Traditional vs Digital Media? Which Should I Use in My Business?

Media magnifies your marketing message, allowing you to tell your relevant audience about your amazing products and services.

Traditional media such as television, radio and print ads in newspapers and magazines have long been the primary outlet for advertising campaigns, but added to this now are digital channels like email and social media, that have increased the opportunities for companies, big and small, to connect and spread the word.

With so much choice, which is the best mix for your next campaign? The best type of media for your marketing goals will depend on your ideal target audience, your budget and the products or services you are promoting. We look at the options.

Traditional Media

Television

This can be an expensive option in prime time spots but your ad can still reach broad audiences, particularly if your campaign also includes placement within the network’s on-demand site. With a smaller marketing budget it’s worth looking for advertising opportunities on specialised channels, such as those focused on sport, outdoor activities or cooking. These channels have smaller viewer numbers but allow marketers opportunities to target a niche audience.
Sponsoring popular TV shows can be highly effective option, in combination with an ad campaign. Researchers at Thinkbox found that when the brand personality and show had a good fit it made the brand appear as more successful.

TV advertising also requires a production budget in addition to purchasing the actual media time. These can include:

  • Creative Fees
  • Film company costs
  • Talent fees for actors. Even with old ads, you’ll need to check your talent fees are covered or renegotiate them.

car radio

Radio

Radio is portable. You can reach people while they drive, work or walk the dog. Keep your message short and sweet so that your ‘on the go’ audience knows what the offer is and how to get in touch. Production costs may be relatively inexpensive. In fact most radio stations will create the ad for you. As with all advertising, strong creative will always give you better cut through and memorability so while it may be low cost, it still has to be good at getting your message across and building your brand preference. Consider ‘The Mad Butcher' who voices his own adverts but is now so recognisable that the brand is top of mind for meat. Your campaign proposal is likely to be a bundle of stations with some spots in prime time and others in lower listening times. Negotiate your campaign package for maximum frequency in prime time.

Print Ads (newspapers and magazines)

For print advertising, readership is your best guide. Many publications will advertise circulation figures but if they are a free local tabloid, this may not equate to readership. Surveyed readership figures may be quite a bit less. Printed media can give you a short exposure but in this media, you may reaching a more engaged audience – especially if they are sitting down to read with a cup of coffee. Newspapers and magazines are also often seen as credible or trusted sources and there may be publications that perform well in your industry that are best suited to your products and services. If the magazine or newspaper has an online edition your ad will reach a broader audience here.

Billboard Ads

Billboard ads provide broad access to consumers in a specific geographical area. The location of the site can be powerful and your performance will depend on your creative. Keep it simple and if possible entertaining or clever. Costs for Billboard advertising include the monthly site rental, creative artwork (which may include talent fees) and production of the billboard ‘skin'.

Flyers / Letterbox drop

This can be a great way to put your brand in the hands of your customer. As with any marketing activity, the key is to make sure your message is compelling and makes them want to act, or you may end up in recycling. You don’t have to offer a huge discount but it’s worth including a short time offer that drives store visits or enquiry. A physical coupon that you collect from customers can be a good idea to help gauge your return on investment too.

Small business social media

Digital Marketing

A small budget is no longer an insurmountable impediment when it comes to marketing. Digital marketing has given small businesses more tools to reach their audience with a much smaller budgets. Social media or email marketing campaigns can be created for little or no cost, if you put in some time. Adding a bit of budget can boost your message to specific target groups.

Video Hosting sites

Television is not the only method for disseminating filmed advertisements. Now your video can be shared on YouTube, Vimeo and other video hosting sites. Even if you create an ad for TV, it is important to post here too. If your creative is engaging you get the power of online sharing and the ‘viral’ effect. Platforms like YouTube are all about user generated content, There are no middle men to pay. You own your channel and pay direct for any promotion of your campaign. If you are using content created by someone else make sure you have the usage rights or it has a creative commons license.

Website and Search Engine Optimisation

Every business needs a website but this shouldn’t be a static brochure for your business. SEO strategies are used to help improve your website’s ranking on search engine results pages in a sustainable way in order to attract more visitors to your site over time. SEO can involve a variety of techniques including the use of key words, links, metadata and making your website attractive to visitors, easy to navigate and rich in useful content. A website that offers visitors valuable information can be an effective marketing tool that more than repays the investment involved in creating it. Having got the best advice on SEO techniques, almost anyone in your organisation can then apply them.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) or Search Marketing

This is the process of using paid advertising to promote your website and increase its ranking on the search engine results page (SERP). SEM also includes banners and ads which appear to people while they search the internet. The advantage SEM offers, is your ability to target a specified consumer segment or group in a more precise manner than traditional advertising methods. And like all digital marketing you get much better reporting and tracking on your campaign performance. You can look at the visitor numbers to your site and from where as well as click throughs, enquiries and where they went next.

Display Advertising

Display or Banner ads usually include a headline, text and your web address and in addition a graphic, video or sound. They are not limited to the search engine results pages. They can appear while you search other sites across the internet, but still related to the searcher's query. These ads can be targeted to audiences based on location, demographics and interests. Google display ads appear on websites within the Google Display network which includes, news sites, Gmail, YouTube and blogs. When someone clicks on your display ad they land on your website so it’s important to make sure that the page they arrive on delivers on the promise of the ad.

Email Marketing

Email can deliver a return on investment that is among the highest of all digital marketing activities and part of the reason for this is that it is delivered directly to your customer – but you will need a good database of interested consumers. Your database can be improved by building a list organically through consumer opt-in methods and you can offer something in return such as handy guides or e-books. The cost of sending emails is low – however if you are not writing content yourself you will need to commission a writer or if you are using BOMA with a XeroHQ login you can access a library of content to get your started. BOMA also gives you access to a free image library.

Social Media

Your customers and prospects are there and you should be too. Social media channels help you reach new and different audiences. Through sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram you can build a relationship with fans and followers. The trick is to show your brand personality here. So be yourself when you post comments, images, long form opinion and video.
Unlike your website, the communication is two-way. Make sure you respond to comments and ask for engagement on things like surveys and competitions. If you posts strike a cord with your audience, they will like it, share it with their friends and you get even greater reach.

Social Media Marketing

You can use social media platforms to target custom audiences and push your message out well beyond your immediate fans and followers. Social media is certainly a powerful tool for marketing because of the mass appeal of platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Advertising helps you cut through the noise and promote your message above others. There are lots of options to build your campaign target audience. In Facebook these include things like location, age, gender, job title and interests. While there are costs involved you can set your maximum budget and easily track what works and how many people you will reach. Your paid social media marketing should be supported with organic methods too for best results.

comparing traditional media vs digital

Traditional Media or Digital Media?

The type of media you choose to use for your marketing campaign depends upon your objectives and the audience you are trying to reach.

Marketing is now frequently a cross-media and multi-platform enterprise. Digital marketing techniques can be enhanced when combined with old media and likewise traditional media campaigns like print, TV and radio should be shared and supported on your social media platforms. Your target market is unlikely to consume only one type of media so make sure you are using the best tools out there to broaden your reach, grow your business and achieve your goals.