5 ways to integrate Print Materials with Digital Marketing

Are you making the most of your print marketing? When you integrate print and digital marketing, you maximize your effort. You reinforce your campaigns, and learn if your print message resonates with audiences online, helping you continually improve the impact of your print marketing. There are many ways you can integrate print and digital content. Here are five you can implement this week.

1. Feature printed materials for online viewing
If you have a PDF or image file of your printed document, upload it to your website and embed or link to it. You can also create web pages from the content and graphics, or create digital magazines using programs like Issuu. This gives you reach beyond your print distribution, and you can add links within the content to direct traffic elsewhere on your website.

2. Share it on social media
Break your print documents into bite-sized pieces for social media messages and graphics. Quotes, statistics, and key messages from your annual report or marketing brochure make great content for Facebook and other social media. You can also re-purpose images and graphics for social media by adjusting and resizing them. Notice the engagement you get from your social media posts. This is great feedback, and can indicate what people think about your message.

3. Blogs and articles
If you’ve published a report or are launching a marketing campaign, re-purpose the content into blogs or guest posts. Pick a topic in your  report and expand on it in 500-1,200 words. Break the topic up into subheadings, or into several shorter blog posts, which can then be shared on social media or in your email newsletter. Guest post your content on other blogs or article sites , or research other print  newsletters and print magazines to include your message in.

4. Mail and email
If you have news, share it with your subscribers! Write a short summary that links back to your original printed document or tells people where they can buy or find it. Keep emails to around 300 words, and include images from the document to tie them together. Your contact list is gold. Build it wherever you can. Include a subscribe link in your printed documents, and include an option to online subscribers to receive physical mail.

5. Present printed content via audio and video
Expand the reach of your printed materials by presenting the content in a webinar, YouTube or Facebook Live video, podcast or other audio format.

For example, if you publish a newsletter about important health issue updates, present the main highlights and take the opportunity to promote your newsletter subscription.

Also, keep your recordings, have them transcribed, and use them if you’re considering writing a book or report. You don’t need fancy equipment to record audio or video. A smartphone with an external microphone will work.

Next time you start planning a publication, include a sub-plan for how you will integrate it with your digital marketing. And vice versa: if you’re running a digital campaign, consider what kinds of print materials will support it. Build everything together to maximize your effort and expand your reach.

What Customers Say:

★★★★★
"I just can't say enough about National Media Services. I am a small recording studio in Illinois and don't always have clients that can order 1,000 CD's at a time like the big boys. Mark "T" goes above and beyond to make sure to produce a good quality product at a competitive price. I will continue to use National Media Services for all of my duplication/replication needs for many years to come."...

Matt Throgmorton (Coffee House Studios)


★★★★★
"I had excellent duplication, fantastic graphics and a great guy to work with. Need I say more? I am now a dedicated customer and you can bet I will recommend National Media Services to all the musicians I know. Thank you again, National Media Services!!"...

Roberta Miles (Jazz Singer)


★★★★★
"I needed a great looking promotional piece in a big hurry and I instinctively turned to National Media Services. The staff guided me over the phone and through email so my design work wouldn't cause any delays and the project would make my deadline. When I reached my hotel the box was there waiting for me and the next day I had the most professional looking promotional materials at the event! I will definitely be using National Media Services again very soon!"...

Phil Bankester

Time to bring your style up-to-date?

Modernize your print materials with these hot trends!

If your printed collateral still looks the same as it did when pagers were the hot new item, it could be time for a style update.

Print needs to stand out to be effective, whether it’s a direct mail piece, an ad in a magazine or a brochure on a rack. Especially if you’re trying to appeal to younger consumers, you need to visually represent that your business is on-trend with this decade. This doesn’t mean you have to re-brand, but you can use these modern design trends to add a fresh look to your printed materials.

The artist's touch
On the opposite end of the spectrum to flat design, is the trend towards artistic effects like watercolor, metallic foils, and custom illustrations. There are many great examples of this: the use of cartoons, paintings, custom artwork, and digital painting. It requires a skilled designer, because the use of too many elements, or poorly constructed elements, can cause the design to look too busy or unbalanced. Stick to simple illustrations in minimal colors. There are many stock art websites and skilled graphic designers you can source this kind of artwork from.

