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Take a Peek at Marketing Materials, Past vs. Present

Any amateur can tell that the world of marketing has changed over the years. But experts know the ins and outs of the changes and how to market on and offline. Lucky for you, we’re going to tell you how things have shifted and the dos and don’ts of each situation.

The Marketing Winds of Change

Just like everything else in the world it seems, marketing materials have gone digital. Higher percentages of large companies’ budgets have shifted to funding online activity — content marketing, social media and various types of digital advertising. Print materials are by no means dead, but it’s key to understand the differences in approaches needed for successful materials in print and online.

Online Marketing vs. Print Materials

Take a Peek at Marketing Materials, Past vs. PresentLet’s discuss the ins and outs of marketing in the digital world vs. creating print materials.


Think about when you’re surfing the interwebs. Do you settle in to read lengthy content for hours at a time? No! You’re scanning and clicking, scanning and clicking, and “Oh! There’s a squirrel!” When it comes to online marketing, you’ve got a lot to compete with, and you don’t have your audience’s attention for long. You’ve got to hook them right away with interesting catches and the bottom line up front.

For print materials, there is typically less competition for your reader’s attention. And with something tangible in their hands, the odds that they are committed to reading for more than a few seconds are pretty good. It’s still important to pull them in and hold their interest, but your approach can be a little less aggressive.


Remember those quick clicks and scans mentioned above? The other key to grabbing and holding your audience’s attention is in your structure. Online is all about ease of scanning. Use headers, bullets, short sentences and give them the key info in the first sentence of each section. This allows readers to absorb your message without investing a large amount of time.

Again, for print, your reader is likely less distracted and their eyes aren’t darting left to right to center to right as quickly as they would be online. Headers and bullets are still a good idea, but the odds that potential customers will read a little more in print are in your favor.


I’m betting you’re sensing a theme by this point and may even be able to predict what I’m going to say. Keep it shorter for online readers. Save the lengthier content marketing pieces for print. Online, blogs, articles, etc. should be 1,000 words or less, while in print, you can go up to 1,500+ for things like feature articles. Again, those print readers are settled in to intentionally absorb some content. And online, people want to get the gist of your message in a matter of seconds.

One thing that’s the same no matter where you publish your marketing materials: If you want your readers to respect your materials, get invested and take you seriously, you’ve got to give them quality content. Take time, budget for it and show your best content marketing abilities no matter where it’s published.

You might say, but I need to flood my online articles with SEO. Well, sort of. But these days, the Google gods reward good content. A saturation of less than 5 percent is great keyword density. Don’t go working your keywords into every other sentence. Just write good content and pepper those keywords throughout.

And if you need a little help developing that stellar content, turn to the experts at All Things Writing, LLC. We can help you plan, write, design and publish your best content marketing materials yet.

All Things Writing is a full-service content development and content marketing company on a mission to help clients shine online and in print. Our clients are from the private, government and nonprofit sectors. Become one of those clients today, and start aligning your content with success.

Erin Pittman, Lead Editor

A project manager, writer and editor, Erin Pittman has almost a decade of professional experience in both print and online materials. She holds a BA in English from Randolph-Macon College. Her work has been featured in local and national publications, as well as on various local and national websites and blogs. Writing topics include marketing, personal finance, special needs, military, parenting, seniors, local events, real estate, service industries, business profiles and more.