The lowly flyer may seem like a relic in the social media marketing age. Flyers need to be printed out, then hand delivered, posted, mailed or faxed. Their main purpose is to deliver time sensitive content to a targeted audience, almost always local and often in person. There’s a place for paper in this evolving paperless society because of the need to distribute content offline to a local reader base that may not have immediate online access. And flyers are convenient–it’s the reason we still store takeout menus in a kitchen drawer.
Pre-Internet, there were four reasons to create a flyer: 1) to publicize an event or party, 2) to sell something, 3) to advertise a sale or coupon, and 4) to display real estate. This table illustrates the new ways flyers are being replaced by today’s apps.
One industry is still hooked on flyers. According to Aaron Sperling, CEO of VFlyer, real estate still comprises 80% of his flyer business. Why has a cottage industry evolved around developing flyers for real estate listings? For a real estate agent, building a portfolio of professional looking real estate flyers becomes a body of work analogous to a photographer’s portfolio. They directly reflect on the agent’s marketing capabilities, and act as their calling card. Moreover, syndicating listings nationally across real estate search engines like Trulia and Zillow amplify agent reach to a consumer in the market. Flyers work for real estate because they visually present and convey the essence of a home far more effectively than text. The same dynamic fuels the rise of Pinterest and the infographic, demonstrating that the masses gravitate towards eye catching visual media.
However, one thing missing from the current hyperlocal landscape is a simple billboard where locals can “pin” their flyers. Michael Greenspon and his team founded FlyersUp.com to do just that. “We’ve created a mobile bulletin board that spans online and in-person communities. Simplicity is the key, and we’ve made the upload process as easy as pinning up a flyer at a local food store. Once uploaded, we’ve developed online strategies to expose these flyers to relevant communities and support local conversation and action around their content. It’s a finer grained approach than mere broadcast syndication.” Sharing flyer content to reach the relevant local online community is indeed a key challenge. Flyer content may target too granular or esoteric an audience to warrant media consideration.
Yes, one can upload of a flyer to a Facebook group or syndicate across national portals like Oodle or Craigslist, but neither method distribute their message well through local media. We’re facilitating the presentation of flyers uploaded onto FlyersUp by creating pages under the Things to Do tabs in our cities, like Hawaii Breaking News