Five tips to better promote your business

Marketing your business comes with a whole host of tools for your tool belt. Having digital assets, such as a website and social media accounts, is essential, but printed documentation is just as important. In some cases, print marketing materials are considered more important than digital ones because some people don’t depend on the internet much for their daily lives, leaving print materials as an introduction to your business.

There’s something about getting your brand into people’s hands and giving them the ability to interact with it outside of your products or services. You know you need to stand out, but wonder if that’s even possible given that people have been using print marketing for hundreds of years.

The good news is that you don’t have to reinvent the print marketing wheel. Instead, you can put an original twist on what’s already been done. I know, because that’s what my team does. Here are some steps you can take to improve your print marketing materials and better promote your business.

1. Take shape.

Many people almost always use standard shapes and sizes when it comes to printing marketing materials. Instead, consider creating a piece in a unique shape or size to stand out. For example, a round business card will be easy to spot among a pile of rectangular pieces. You can also use a shape that reminds recipients of your business, such as a camera-shaped business card for a photographer.

If you don’t want to change the whole shape of the product, you can use cutouts to change various elements. For example, these flyers for BMW have cutouts on the covers to match the brand. The former is rounded to make the logo stand out, while the latter is shaped like a car, which draws attention to them.

2. Use bold images.

A powerful image can make or break a design. Stock images save money, but it’s important to choose images that make a statement. Select images that people can relate to or show the benefits of your product or service. This will leave a bigger impression on your audience instead of photos of your product on a nice landscape.

This happened when we worked with a client to create a presentation folder with bold images. The images illustrate what clients can expect when they choose this company to provide maintenance or janitorial services, whether it’s an immaculately manicured and vibrant garden or floors so clean you you can see your reflection there. There was some information inside the folder pocket, but overall the company let the pictures tell the story.

3. Connect to digital.

Just because it’s print marketing material doesn’t mean you can’t add a digital element. In addition to your website URL, consider using a QR code that will send recipients directly to your website, provide them with a digital coupon, or unlock another special offer. The key is to make sure your print design is compelling enough to make customers want to see more.

Another option for combining print and digital is to use a video folder. With a video folder, the screens are placed on the cover or inside the folder. Not only does this merge the two types of marketing, but it also allows customers to better interact with the brand. It’s also very useful when you have a lot of information that might not fit in your file. For example, a real estate agent can provide virtual tours of properties with the video and include other information on file, such as tax information and plans.

4. Add texture.

There are two ways to add texture to your design: physically and visually. Embossing and debossing are great ways to do this. Debossing uses pressure to lift stock items for a three-dimensional effect, while debossing is the opposite and uses pressure to lower stock items. Both provide a textured element that recipients can see and feel.

A more cost effective way to add texture is visually. You can use different colors or shades to make your product look like it has a wood, leather or marble texture, for example, just like the designer Candice Bondi made for Halo. Business cards and brochures appear to have been printed on various textures, such as marble, plastic, or sand, which makes the recipient want to run their fingers over the surfaces.

5. Shine.

Build on adding texture by using overlay. This will not only change the feel of your room, but also give it a bit of shine, depending on the coating you use. Gloss and semi-gloss coatings provide a luxurious sheen, while a soft-touch coating feels like a smooth piece of velvet. You can cover the entire product or highlight specific elements, such as the company name or logo.

Coatings can also add protection to your product against water, fingerprints and tearing. If you think your piece doesn’t need to shine, you can use a matte coating and still get the same protection.

You don’t have to do all of these things to have great print marketing materials, but you can. Or, you can try one or two methods. Ultimately, you know your audience best and what they will respond to. The important thing is to create something that you can be proud of and that will help your business grow.

William L. Hart