Hip and minimal flat design
Minimalism is in. Flat design, characterized by clean, bright design, plenty of white space, and lack of 3D effects is pleasing to the eye.  This page employs flat design. Notice the lack of drop shadows, gradients, and embossed fonts. The simplicity of flat design, using bold headings and contrasting colors, helps a reader to quickly understand information. To integrate flat design into your work, use contrasting colors to help pieces stand out – such as white type on a dark blue background – and use simple shapes. Ensure you leave lots of white space and use subheadings to direct your reader down the page. Stick with one or two font families, and a few colors. Less is more.

Infuse personality with script typefaces
Add flair and life to your materials by using beautiful script and hand-drawn typefaces. Script typefaces range from masculine grunge fonts to feminine and whimsical watercolor calligraphy. The key to using script fonts is to pick one, and use it sparingly. Use it in headlines and highlights. When script typefaces are too small, they're very hard to read. Test your script fonts with the printer, as some will bleed when printed. Your printer can help you avoid this.

The new retro
The looks of the 60s, 70s, and 80s are back! However, they have a fresh look. The new retro designs use elements of the past, such as patterns and iconic shapes and symbols like the cassette above. This trend appeals to younger generations and older, though it really depends on your brand. A retro 80s pattern probably won’t suit a traditional corporate law office.

Pulling from elements of flat design, it’s best to design with just a few colors and let the artwork shine by using minimal text. This look is best used for things like posters, postcards, flyers, and invitations.

This is not an exhaustive list of trends, but they’re ones that can easily be pulled from to update your print collateral. Focus on your audience first, and choose a design that will appeal to them while also regarding your brand guidelines. The essence of your brand must remain intact, but adding different styles and elements will help your materials stand out.

What Customers Say:

★★★★★
"I just can't say enough about National Media Services. I am a small recording studio in Illinois and don't always have clients that can order 1,000 CD's at a time like the big boys. Mark "T" goes above and beyond to make sure to produce a good quality product at a competitive price. I will continue to use National Media Services for all of my duplication/replication needs for many years to come."...

Matt Throgmorton (Coffee House Studios)


★★★★★
"I had excellent duplication, fantastic graphics and a great guy to work with. Need I say more? I am now a dedicated customer and you can bet I will recommend National Media Services to all the musicians I know. Thank you again, National Media Services!!"...

Roberta Miles (Jazz Singer)


★★★★★
"I needed a great looking promotional piece in a big hurry and I instinctively turned to National Media Services. The staff guided me over the phone and through email so my design work wouldn't cause any delays and the project would make my deadline. When I reached my hotel the box was there waiting for me and the next day I had the most professional looking promotional materials at the event! I will definitely be using National Media Services again very soon!"...

Phil Bankester

Why use print in your next marketing campaign?

You probably heard, probably from so-called online marketing “experts,” that print is passé, that no one uses it anymore, that it is a “throwaway” medium. Well, think again. Print is as big as it ever was—or even bigger—and it's still your secret weapon.

Print is easily deliverable.
No computers, tablets, or smart phones needed! Print can arrive in a mailbox, as a flyer in a newspaper or stuffed into your grocery bag. It can be posted on bulletin boards, store windows, and lamp posts. You’ll find it slid under your morning coffee at the diner or your beer mug at the local pub, or under your windshield wiper in the mall parking lot. It’s your business card, your informational brochure, your introduction to a new product or service, an ad, or feature article in the local paper announcing your grand opening.

Print is memorable.

Instead of images flashing on a screen, print is experienced physically and emotionally. Your words and images on paper hit home, are remembered and retained, tucked into a drawer or folder for future reference, slipped into a vest pocket to discuss with a colleague at lunch, or placed by the phone as a reminder to call about a new product. Don’t you love getting a note or a postcard by mail? Using print as part of  your marketing strategy draws on those warm fuzzies.

Print helps boost economies.
The printing industry has been bringing information to the world and influencing minds for centuries. It is one of the largest industries on the planet, outpacing the auto industry by more than a country mile. Print technology continues to be a growing industry as well, and tremendous gains have been made in the speed and quality of both its design and execution. New career paths have been carved out in the tech industry, and newer, more efficient hardware, software, paper production, and distribution have propelled print to the marketing forefront.

