The rise of the internet and the proliferation of easily accessible online content had – many thought – sounded the death knell for print.
There are now so many ways to share your content – from podcasts to videos to online articles – that it sometimes seems like print would be the most time-consuming and least shareable option (not to mention its environmental impact).
But, just like video didn’t really kill the radio star, digital content can’t quite seem to eliminate the relevance of print. And it’s understandable why.
The Kindle effect
E-readers might be a good idea in theory, but there’s still a certain je ne sais quoi associated with holding a physical book. The same goes for other print media.
Picking up a print copy of a report or article to read over a morning coffee feels a lot less pressurised than some digital options. You can read and digest the information without being bombarded with additional content, relevant or not.
Moreover, unlike with a video or podcast, you can go at your own pace.
The digital overload
From fashion sales alerts to news blasts, we are all inundated with emails every day, so how can you make your content stand out from the pack?
“Print content is simple and authoritative. Readers are less likely to be distracted by gimmicks”
Print content is simple and authoritative. Readers are less likely to be distracted by gimmicks. As an object, print also draws attraction for its artistic value.
Some retailers remain loyal to the paper catalogue model. Boden and The White Company, retailers with both bricks-and-mortar stores and ecommerce sites, send out, on request, a selected roundup of their products in print form. The appeal lies in both the novelty and the exclusivity.
It’s shareable in a different way. While people may share content they particularly enjoy on their social media channels, there’s no guarantee a friend will read it or share it themselves. Print copies go a step further and can be passed around from stranger to stranger and friend to friend.
Return and reread
When you come across an article online that doesn’t interest you, you just move on. Print, on the other hand, stays in front of you, occupying a physical space and reminding you of that brand or retailer. That article that was skimmed past earlier might be returned to later.
Similarly, when it comes to promoting content at an event, people are far more likely to read a physical copy handed out to them than actively search for an article online that was briefly mentioned.
Different sharing methods are undoubtedly suited to different types of content and different types of people.
Print media may appeal to those who are older, less tech-savvy or want to take their time to understand the content. Video acts as a perfect way to share instructional or inspirational content, like ‘how-to’ guides or recipe advice. Alternatively, short digital articles are quick to process on a commute or over a quick lunch.
“Net-a-Porter and Red Bull have jumped on the bandwagon by releasing magazines featuring their products and content related to brand values”
It’s no wonder that retailers and online services are choosing to extend their content into print. It has the dual function of increasing brand awareness and connecting with existing or potential new clients.
Net-a-Porter and Red Bull are just a couple of brands that have jumped on the bandwagon by releasing magazines featuring their products and content related to brand values.
While print may seem old-hat to some, it can offer a good strategy to increase engagement with your content. Many of RWRC’s campaigns are still requested in print form by our clients.
Print isn’t dead: in fact, it’s having a renaissance.
Taking an omnichannel approach is the most surefire way to appeal to a wider demographic and get that important content shared.
By Rosie Shepard