Digital vs. Print Media: A Graphic Designer’s Perspective
In a world where print media is (sadly, but truly) dying, going digital is not just a trend—it’s more cost-effective, more accessible, and more likely to make an impact on your readers. Graphic designers don’t just say this to promote their own work, because there are a lot of benefits to going digital. Let’s take, for instance, a digital newsletter. Here are a few areas where a digital newsletter is a better option than a print newsletter, to start:
If you wanted to know how many people read a print newsletter that is mailed, you would have no idea—print media has no way of guaranteeing who is reading what, if they are reading anything at all. While it is not a pointless marketing effort (because newsletters really do work), you gain very little information about how many people are reading your newsletter, who they are, and what specifically about your content they are interested in. With digital media, you can track readers, the type of device they use, what they click on, which links they follow, and even where they spend the longest time reading. That way, you can refine your future marketing campaigns based on the information you are gaining.
The best way to ensure that your audience will read your digital media is to make it as easy to use as possible. Digital media is easier to use than print media for a variety of reasons: it can be used on many devices, meaning that readers can read a digital newsletter on whatever device is most convenient for them. This also means that they can read it anytime, instead of having to carry around a physical newsletter. Even if you’re worried that they will be unsure how to use the digital newsletter, you can add an easy “how to use” tip that they will remember for future digital media. Additionally, you can add a table of contents to every page so that they can jump to particular pages without having to go to the beginning of the digital newsletter every time.
In the end, going digital saves associations money because it eliminates print and postage costs. Generally, if you already have access or a subscription to digital media software, you don’t need to pay for each additional medium; you can create an unlimited amount of e-newsletters, online reports, etc. In addition, there’s less concern about the number of pages in a digital piece than a print one, so you can add more content for a lower cost. This also saves you the sunk costs of lost, unread, or thrown away newsletters.
Interactive Content and Advertising
Now that your newsletter is digital, you are not limited to just the written word. You can hyperlink your content to related webpages, e-mail addresses, and even give readers the option to tweet content from your newsletter by hyperlinking it to Twitter. Since they have the option of looking at your content on their preferred device, it isn’t necessary for them to log into a separate device to click on your hyperlinks, resulting in an increase in link clicks.
Another benefit of a digital newsletter is the ability to add video. Videos add a dynamic and interactive element to digital newsletters that print lacks. In addition, you can even allow advertisers to include videos, potentially resulting in more revenue if you increase your ad rates. Not only does video enable you to deliver more engaging content to your audience, it can also encourage more advertisers to pair with you because they know they can reach (and track) more readers.
Just remember . . .
Though digital media can be less expensive and more convenient than print media, there are a few important factors to keep in mind: if your audience isn’t comfortable with technology (such as computers and smartphones), they may prefer print. On the other hand, new career audiences are more likely to use a phone than a desktop computer, so you would want to ensure that your media works across a variety of devices. As long as you want ease and accessibility for your readers, using digital media wisely is a surefire way to go.
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