Print is sustainable.
Huge investments in environmentally friendly print technology mean the use of renewable energy sources and “green”rinks and papers are the norm rather than the exception today. The myth of print as a “dirty” process no longer holds true where soy-based inks and recycled paper have become standards. Pulp trees are a renewable crop, and high-efficiency presses mean less energy consumption.

Print gives your customers options.
When is the last time a pop-up ad on your computer screen conveyed a sense of respect? Print’s marketing space is never aggressive.
Readers have the option to read, heed, and react to a call for action presented in an attractive, more effective, nonthreatening way. Print
has become more accessible by being available online, but we can keep pace by providing equally fast service, reliable workflows and a
level of accountability you won't find online.

Will you use your print superpowers in your next marketing push?
Print keeps on proving itself by working with other channels to boost conversion rates and return on investment. What will work best for your business? A series of postcards? Flyers? Newspaper inserts? Brochures? Talk to us about how print can work to help you reach your
business goals.

What Customers Say:

★★★★★
"I just can't say enough about National Media Services. I am a small recording studio in Illinois and don't always have clients that can order 1,000 CD's at a time like the big boys. Mark "T" goes above and beyond to make sure to produce a good quality product at a competitive price. I will continue to use National Media Services for all of my duplication/replication needs for many years to come."...

Matt Throgmorton (Coffee House Studios)


★★★★★
"I had excellent duplication, fantastic graphics and a great guy to work with. Need I say more? I am now a dedicated customer and you can bet I will recommend National Media Services to all the musicians I know. Thank you again, National Media Services!!"...

Roberta Miles (Jazz Singer)


★★★★★
"I needed a great looking promotional piece in a big hurry and I instinctively turned to National Media Services. The staff guided me over the phone and through email so my design work wouldn't cause any delays and the project would make my deadline. When I reached my hotel the box was there waiting for me and the next day I had the most professional looking promotional materials at the event! I will definitely be using National Media Services again very soon!"...

Phil Bankester

7 key ingredients of social, local, mobile marketing (SoLoMo)

“SoLoMo” is now mainstream for brick and mortar businesses, and if you are not taking advantage of the combination you risk being left behind. This new reality reflects the tools we rely on and the ways we navigate our lives now. Google’s statistics on the subject illuminate: 40% of all Google searches on mobile devices are for local resources. 71% of smartphone users have started a search prompted by an ad. 88% of local searches result in an action within 24 hours.

Your customers can check email, talk to a buddy, read a review, and post a picture on Facebook all while waiting in line to talk to you. Clearly, you need to be visible and accessible in the social, mobile world to compete.

1.  Start by optimizing your local presence
Immerse yourself in local events, personalities, and culture and connect your promotions to them. What’s going on in the neighborhoods you serve? Sports teams, unusual weather and local news create great opportunities to make your business a focal point of the local scene.

2. Differentiate yourself in the SoLoMo space
Keep marketing fundamentals in mind as you plan your SoLoMo campaigns. Using what you do differently and do best as the starting point for conversations will help establish your unique position in your market.

3. Adapt your messaging to the medium
People using smart phones have different needs and interests from desktop and tablet users, so it makes sense to adapt your marketing messages for each device customers will use to find you. Give them what they are looking for when they are on the go.

4. Make yourself searchable to be findable
Sad but true: businesses not appearing on the first page of search results are essentially invisible online. Build search engine optimization into all your online efforts, particularly for local search terms, and cultivate as many reviews and listings as possible.

5. Promote participation and get people talking
Take advantage of the sharing impulse with content that invites participation and is easy to share. Use readily available open source tools to make your content shareable online, and consider rewarding visitors for sharing.

6. Hit the movies
It’s true across the board – video catches attention, and content in video form persuades people more effectively than other forms alone. Video is an essential component online, so make it a priority to add video to your SoLoMo marketing mix.

7. Multiply your online efforts with print
The last decade saw a rush to online marketing away from print, but we are now seeing a rebound, based on a rock solid indicator: ROI. Google uses an increasing amount of direct mail – that has to tell us something, right? The fact is: print packs a punch with its presence, persistence, and powers of persuasion, that just can’t be duplicated online. Almost any local marketing initiative can be boosted with print.

