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Dove Direct Print & Marketing Blog - “Using Print to Increase Online Video Views”

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Welcome to the Dove Direct Print and Marketing Blog. Today’s post, “Using Print to Increase Online Video Views” takes an in-depth look at the ongoing Video versus Print marketing debate, and whether or not print is an effective marketing tool that not only helps direct prospects to online destinations, but moreover plays a significant role in aiding video marketing. There are arguments on both sides of the fence, with video advocates suggesting that video marketing content usurps the need for print marketing, and print advocates making the case that print direct mail marketing delivers more eyeballs to online destinations.

Naturally, there are more variables to consider in this debate, and we contend that there are successful outcomes on both sides of the fence. Notwithstanding any of the variables that are specific to a particular industry, budgets, resources, targeting, demographic groups, product trends and technological advances, the overarching debate should be based on deliverables.


The Visual Based Society

To begin with, one of the predictions in the book, “China’s Megatrends - The 8 Pillars of the New Society,” has come to pass. The book’s authors, John and Doris Naisbitt, make the claim that the world is moving towards a visual based society, where graphical imagery will begin to dominate the way we learn, teach, and stay informed about the news of the day. That prediction is indeed happening. Recently, CNN has been publishing its news content with both videos (at the top of the report) and the textual content placed below the videos. That observation is definitely what is happening on Apple mobile devices.

In addition, other highly acclaimed visual marketing content such as infographics and photographic content have made their way into the public mainstream. Millennials in particular are big supporters of reading infographics and printed books. The rise of technological advancements also supports video accessibility inside eBooks, not to mention being able to add video players inside of printed collateral such as brochures, flyers, and the like. The social media landscape has also caught up with offering individual users live video capability, including having access to upload pre-recorded videos with a mouse click.

Further, technological advances in the digital space are not lost on the printing industry. Print on demand, variable digital printing, new ink types, paper textures, and hardware equipment that can communicate within the digital interconnectivity space brings print into the digital spectrum. In this debate, it should be noted that Google, a digital online company, invests a sizable budget in direct mail marketing to direct targeted users to its online destinations. While Google’s targeting may or may not include all video page destinations, their marketing strategy is one that we should all keep an eye on.

The Case for Video over Print

Video organizations and those respective sites that offer video creation, production, and editing of videos, will all make the case that video marketing has replaced the need for printed collateral. Make no mistake, video marketing has been on the rise in recent years due to the fact that video production is now more affordable. However, due to the vast amount of videos being published on a daily basis, the video saturation level is almost insurmountable and growing.

The total number of people who use YouTube – 1,300,000,000.  Three-hundred hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute! Almost 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every single day. In an average month, 8 out of 10 18-49 year-olds watch YouTube as of Aug 4, 2018.

That’s not to suggest that when a video is viewed the response rate of that video would be minimal. It would depend on the storyboarding, the message, competitive considerations, and of course the validity of the brand, which of course can be applied to any type of marketing collateral. The point to be made here is that while videos enjoy a ton of daily views, how can the brand break through the clutter? In fact, in a majority of cases, when one views a video on YouTube other competitive videos are immediately served up for additional and/or alternative choices at the end of any video viewed.

What this means is that brands will have to budget and invest in a variety of other marketing disciplines in order to ensure their videos are being watched at the rate that would make sense for the ROI. Case in point, even videos on Facebook are accompanied by textual content that helps cement the brand’s message thus supporting the reasoning behind why a viewer would want to view the video.  In other words, print helps cement the message which is why it is also available in printed form. This would suggest that printed collateral which enjoys a one-to-one personalized marketing aspect will not only lead to increased online video views, but once online the printed form can help support the video message.

Video Budget Ownership

There is common consensus among the marketing community that prices have come down for video creation and distribution. In fact, most video production organizations make that cost comparison aspect a top-of-mind selling point. These organizations allude to video production being cheaper than print. On the surface, that price point differential between video and print would appear to be sizable. For example, a well produced video could cost anywhere between $500 to $1000 with top-of-the-line videos starting in the thousands, if not tens of thousands. That of course is dependent upon the producer, writer, video type, video assets, location shooting, animation, actors, post production and editing time.

What folks could be missing with video budgeting is the total cost of deployment or total cost of the marketing initiative. Similarly, cost of ownership for a home for example, is far more than just the price of the home. There will be maintenance costs for landscaping, painting, wood restoration, general repairs, upgrades in appliance replacements, HVAC maintenance, concrete repairs and so forth. By that total cost of ownership comparison, the total cost of video marketing exceeds the initial cost of video production, to the point of marketing the videos to the online community at large, and more specifically, to online targets in the social media world.

This could mean blog posts, online banners, purchasing Google AdWords, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linkedin advertising. Let’s not forget to add email marketing, of which only 2.8% actually open an email marketing initiative, and now we can see brands are facing increased expenditure to gain exposure for their video marketing. No doubt those costs ad up, which now begs the question to be considered, “How much does the brand have to spend to ensure their video marketing campaigns are viewed by enough to make a difference.”

