Dr. Steve Green, EVP of Charisma Media Group, likes to picture Mark Twain rocking away on the banks of the Mississippi, putting in his two cents about today’s media landscape.
“Well, of course, print is not dead nor is it sleeping,” he would say. “We just need to get better words on paper!”
For Dr. Green, this is the crux of much of what is “wrong” with marketing today, as brands scurry to reuse and repurpose for all possible channels.
“Today’s problem with print is that writing for print is not the same as writing for digital. Print words should be crafted for print and no other medium,” Dr. Green explains.
“Print is long form. Digital is for the rapid-thumb-generation,” he continues.
Of course, a wholesome content marketing strategy has a good deal of repurposing built in – yet it’s critical to understand the channel and the reader’s experience of the content on that channel. And he believes that print – long-form, thoughtful and crafted specifically for ink on paper – has an important role in a modern marketing strategy.
“The need to build awareness has always been at the top of the funnel,” Dr. Green writes in a recent email. “Brands are rarely built with quickly forgotten digital hits. Brands are designed and built to serve generations.”
When you view brand-building from this long-term approach, it’s easy to see how print fits in. And because of the way our brains work on print, it’s the right medium when you want to engage more deeply and keep your reader’s attention.
“When someone decides to read a magazine, their attention is more open,” Dr. Green continues. “Readers will spend more time with your message and recall will last longer.”
And because print readers are often seeking content in specific interest areas, it offers a viable platform for advertisers, in the context of long-term brand building.
“If our ads match the content style, we have an opportunity to connect with our target audience. We need for advertising to be considered in the environment of editorial content,” he notes.
Is his vision of Twain correct? We think it’s spot on, and we agree with Green when he says marketers often “err on the side of immediate response.”
Yes, digital might get the eyeballs – but are eyeballs really what we’re after? As Dr. Green explains, those print ads “will still be valuable long after the short-term decision maker has been fired for lack of long-term brand building.”
Including print in the mix is so important for brand building and building long-term relationships. But it can’t be done in 140 characters. When we understand how print engages – the long, slow read of in-depth, compelling content – then we can create written content that is worthy of the paper and ink used to create it.
Is print missing from your mix? If so, it’s time to pay attention to what you are really missing – the long-term benefits of building your brand.