Small business owners may think that all they need to market their businesses is an online presence and a social media campaign. Though these are important, print is still essential. For example, 90% of consumers use coupons and according to a 2017 report, about 30% of these consumers have increased their use of paper coupons.
Don’t overlook what the printed word can do for you.
What to print
Sharing the right message with your customers and prospects requires printed materials that reflect your brand and convey your offerings. Some examples of materials for this purpose:
- Brochures. While websites have become electronic brochures for many companies, having a paper brochure is still essential for many types of businesses. For example, Michael Stankoski of Jungle TV, a video production company in Port St. Lucie, FL, created a brochure for a trade show, so visitors are informed of the company’s purpose and services, which they may not have noted on their visit.
- Discount coupons. Paper coupons can be distributed by merchants directly to customers to incentivize repeat business.
- Flyers. 8½ x 11 sheets with information about a local event can be easily distributed and displayed by merchants to help with promotion.
- Gift certificates. While gift cards are prevalent, they have not replaced paper gift certificates. Many small businesses continue to offer them because the certificates can be customized; due to economies of scale these businesses may not be able to obtain customized gift cards.
- Menus. Whether your business is an eating and drinking establishment or other type of service provider, such as a hair or nail salon, a printed menu of your offerings with prices is essential for your operations.
- Presentation handouts. These takeaway materials should reflect not only the right content, but also your brand by using quality paper, a fitting font, and a quality printing service.
- Referral rewards. You can use a printed form to gather referral information from your customers, offering them a reward—a cash payment or a discount on their future purchases—for providing referrals.
You don’t necessarily need to work with an expensive printer to get the quality items you need. You can do it yourself and on your own time. Luckily, Staples has a variety of printing resources to meet the evolving needs of small business owners. Staples offers self-service printing that enable you to print from the cloud (e.g., accessing Dropbox or Google Drive), from email or a flash drive without sacrificing your time. You can print materials at Staples stores using the new self-service kiosk, created in partnership with Xerox, that’s exclusive to Staples, where usage and payment functionalities work seamlessly at the device (there’s even an option to scan Staples coupons and Staples Rewards cards and print a receipt). Then, depending on the nature of your items, you can fax or scan and send them as soon as you’ve completed your printing.
If you don’t have the time to do it yourself or want some expertise in creating your printed materials, work with a professional. For example, Staples offers full-service printing services that may be especially helpful for more complex needs, such as professional binding, presentations, manuals, booklets, and documents.
In crafting your marketing plan, in addition to online efforts, be sure to incorporate printed materials to reach customers and prospects. Budget for your printing needs and determine how you’ll get the job done