The Case for Print

Printing technology has come of age in the digital sense that by incorporating Variable Digital Printing (VDP), brands can target by demographics, database lists, psychographics, spending habits, region, zip codes, household income, online behavior, and other personal attributes. This VDP print attribute allows for personalized communication at its inception. What this VDP technology also provides is the ability for a brand or marketing initiative to be able to offer a personalized experience for targets without ever having met them, either online or in the real world, although in many instances, this type of printing allows for marketers to leverage and build on customer relationships. Not to mention, commercial printers that have amassed various types of lists that can be accessed for direct mail targeting and delivery.

The differentiation factor between print and videos regarding sending personalized marketing content could not be more stark. For one, if a viewer/user has never visited a site or social media channel, or clicked on the video the brand is offering, the personalized marketing aspect is for the most part non-existent. Website or social media channel users must initiate the first action, by either visiting a website of interest, filling out a form, or clicking on some banner advertisement that now follows them wherever they visit online. That said, they must continue to engage with the brand prior to receiving personalized information. Again, using direct mail print collateral actually delivers, supports and points to an increase in online video views.

In addition, the mobile factor also plays a role, in that lists could be created from scratch as people complete search in higher numbers than on desktops and laptops. However, most mobile email communications will fail to address the prospect by name unless they have previously registered with a site of interest. Therefore, activating personalized marketing message content with direct mail print collateral can be achieved at the outset, while video marketing must rely on folks actually opening the video.

Print Budget Ownership

Printing budgets will vary depending on the print collateral final output. Print collateral is achieved via a number of attributes, such as graphic artist design, data management resources, costs of paper types, ink types, and the number of printed pieces required, and finally direct mail postage and USPS costs. Today’s commercial printing organizations tend to bundle the cost of a print job to take into consideration all of the attributes required for printing a direct mail piece with postage and delivery.

Notwithstanding any of the above stated print attributes, the cost of the printed materials will vary depending on the printed piece format, such as brochures, page numbers, flyers, paper types, ink types, etcetera. A simple two-sided postcard, including the number of pieces required, media set up costs, lists, direct mail postage, distribution and delivery can start on average, for example, using 5000 pieces can range from printer’s cost per page, which can range from .25 per page or $1250 for the full color side, and .07 per page or $350 for black and white side. So, expect to start at $1,600 for 5000 pieces. Now add the list types at $12.00 per thousand for an occupant list or $60, or $33.66 per thousand for a consumer list or $168.30, or $45 per thousand for business lists or $225. Now add graphic design prices, which range from $25 per hour up to $300 per hour, but for sake of brevity, let’s say the postcard design price is $175. Add postage using USPS at $.35 per piece or $1,750. Keep in mind these are average starting points and the degree of investment will vary based on the particulars, of which bulk packaged rates from commercial printers will vary.

At the end of the day, that total 5,000 pieces of direct mail could cost at a starting point of $3,585 for a short run post card marketing initiative, mailed and delivered using an occupant list. While the printed direct mail postcard cost of targeting 5000 may seem more expensive at $3585 than a $500 or $1000 video production, there’s much more to consider with that price comparison.

Total Cost Comparison Value

While the initial video costs appear to be lower than the delivered direct mail postcard investment, the video is just out there waiting for viewers, as opposed to the personalized postcard collateral that actually directs recipients to online destinations. Therefore, the cost of marketing the video has to come into play, which at a minimum effective cost for online marketing could range from $1,000 to $3,000 for a month. Obviously, these price ranges will vary widely depending on the extent to which both the videos and printed collateral level of production quality are pursued.

That said, the value of delivering personalized marketing collateral to targeted prospects with a single first time contact should weigh heavily on marketers looking to increase online participation. Printed collateral achieves that aim.

We also contend that the online marketing world continues to push lower costs for online marketing, however; many reports have alluded to the fact that online marketing is becoming overcrowded and more difficult to cut through. And many of those same reports also indicate that direct mail marketing collateral increases the probability that targeted recipients will actually visit online destinations.

The Net-Net

Print and Video marketing can coexist and by utilizing print’s direct mail technology, this directive will definitely increase video views in a personalized manner, thus engaging prospective users by name and interests during the initial contact. Thanks for reading Using Print to Increase Online Video Views!


Let’s have a conversation about direct mail strategies, printing, print software, transactional documents, variable digital printing, brand equity and unified marketing collateral during our next Open House. We invite you to join us on Thursday, October 18th, 2018, for an hour or two, anytime between 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. Let us show you how to improve your document processes to optimize your workflow, reduce your costs, and maximize your organization’s printing, letter shop and mailing capabilities. Dove Direct does have an official USPS certified bureau located within our offices that will save you time and money. And, if you bring us your files, we will create a demo file for you. For more information call Carla Eubanks at 404-629-0122 or email Carla at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Dove Direct, your Atlanta based print and mail solutions provider offers organizations end-to-end data, printing and mailing solutions: Data Management, Variable Digital Printing, LetterShop and Fulfillment, Fully Automated MLOCR Presort Bureau, Marketing and Production Management Support and Secure Data Life Cycle Management.


If you don't want to wait for the Open House, you can reach Dove Direct today by calling 404-629-0122 or use the contact form for Dove Direct.

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Leland Hicks is the CTO of MatterMax Media, a digital marketing agency that provides business strategy, web design, social media management and training.  He can be reached at lahicks@mattermaxmedia.com