also help measure engagement. And if you are using QR codes on your ad, you can track how many times the code has been scanned. 

Wrapping Up

Print advertising isn’t going anywhere, and ignoring it means missing out on potential awareness, engagement, and revenue opportunities. If you’re a new retail business, make sure that you have a print advertising strategy in place that complements your primary marketing campaign. Also, bridge the online-offline gap and provide an integrated experience to your customers.

7 Major Things Ignored While Planning a Business

Planning a business takes a great deal of care and attention to detail. It is easy to skip a few steps or ignore something significant if you rush to get your business going. Any one of these omissions could turn your business into a failure before it has even started. Here are 7 significant things ignored when planning a business that can result in failure.

1. Failing to Do a Business Plan

Unless you write a business plan, you will be unable to assess the viability of your new business, let alone whether or not it would be profitable. There are several components of a good business plan, most of which are mentioned below. A good business plan is the foundation of your business blueprint: your justification for starting the business, how it is to be developed and its ultimate objectives.

If you are constructing a piece of furniture, you need a plan to follow. A list of materials and how they are to be put together is crucial. You will likely use this plan to establish whether or not it is cheaper to buy the piece or make it yourself. The same approach applies to planning a business. You need to define a course of events from concept to completion. You need to evaluate your cost and establish whether or not you need financing. If so, you will have to present your business plan to prospective lenders such as your bank.

2. Ignoring Your Financial Planning

Financial planning is a critical aspect of a business plan. Therefore, you must consider the following:

  1. Raw materials and any employee costs
  2. Profitable selling prices or fees for goods or services
  3. Projected income over specified time periods

– and more. Check over your initial business plan and the cost of each step.

Image courtesy of Pexels

Many people who are starting a new business fail to take financial planning seriously until they circumstances force them to do so. Every new business needs a cash flow projection, particularly if you are looking for financing. You will have to assess your income and expenses. Also, you have to be able to present a projected balance sheet. You must prove that your business is worth investing in, and that you can repay any business loan offered.

3. Ignoring Market Research

Before you do anything else, you must make sure there is a market for your product or service. Many businesses fail because people have ignored market research and end up finding that they have no customers or clients to sell to. You can easily avoid this. Simply carry out some market research – this can often be done online. Market research is a critical aspect of planning a business, no matter what your business is offering.

Check out forums and social media. Ask “what if you had…” and look for responses. Check out Amazon for products similar to yours, and then look at their reviews and questions asked by users. This may give you ideas on how to adapt your products to provide solutions to the issues people are having with existing products.

You could use a Facebook Business Page to present an online questionnaire. Design the questions to find out the potential responses to your new product. Never ask for personal details – just questions that can help you analyze the potential market for your product or service. It is absolutely crucial to ensure that your business has a market and that you have people interested in your type of product.

4. Ignoring the Competition

Choosing to ignore the competition when planning a business is a fatal error. If your competitors are selling the same products or services as you, how do you intend to compete with them? If your business plan and financial analysis say you must sell at $20 and your competition is selling the same at $16, who will they end up buying from? You see why ignoring the competition should be avoided at all cost, right?

Another aspect of the competition is the market saturation of your area. Before even considering starting up a business locally, you must check out who else is offering your product or service in your projected geographical area. Find out who those businesses are, what they charge and whether or not there is any possibility of you competing with them at their price level.

Also, keep in mind customers tend to be faithful. If your competition offers a good and reliable service, why should they switch to you – unless you are undercutting them with the same or better service? You have to offer an excellent reason for them to switch to you.

That could be a price advantage, a better product or a more comprehensive service – or even all of these. You could offer better guarantees or warranties, more design or higher specification or some other reason to persuade them to buy from you. Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes: “What would someone have to offer you in order to persuade you to choose another supplier?”

5. Ignoring Online Marketing

Ignoring online marketing when planning a business is a cardinal sin in this electronic age. Many people – in fact, likely most – will look online for what they are seeking. Whether they’re searching for a service or a product, they will check Google Local for businesses that provide them with the desired means.

Many will go straight to Amazon for their product needs! You must get registered on Amazon and get your own Facebook business page. Advertise on Facebook and sell on Amazon. Increasing numbers of people go online to find what they want.

Many people use Amazon and get free delivery in many cases (without paying for Amazon Prime.) They can check out the reviews for their product and make a purchasing decision based on these reviews.

You don’t need to have a website, although that would be beneficial. What will help you is to:

  • Get a Facebook page for your business.
  • Get your products offered for sale on Amazon.
  • Register with other social media such as LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter: Tweet new products or updates to your Twitter followers.
  • Run a blog – there are free blogging applications available for you to use. You can keep in touch with customers and clients by blogging about fresh news, special deals, and other helpful information.

Never underestimate the power of the internet. You can be sure your competition is using it.

6. Ignoring SEO Techniques in Internet Marketing

If you decide to use a website or blog to promote your business, then you need to understand some basic SEO principles. The focus of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) lies on to the improvement of your website design and ensures that your site’s content is listed on Google as well as other search engines. Keywords are essential, but you should not overuse them. When planning or running a business, you should be able to elaborate about your passion for said business and draw your audience in this way.

SEO is necessary, and Google itself will teach you a lot about it. Check out the Google Webmasters Support site to learn more. It is not difficult to follow, but if you feel you need help with SEO, then include some expenditure on it in your business plan.

Here Are Some SEO Techniques That Should Not Be Ignored:

Use of Keywords

Google will use its LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) algorithm to establish the theme of your web content. This tool analyzes the vocabulary used on each web page to decide for itself what that page is about.

However, it would help if you never write for search engines. Write for your readers, and Google will decide itself what you are writing about. Excessive use of keywords gets punished, and in many cases, all you need is about 1% keyword density. If you keep using the same keywords repeatedly, you won’t just annoy Google but also your readers.

Social Media Connects

Never ignore the power of social media. If you don’t have a Facebook business page, then get one. Also, make sure you have a Google+ page. Not only does social media connect with an ever-increasing number of potential clients or customers, but they can also connect with themselves.

People talk about what they see and also Retweet or Share specific posts that interest them. Not only can you use social media to connect with people interested in your product or services, but they can share also that information with others and vice versa: have your content go viral and you will receive a massive amount of free advertising.

Not just that, but make sure you have your website links on your posts and tweets. You may then get links passing all around the web – that is impressive SEO!

These are just two SEO techniques that are used to ensure that your web pages are displayed when potential customers are searching for products or services that you can offer. Never ignore SEO – but use it wisely to make better use of what it can offer.

7. Ignoring Financing

Ignoring financing can end your business before it even begins. You must make sure you have enough money to start. If you need to borrow funds, then your business plan must be good enough to persuade banks that you are a reasonable risk. Only ever get financing from banks or recognized business angels or financiers. High-interest short-term loans can result in you losing everything.

That’s why your business plan should be adequately prepared – even if you have to pay to have it done. Financing is crucial, but never borrow more than you need to get started. Check whether you qualify for any “startup” government business loans. There are of course other ways to acquire financing for a new business: Check here for some more ideas.

When planning a business, it is vital to give yourself the best possible chance of success. Your plan should certainly take into account the reasons why some businesses have failed, but it should also consider why many have succeeded. Avoid failure and follow proven success.

The 7 tips discussed in this article should help you avoid the major factors ignored by those who failed, but they should also point you in the right direction for success.