Hey, Printers! Your Print Buyers are Calling!

Twenty years ago, it was easy to figure out who your competition was.

Why? Because your competition was another locally owned business just like you are. In almost every case, your competition was the printing firm located just down the street, or maybe it was a big commercial printer located over on the other side of town.

Back then, it was relatively easy for you to know who your competition was and have a pretty good idea of how big they were, what kind of equipment they had, and how good their print quality was. You could pretty much know everything about them because they were local folks just like you were.

Ordering Printing: The Way Things Were

Everybody had a lot in common back then. There’s a pretty good chance you all used the same paper suppliers, the same press repairmen, and even had the same utility companies.

And, knowing so much about local competitors made it easier to compete against them.

Back then, when you wanted to grow sales or increase market share, all of your marketing efforts were locally focused. All you had to do was to try and come up with a better way to tell your story down on Main Street in your community.

Simple things like attending more business after-hours events, doing more direct mail marketing, or making more outside sales calls were often very helpful.

But the internet changed all of that.

Ordering Printing: The Way Things Are

Today, networking, direct mail marketing, and outside sales are still great ways to compete against the printers in your local community, but…

You have to think bigger. You have to meet your print buyers where they’re at: online. 

You see, many of your customers have no idea about shopping on Main Street. Their “Main Street” is their laptop, their iPad, or their phone.

Today, it’s easier and more convenient for your print buyers to push a few buttons and shop online than it is to get in their car and drive a few blocks down the street to visit a locally owned business like your printing firm.

But that doesn’t mean they don’t want to do business with you. You just need to make it easy.

The Social Media Connection

If you want to sell more printing to those print buyers, you have to put the online tools available to work for you — tools, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and reading your blog.

It’s time to connect with today’s buyers on their turf as part of your overall marketing strategy. Here’s why:

1. Social Media Builds Loyalty

You’ll start to improve loyalty among your existing customers because they’ll connect with you online, and they’ll feel closer to you.

2. Social Media Targets Your Online Print Buyers

You’ll begin to market your printing firm to that growing audience that shops and buys printing online.

Earning a Print Buyer’s Business

You’ve got to give your customers a reason to buy from you.

Just because you’re locally owned doesn’t mean you’re entitled to be their printer. You still have to earn their business. If your customers want to shop online, then you’ve got to take your marketing message online too.

Don’t let one of your competitors create front-of-mind awareness in the minds of your prospects and customers. Don’t let them have that space because it’s a battle that you can win. You just have to get on the playing field and get in the game. You can have that space and the front-of-mind awareness it creates when you use social media marketing to connect with your customers every single day.

When you use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and a blog, you’re creating an opportunity to tell your story online and share your marketing message with thousands of potential prospects at virtually no cost.

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This article has been adapted from a piece originally written by our late founder, Mike Stevens. Mike was a pioneer in the printing industry and had a mission to see printers succeed – a mission we continue to carry out today.