In this day and age, it is imperative that printers take advantage of the digital offerings or risk being left behind. Print still has a place, and it always will, but as consumers become more savvy and smartphones and tablets gain market share, integrating the latest technologies with print becomes a new area of growth to focus on.
Part of Printing Industries of America’s duty to the industry is to provide printers with the tools and education they need to succeed. We have resources to help you leverage QR codes, social media, and digital printing, for example.
The important thing to remember about QR codes is that users will primarily be using them on their smartphones. Smartphones feature tiny screens that are not conducive to the expansive websites with dropdown menus and rows of links. Make sure that the destination of the QR code is mobile-friendly. Nothing is more disappointing than sending someone a QR code for a YouTube video and then realizing the video hasn’t been configured to be viewed on mobile devices. (You can change this setting in the syndication option when you upload your video to YouTube.)
To maximize the effectiveness of QR codes, be sure to track how many people are activating them. By using Google’s free link shortener (located at goo.gl), you can create a QR code for any link and then track stats such as what platform the QR code was accessed on and even the country the person is in.
If you’re going to embark on a social media mission, it’s important to have clear goals in mind. Are you trying to reinforce your brand? Do you want to spread awareness? Improve customer service?
Tools like Twitter and Facebook allow you to communicate with customers, and potential customers, in a way that wasn’t possible before. While this personal connection is great for delivering a clear and concentrated message, if the content is dry and marketing-focused, customers may be weary to follow/like you in return. Focus on the type of content that only you and your company can offer. Mixing up marketing messages with interesting facts and content that only you can provide will help you develop a loyal following.
As a living online compendium to our Social Media Field Guide: A Resource for Graphic Communicators book, Printing.org/socialmediafieldguide has the information you need to get your social media plan off the ground and on the path to success. Visit the blog titled “Field Notes” for insights and posts on current social media trends. You’ll also find tips to help you leverage LinkedIn and use Tweet Deck to its full potential as well as RSS feeds that wrangle up the freshest social media news in one convenient place.
Digital Printing Council Website
If you’re looking for some of the best news and tips on the Web concerning the future of digital printing, visit the Digital Printing Council’s website at printing.org/dpc. The DPC provides information on digital printing business applications and technology, cross-media marketing opportunities, emerging technologies and innovations, Web and e-commerce, social media engagement, and help for members who wish to transform their business models. While some of the content is restricted to members, there are many resources that anyone interested in the realm of integrated print will find useful, including RSS feeds to pertinent blogs, our partner’s resource center, and case studies about our forward-thinking members.
We’ll be updating the DPC site with new white papers and information. If you’re curious about the future of printing, it’s a worthwhile website to bookmark.
Integrated Print Forum
If you’d rather learn about social media and integrating new print technology by doing it first-hand, we have a new conference that will provide the knowledge to do just that. The Integrated Print Forum is for those that want to learn everything about integrating print with other media to enhance their product offerings and build new revenue streams. The inaugural forum is slated for October 24 and 25 at PIA headquarters near Pittsburgh.