Print vs Digital: Part 2 - Martin Hopkins

The second part of our Print vs Digital. Who wins? Print or digital? The tension is killing us…

Digital pros

More exposure creates more discussion

Digital content can spark discussion in a far more proactive way than ever before. Something that would potentially be merely a ‘sidebar’ in printed media could be expanded and illustrated to a far greater extent to make it a far more impactful and significant piece of marketing in a digital format.

Much higher circulation

You will reach a much higher number of potential or existing clientele. Online content by its very nature is going to reach a far wider audience and be available for view after view, on any number of devices. Because of the versatility of the style of delivery for the digital content, it is a great way to get additional content to consumers’ and extend the brand’s reach to smartphones and other devices. It also works as a nice complement to other print and digital offerings, giving your brand’s marketing a much more well rounded influence on consumers.

The surge in online sharing

Nowadays it is so common for content to ‘go viral’. At the click of a button your audience can share your posts with the masses and expand your audience from merely a select few to anyone and everyone viewing it online. Instead of sharing content with your own audience, you are also sharing it with your audience’s audience. Confusing, we know. Say you have 50 online followers, and you create a social media post about your business. If one of those 50 followers were to then share this post to their 200+ followers, it would expand your audience to 250+. This effect balloons the more shares you receive, and is really revolutionising marketing strategies. You will often see viral campaigns that encourage consumers to share and like online posts or pages, usually for some kind of prize or gain. Even just the chance of winning a product can motivate users to share something (after all, it is only one click to them). We regularly encourage online competitions or offerings to our clients as the effects can be astounding and really see an increase in your online reach.

Bigger feedback options

Digital content invites response and draws people in to view your blog, website or other online content and stay to absorb other items such as your online shop or services. You can create a platform that allows for sales, leads, comments and feedback and creates a flourishing community of consumers. It also allows for far more flexibility regarding digital advertising.

One of the major advantages of digital media is the ability to get feedback almost instantly and the availability of Google analytics allows you to see what appeals to your audience and what they do with it; how they share it. You can ask consumers directly about their experience and opinions and get feedback that allows you to shape your information accordingly for the best results.

Faster content delivery

There is also the ability to influence the masses due to its almost instant ability to post your latest work or news. You can instantly update your portfolio or website offering in just a matter of minutes. Utilising content management systems such as our new CMS (which uses a cutting edge drag and drop functionality), you can produce website content in seconds. It means that business can update it’s website as changes are happening and gives you the opportunity to stay current in changing markets.

Marketing advantages

A digital platform will allow you to be discovered via access to social marketing channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and more. Social media is an incredibly strong tool and can have a much larger impact on a much wider audience than print can. We are in a digital age and as such, the newer generations are becoming more and more present online using mobile devices. We’ve spoken before on why it is so important for your online content to be mobile-friendly.

Data capture

You can easily capture potential consumer details online by encouraging the ‘sign up’ call to action. Once you build a list of potential customers, you can then target that audience directly (which can also aid your print deliverables) as you know they have an interest in what you do. Email marketing becomes easier and will bring people back to your website or online content. This is why rich and informative content on these channels is so important, as it keeps your company’s name in a positive light in the client’s mind. Ultimately, you will gain more business as a result.

Digital cons

Copycat!

Once content goes online you run the risk of others reproducing or altering your work and often there is not a lot you can do about it…copyright can be very tricky thing to enforce and can also affect your reputation if not rectified.

Shorter time to capture your audience’s interest

Adults nowadays have a much longer attention span than the newer generation of younger people, who check their phones every couple of minutes. Therefore, digital media has to work harder to get the message across and engage the consumers in a way that sparks an emotional response. You will often see ‘click-bait’ on social media channels where companies are trying to spark a curiosity in users to give them that click through to get them onto their website. Unfortunately, this can lead to an abundance of useless content online, and often a lot of it can be false or misleading.

Rising costs

The cost of digital publishing depends on the end result, how you organise your requirements and how much you want to optimise the experience for different devices and audiences. While the costs can stack-up, the payback and visibility could be substantial and lead to a much higher pay-off. You will of course be reaching a much larger audience and you will also be offering a service that people become much more aware of.

So who wins?

Ultimately it’s not a question of print or digital, so much as how much for print and how much for digital?

There is no doubt that social networks and digital content reach a much larger audience but are you trying to reach the masses or a select group of people? Not to devalue either print or digital, by supporting both you can actually increase your offering to your consumers. Do you want to reach a wider audience? Ultimately most businesses would answer yes.

This however poses another question… what level of creative digital investment are you willing to make to grow your business? It could be the difference between being left behind in a modern world, or surfing the digital wave!

Get in touch

Whether you’re looking for help with print or digital designs, we can offer professional expertise and creativity to produce effective designs that work for you and your business.

Call us today on 029 2046 1233 or email [email protected].

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