Is print dead? Spoiler alert: The answer is no

print is not deadWe live in completely digitized world where much of our communication, entertainment, and work take place on computers, tablets or smart phones. So if most of what we do on a daily basis is done through the magic of the Internet, why should we even bother creating printed materials?

Well, as it turns out, research has shown that paper-based content has a greater connection in our brains.   The report found that direct mail was easier to process mentally and brand recall was stronger as well.

According to a study by researchers at San Jose University, people tend to scan more when reading online, skipping through paragraphs to find keywords, and selectively reading passages that are most relevant to them, and spending significantly less time reading in-depth.

Think print is preferred only by the older crowd? Think again:

Another research study found that over 50% of millennials (those aged 18 to 35) prefer print. They love printed material as it provides a tactile experience, and make them feel “more connected to people”. This means print is not only not dead, it now has become cherished as a preferred method of communication in world full of cybertext.

In a study, over 50% of Millennials said printed material makes them feel more connected to people Click To Tweet

Some of the advantages of print vs electronic content:

  • Fewer distractions –the Internet is full of many distractions – ads, pop-ups, reading recommendations, cat videos, etc. With print, the reader focuses only on your messages.
  • Print is now cheaper, digital printing makes it easier and more affordable for small businesses to produce high quality pieces.
  • Printed materials can be tucked away for future reference, to be read and reread, and passed on to others who may also be interested in your products or services.
  • Hard copies are tactile – As the research showed, people like to hold something tangible in their hands.
  • Greater brand recall – Because there are fewer distractions when reading a printed document or advertisement, studies show that readers can recall brands more easily vs reading documents or ads online.

That said, online communications are not going anywhere – and of course the best approach is to make sure that your print and online efforts are integrated for best effect.

  • Make sure that you include your web address as well as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media handles on your printed materials, and don’t forget to encourage readers to visit your physical location as well.
  • Post PDF versions of your printed materials on your website and post links on your social media accounts. Provide details on how customers can obtain a hard copy for themselves as well.
  • Consider adding a QR code to your material to direct readers to a specific page on your website to provide extra information or special promotions available only to those who access it.

Social media and print can co-exist – and live happily ever after.  Integrating both methods of promotion will in fact boost your profile with a larger audience, and can give you more bang for your buck.