The Philadelphia Daily News recently launched a new format, with several design and content changes, along with more local and original content.  Both The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News are also attempting to step up their game by launching a pilot program which will sell discounted Android tablets with built-in content.  Commitment to evolving formatting to serve a digital-minded audience is a step toward the marriage, or at least coexistence of print and online media….evolving is essential to staying current and alive.  

Let’s bring this idea to the B2B space.  Most professionals turn first to online sources for the latest industry news.  Online articles can be posted quickly so content is on the pulse of what’s hot right now.  In the B2B space, we are blogging, tweeting and sharing articles and findings through social media sites and email. 

Does this mean print is dead or dying as a B2B tactic?  Not at all, in my opinion!  Print items are of course more expensive than emailing a link, but clients and prospects tend to appreciate an item they can hold in their hands, as long as they are appealing and add value.  Budgets don’t allow for as many printed items these days, so being strategic is key.  A newspaper actively promoting digital adoption might be a wise move.  For B2B at the moment, I still see a future in the tactile approach, which just seems more personal. 

Let’s explore the company newsletter.

Many of our clients send out quarterly newsletters and they end up being viewed as a high quality product that can serve as a point of differentiation between one firm and another.  How can we modernize the newsletter to appeal to today’s professional who is used to getting his or her information instantly?  Readers today demand shorter, skim-able bits of information in small doses.   Readers aren’t merely getting lazy, instead information is so readily available you want to be sure that your audience chooses your piece from the others.  As technology lets accessing the news become faster and more portable, the use of printed marketing materials may continue to decline.  There is, however, no substitute demand for items people can hold in their hands and that don’t get lost in the black hole of the Inbox.

Tips for making your newsletter more modern and engaging for your audience:

  • Lead with strong articles that have broad appeal for your particular clients and prospects.
  • Break up articles with subheads and use short blocks of text.
  • Introduce social media content to your print newsletter.  Pose a question to a LinkedIn group and publish both the question and answers. 
  • Post interesting Twitter feeds from your followers. 
  • Read industry blogs to research what your particular audience wants to know more about.
  • Solicit feedback from your readers by posing a question or soliciting an opinion with contact information where the reader can send an answer. 
  • Once you’ve developed your for-print newsletter, cross promote by posting a link on your social media profiles and develop a sign-up form to further your reach.
  • Use earth-friendly paper and dyes, especially if your clients and prospects line of work makes them sensitive to the state of the environment.

Successful marketing campaigns embrace different types of media, they adapt and evolve.  Making small changes can revamp a stale newsletters letter or other print item.  After all, every touch is an opportunity to make a positive impression.  Let us know what works for you or if you’ve had success with other ideas.