Call us to discuss how we can help you get better results with your next SoLoMo project.

What Customers Say:

★★★★★
"I just can't say enough about National Media Services. I am a small recording studio in Illinois and don't always have clients that can order 1,000 CD's at a time like the big boys. Mark "T" goes above and beyond to make sure to produce a good quality product at a competitive price. I will continue to use National Media Services for all of my duplication/replication needs for many years to come."...

Matt Throgmorton (Coffee House Studios)


★★★★★
"I had excellent duplication, fantastic graphics and a great guy to work with. Need I say more? I am now a dedicated customer and you can bet I will recommend National Media Services to all the musicians I know. Thank you again, National Media Services!!"...

Roberta Miles (Jazz Singer)


★★★★★
"I needed a great looking promotional piece in a big hurry and I instinctively turned to National Media Services. The staff guided me over the phone and through email so my design work wouldn't cause any delays and the project would make my deadline. When I reached my hotel the box was there waiting for me and the next day I had the most professional looking promotional materials at the event! I will definitely be using National Media Services again very soon!"...

Phil Bankester

Image is Everything!

There is this saying, "Don't judge a book by its cover." For the independent artist, this doesn't hold true. As a musician or band, your product is your music and that has to be a given.

For your fans, your product's appearance may not be as important, but for those who have not heard you, looks are vital! You have to look like you sound great!

I remember buying an album or CD just because the art was cool. They had to sound good if their art was so good, right? The design of your product is just as important, if not more important than the recording itself!Professional photos and a professional graphic designer or artist are key to the success of your CD.

I have been in the music business for close to 35 years. When I was young and green, I thought it was all about the art. I joined a professional touring act out of college and quickly found out why they call it the music "business." I went to "work" every day. Rehearsals, writing sessions, practice, etc. It was a job and you had to be good at it! I learned that I could have been replaced with a hundred other guitar players who would give their left arm to be in my position. Sounds like the corporate world, doesn't it? The truth is, it's like that and then some!

How you run your business and conduct yourself is vital to your success. Things like creating an image and branding are your calling card. Your logo, website, promotional materials all have to have purpose.

That's why, as an independent artist, image is everything. Don't skimp when it comes to your graphics. Hire a professional to do your artwork. Work with a professional photographer to get the look and feel you want to your photos. The way I see it, the music part is my business but I want someone who knows graphic design and art to create my vision.

As hard as it can be, let go of the reins and allow an artist creative freedom. A professional graphic artist looks at your design from an end-use perspective. They know what looks good and doesn't. Certainly discuss your vision and ideas but allow your artist to bring that to life. When I released my solo project, I had an idea, original color art and verbiage. I gave those ingredients to my graphic designer and said "Make me look good." I was more than pleased with the result and have had nothing but positive comments all the way around.

The professional graphic designers in the Design Studios at National Media Services create eye catching graphics...and do this all day every day! We'll call you prior to beginning and work personally with you to create the look you want. The majority of the samples in our catalog and on our website were created in house.
Best of all, our prices are up to HALF of what the competition charges!

Call me today to discuss your next project. Mark Tobolsky (540)635-4181 ext 241.

What Customers Say:

★★★★★
"That’s why I use you folks, reliable and quick to respond, love it!!!"...

Randy Rolin (Contact Solutions)


★★★★★
"National Media was a pleasure to work with. Totally pro all the way! Great customer support! Excellent product and price! They did everything they said and more in a timely, no b.s. way! My project consultant, Mark T., was right on the case with ultimate positive vibes and effective action! I thank National Media!"...

Robbie Long


★★★★★
"What sealed the deal to go with National Media Services, Inc. was their responsiveness and seeming willingness to provide good service. When you call you either get a real person on the other end of the line or an immediate return call back. During the entire process in dealing with our project, we found they go the "extra mile" to provide you with an excellent product. Their art and graphics department worked directly with us and did a superior job of implementing our ideas for our projects' packaging design. It was exactly what we were going for and more. We highly recommend National Media Services, Inc. and won't hesitate to use them again for future projects."...

Craig Wilson - The Rousatbouts