Commercial printers face unique opportunities and challenges in today’s marketplace.
Print continues to prove itself an indispensable part of a powerful marketing mix. In fact, marketing campaigns with three or more channels in use—including print—have a much higher return on investment than campaigns with only one channel in use. Up to 300% higher!
Marketers already know they need commercial printers at the ready. But how do you let them know they need your company, specifically?
Talk about what you do differently than other printers
At Bubble & Hatch, we specialize in increasing commercial printers’ visibility and revenue, so we know first-hand that there are no two commercial printers exactly alike. Some of our clients specialize in book printing, some in periodicals, others in direct mail. Some offer branding and design services. Some focus on essential manuals and B2B information. Some printers specialize in data-driven digital products. Others kick out huge catalog runs on their web presses.
There is an audience for you—whatever you do best. You just need to get in front of your ideal customers and talk about how you solve their particular problems with ease.
Start with case studies…
I know. This all sounds terribly boring.
But prospective customers—especially high-budget, high volume customers—want proof that you have efficiently and cost-effectively created solutions for businesses just like them already.
Case studies help them make that crucial first purchase. And that’s not boring at all.
Here’s how you do it:
● Get permission from a happy client with a successful outcome to talk about their projects to prospective customers.
● Use storytelling and striking images to walk through the high-impact projects you successfully completed for them.
● Focus on the problem or challenge your client was facing, how you solved that problem and the customer experience throughout the process.
● Be specific about how you came to the decisions you made together and talk about the budget if possible.
● List the tools and equipment you chose for best execution.
● Most importantly, showcase results. What specific results did your work produce for the client, and how did it meet or exceed their goals?
● Include client quotes, photos of the project, and infographics that clearly show results. (For example, “The new direct mail piece we designed and mailed for Company X increased web inquiries by 47% and sales by 15% in Q1.)
Your case study can live online at your website and in a print sales kit. You could even make a poster, video, or a live presentation of it.
…and build up to white papers.
If you produce case studies about similar projects in order to attract your ideal client, you will see patterns emerge that illuminate the original way your company is solving customer problems and implementing solutions.
You can combine case studies, published research, and original research into white papers, which are persuasive marketing tools that position you as a leader in your specialty. Up to 71% of B2B buyers say they use white papers to research purchasing decisions.
I guarantee any printer in business for more than 20 years (most of you!) has developed unique and innovative processes that harness technology and creativity to drive results for their customers. Survey your customers, analyze their results, and describe your unique approaches to form the foundation of an impactful white paper.
White papers can position you as an authority in your niche and attract qualified leads. Published on your website and included in your sales kit, well-written and designed white papers can convert browsers seeking your specific expertise into paying customers.
Tell your story.
Commercial printers need to keep telling their story through the perspective of successful projects and happy clients. Case studies and white papers are compelling formats that showcase your unique strengths and differentiators.
But they are just two tools in a brand strategy that includes a stunning website that converts, social media marketing, email and newsletters, high visibility blog posts, and your online reputation. Combine them all into a powerful brand story that puts you squarely in front of your ideal customers.
Jules VanSant and Jill Crossley have spent the past 20 years advancing the dynamic print and paper industry. With our team at creative agency Bubble & Hatch, we can help you develop your story and create a brand strategy unique to your specialty and goals. Contact us today to press go on your bright future.