Last May, MyPrintResource.com tackled a subject near and dear to many a printer's heart: social media marketing . Now, 10 months later, we revisit the topic to see what's new and what has changed: most notably, perhaps, how mobile apps continue to displace World Wide Web usage. Forrester Research...
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When it comes to finding print prospects, Simmons' technology of choice is TweetAdder, a professional Twitter marketing tool: "[It's] an essential tool for building a quality following. The cost of the software is very low at $55 .... I then use other tools for pruning the list, and ultimately go through it manually to make sure I eliminate spammers and scammers. This helps create a decent list of prospects," he said.
"I've also discovered that I can pick off about 20 percent of my competitors' qualified prospects from their own Twitter list," Simmons added, "but that's a different subject for another time."
Don't Underestimate Video
There is video to consider, too. Remember those humorous "Printing's Alive" YouTube videos from Pazazz Printing in Montreal? The first one has received nearly 237,000 views since going viral five years ago but, more importantly, Pazazz has received more than 1,000 emails (many of them warm leads) as a result of the videos. Those aren't bad numbers for a mid-size printer in Canada.
CEO/founder Warren Werbitt believes in marketing and invests in it. The pro-print videos are part of a larger branding identity strategy incorporating direct mail and email blasts. Werbitt even has a full-time marketing director in place. Pazazz uses other social media channels, too, of course, including Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn because of "global exposure, unlimited outreach, viral effect, and it's an inexpensive way to promote your company," marketing director Lori Cohen told Graphic Monthly Canada. "You give people the choice to learn more about your company," she said. "It's time-consuming but fun." Her boss agrees. "It's important to do something on a regular basis," added Werbitt. "We do a cross-mix of everything because you can't do one without the other. It's all about awareness, being top of mind, and keeping our name out there."
Following Werbitt and Cohen's lead, Jamie O'Born, president of The Printing House (TPH), launched an online campaign about 15 months ago featuring The Printz, a funny Thor-like Viking character who promotes print by tweeting, among other things. The six episodes, on YouTube since October 2010, have a combined 11,000 views to date. Based in Toronto, the TPH chain has some about 70 locations across Canada.
But be forewarned that shooting video can be time-consuming. "After a few videos, I was too burned out to produce any more of them," admitted Simmons of the Social Print Experiment. "Even today I shudder to think of creating a simple YouTube video. Every video I created took a minimum of 12 hours to build and edit—hours which were spent after the family went to bed," he noted.