The essential marketing strategy that most printing companies ignore (and therefore miss out on easy sales)

Posted by Matthew Parker

Can you imagine eating chocolate as a main course?

Surely chocolate is a desert ingredient?  Eating something sweet like that in a main course seems like a crazy idea.

However, chocolate is an essential ingredient in some delicious savory sauces.  It can be very effective in the right dishes.

It just goes to show that you can achieve some excellent results by challenging traditional thinking.  The same applies in social media.  When social media is mentioned we immediately think of all the online platforms.

Taking social media offline may seem like a crazy idea.  But, just like chocolate in main courses, it can be surprisingly effective.

Offline social media is an under-used strategy that can give excellent results

Printing-marketing

Using offline social media is a great way to gain prospects. But many people think it is as strange as putting chocolate in a savory dish

Printing companies that use offline social media strategies will create relationships with a wider range of customers.  They will control a stronger sales pipeline.  They are more likely to achieve both their social media and their sales targets.

Print companies that do not use offline social media strategies will find it harder to achieve their targets.  They won’t make the same number of connections.  They won’t control as strong a sales pipeline.  They will be missing out on the chance to form good relationships with prospects.

The main reason for this is that these companies may not be active where their prospects are.  This is a key issue for anyone with a social media presence.

Where do your prospects hang out?

There’s not a lot of point in having an active presence on, for instance, Twitter if you can’t find your clients there.  If most of your clients are involved in offline activity you won’t get results from online social media, no matter how good your campaign is.

You may have a lot of prospects active online.  But you should also consider how many prospects you may be missing by ignoring offline.

You need to consider all channels.

Here are some examples of offline social media:

  • Exhibitions
  • Conferences
  • Magazines
  • Networking meetings
  • Awards events

All of these are excellent opportunities to make contact with potential clients.  However, I rarely see print companies using these opportunities to their full extent.

Why doesn’t the print industry use these opportunities more?

There was recently a large marketing exhibition in London. Yet only three printing companies attended.  They had an excellent opportunity to talk to anyone with print requirements.

Another example of the opportunities available is that of a training exhibition.  A printer that specializes in on-demand manual printing attended this.  They gave out a report highlighting why most training delegates preferred printed course note.  They had an excellent response from attendees.

Attending events like these can put your printing company ahead of the competition

It is rare to find print companies attending events focused on their customers.  But it is not difficult to book a stand at an exhibition, present at a conference or provide an article for a magazine.

However, you need to remember the three rules of online social media.  I wrote about these here. They are just as relevant to offline social media.

Some people may feel that there is a potential flaw in using an offline strategy like this.

You can’t reach as many people offline as you can online

It is not always quantity that counts.  Quality is important too.  The extended reach of social media is not much use if you are not getting in contact with the right people.

But to make sure you do get in contact with the right people you need to start planning.

Here are three action points to get your offline media producing results

  1. Ask your target clients where they network
  2. Highlight three offline spaces where they are active
  3. Choose one of these spaces. Write an action plan of how you plan to become involved with this space

Try something new with your social media

It’s good to challenge yourself.  And, if you feel like a food related challenge, make sure you try a savory chocolate sauce sometime.
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