Print marketing materials remain a viable option for small businesses. They cost much less to develop and distribute than radio, television or Internet ads. Print media is harder to forget or ignore, and it also reaches people who don’t use the Internet. Small firms must employ effective print marketing strategies to achieve the best results.
One of the most popular options is the flier (circular). It often contains sale prices, coupons and information about products or services. Many businesses mail them to local residents. A recent survey found that small firms rank direct mail and coupons as the most effective offline marketing methods, according to Business News Daily.
Business owners save money by comparing the cost to distribute fliers as newspaper inserts or by mail. Traditional circulars usually do not reach non-local customers, such as commuters and vacationers. Small firms may remedy this problem by mailing individual fliers to known customers in other cities. Another option is to scan the flier and post it online.
Printed posters also provide a simple, inexpensive method to advertise small companies. The Christian Science Monitor reports that these businesses often find it more profitable to promote themselves on local bulletin boards rather than coupon websites. Some firms save time by posting the same fliers that they distribute by mail.
Color ink or paper helps posters attract attention on cluttered cork boards. One money-saving option is to mail B/W circulars and print a limited number of color fliers to use as posters. To find bulletin boards, visit local restaurants, redemption centers and universities. Small businesses are more likely to have them than national chains.
Some local marketers also put business cards on bulletin boards. They are economical and easy to carry. Most business owners can afford to hand them out on a regular basis. An effective strategy is to provide a minor discount or bonus to customers who have the card. This will encourage them to carry it in their wallets (an excellent reminder).
Doorknob hangers provide an attention-getting print media option that business owners may distribute very selectively. They can minimize the costs of printing services by skipping residents who probably wouldn’t want a specific product or service. For example, a house painter needn’t put hangers on the doorknobs of brick or log homes. It is also possible to target different offers to each home, depending upon its appearance.
There are many other types of print media that benefit certain kinds of businesses. Real estate agents often use calendars, postcards and brochures. Local radio stations give out eye-catching bumper stickers, and some credit unions distribute monthly newsletters. Other options include greeting cards, personalized letters and promotional notepads.
After a company selects, designs and uses print marketing materials, it is important to track their effectiveness. Sales may rise or fall for any number of reasons, so they do not provide a useful indicator of an ad campaign’s success. Small businesses can quantify the results when they use coupons, discount codes or “mention this ad” offers.