Paper in a Digital World

Why Small Businesses Still Need Paper in a Digital World


With email communication, smartphone apps, and e-zines is there really a need for paper in business anymore? We use instant messenger programs to message our coworkers, rather than sending interoffice memos. We send texts or emails rather than writing letters on company stationery. Even office parties have been reduced to a Facebook Event Page rather than a good, old-fashioned invitation card.

Is there still a real need for paper products in such a digital-based world? Surprisingly, the answer is a resounding “Yes!”

According to Green America and the Paperless Project, worldwide paper consumption has increased 400% in the last 40 years. In the last 20 years, the use of paper products has rapidly grown by 126% from 92 million tons to 208 million tons of paper. While the use of digital information is an important tool for small businesses, the uses of printed communication is still an essential and effective method of marketing to current and potential clients.

Why Has Paper Consumption Increased?

With all of the electronic communication methods available to us today, why are we using more paper than ever before? With the availability of information at our fingertips, we are finding more and more things that we feel are vital to keeping in a physical form as instruction, a reminder, or simply necessary data. This is particularly true for small businesses, where employees feel the need to print, copy, and share knowledge with others.

Paper for Marketing

Paper is particularly useful as a marketing tool in today’s digital world. Sure, it’s necessary to utilize banners, buttons, and online live videos; however, it’s still wise to place tangible marketing pieces in the hands of clients and potential consumers. A visually pleasing printed advertisement is often the difference between a missed opportunity and a successful sale.

People have a tendency to see printed materials as innately valuable, especially if a savings opportunity or coupon is included on the piece. No one wants to throw away money, and commercial flyers are often seen as containing financial worth for the consumer.

Improving Your Use of Paper Products

With the advantages of paper marketing techniques clearly obvious, small businesses should step up their advertising game when utilizing this substantial opportunity.

Use Color: While printing in grayscale is less expensive, it also looks cheap. Use eye-catching color in your paper advertising. In today’s world, printing in color is not as pricey as it once was and the benefits of printing in color make the price difference non-existent.

Create a Quality Presentation: When you print a high-quality piece on superior paper options, you are letting your customers know that they are important to you. Choose the best ink, paper, and presentation materials – such as folders, binders, and covers – to demonstrate to clients that they are worth your time and money.

Be Creative: Never skimp on the graphics and images used on your marketing material. Free and low-cost photography is available, and graphic design services are worth the cost to present a visually creative promotional piece.

Get It Professionally Printed: Never try to print marketing pieces with the office printer, no matter how fancy a device it may be. This is particularly true for instances where you are printing large quantities. You may end up with costly mistakes, such as misaligned paper, double sheets running through the printer at once, and lightened or missing ink as your ink runs low. In the end, it will cost you more to manually print the materials than if you went to a professional print shop.

Interoffice Printing Tips

When printing interoffice memos, presentations, or other paper material, it’s important to save paper as much as possible in this conservation-conscious world. Here are a few tips to keep your office green:

  • Scan rather than printing. In some cases, it’s unnecessary to print forms, documents, and emails. Keep a digital copy on file or scan in the paperwork and recycle the original. Be sure to stay organized with your computer files just as you would with paper files. You may even be able to save office space by scanning paper files from unnecessary filing cabinets.
  • Enable the security function on your printer. Most printers built in the past few years offer a security device that sends files to the queue but won’t release the documents until you enter a pin code at the printer itself. This ensures that sensitive information remains private and eliminates the need for individual printers in each office.
  • Use double-sided printing. When printing large documents, enable double-sided printing to save paper usage.
  • Keep a recycle bin nearby. A paper-only recycles bin near the printer will allow you to recycle pages that were printed incorrectly or by accident. You can either send these copies to be recycled or use them as scrap paper within the office.
  • Buy name-brand supplies. Off-brand supplies, such as ink or toner cartridges, may save you money up front, but they often lack the quality necessary for office use.

Conclusion: Print It

As the professional business printing in St. Louis, we can say that paper still plays a vital role in today’s digital world. Small businesses are using more paper than ever and should realize the effectiveness of a well-designed printed marketing piece.

Consumers see the inherent value in a printed advertisement. Companies should use high-quality materials and workmanship in their advertising pieces. This reveals to the client how important they are to the company. Consumers are more likely to notice and use a marketing piece that reveals their importance to the company through obvious quality and artistry.

Jacque Doring

Jacque is a digital marketing guru and has helped many businesses grow online.

Latest posts by Jacque Doring (see all)

Jacque Doring
Jacque is a digital marketing guru and has helped many businesses grow online.