Although readers are consuming more and more content in a digital format, they are still drawn to print. Forward-thinking publishers will need to take heed of that and include elements of both print and digital in their content strategy to satisfy the needs of readers today and in the future. They are not two different silos of content delivery, but two methods that complement each other and have a compounding effect when used together in innovative ways.
Print and digital: Better together
When digital publishing entered the scene, its ease, speed, convenience, and cost caused many to predict that it would soon replace print. Although it took a large bite out of print readership, many readers still prefer a tangible publication. Print is versatile, reliable, and comfortable. Reading print is more than just searching for information. It creates a sensory experience and inspires a relationship with the content. Print builds trust, credibility, and drives action.
Although many people prefer the print experience, publishers cannot ignore the benefits of digital. Digital provides speed, cost savings, and can be quickly and easily edited, if needed. Digital channels like search and social media also offer strong cost per lead (CPL) benefits.
Print and digital media bring unique qualities to readers, and both should be part of your publishing strategy. It’s not a question of print or digital but rather what is the right mix of print and digital? Let print and digital work hand-in-hand to further build and engage your readership.
Best practices for combining print with digital
When you fully embrace the integration of print and digital media, there are some best practices that will help you reap the greatest benefit.
- Analyze readership data to find the right mix of print and digital mediums to effectively engage readers. Collecting and analyzing large data sets is essential for driving growth and innovation. Data helps you understand how readers and customers want to engage with your content so you can make it easy for them to do so. The more data you collect, the more actionable insights you’ll get.
- Develop a unified strategy across print and digital. Be sure to include search, mobile, social media, podcasts, and other channels as well. It’s important that you don’t make decisions without considering the other platforms. Rather, make decisions as a cohesive whole.
- Use QR codes in your print publication for an enhanced hybrid print/digital experience.
- Use appropriate calls to action in print and digital to direct readers to a specific landing page (e.g., subscription, related content, podcast).
- Turn your best-selling products into digital products to hit those readers who prefer online access. You understand what types of content your print audience likes, so make those print products digital to reach a different type of consumer and grow your audience.
In today’s publishing world, it’s not a choice of either print or digital. Each medium brings unique benefits to your overall publishing strategy. Print brings a comfortable, sensory experience, whereas digital provides efficiencies and reach. When used together, they actually enhance each other, giving you greater results.
If you need help integrating print and digital into a unified publishing strategy, we can help. Contact one of Sheridan’s knowledgeable experts for innovative ways to combine the two platforms to the best advantage.