Digital Advertising vs. Traditional Advertising
When small to midsize businesses start out with marketing, they sometimes get stuck on the right type of advertising to use. Should they focus on traditional marketing channels like radio, print and TV media buys or go all-in on digital advertising? While there are benefits to either type of advertising, most businesses now start with digital channels.

The Rise of Digital Advertising

Traditional marketing can be an effective way to reach consumers, but it typically takes the company more time and money. Digital advertising is instantaneous and cheaper than other types of marketing channels. It also gives companies access to better technology for their ads to increase the chances of people actually seeing them.

It’s also important to note that consumers are consuming less traditional media each day. This means that they’re looking for content on social media, blogs, celebrity gossip sites, video games and many other digital destinations before they tune into TV or read a newspaper. This means advertisers must follow the consumer online in order to capture their attention.

What Digital Advertising Channels Are Best?

From Facebook to YouTube to placing ads directly in front of searchers using Google, there are many advertising opportunities available. And the good news about any of these marketing channels is the flexibility with budget. Even small businesses with a $300 / month advertising budget can get started running ads to very refined audiences. Advertisers have the option to scale their budget and advertise to a wider audience in a relatively simple manner.

Set Goals

It’s important to identify the goal of your digital advertising campaign first. If your goal is to increase awareness or get more leads, you’ll want to advertise on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Make sure that you’re tracking conversions on these digital ads so that you can see what type of return on investment (ROI) you’re getting from each channel.

If your goal is to drive traffic directly to a new product landing page or website, then search engines like Google are the best channels. You can place targeted keywords in both organic and paid searches with options for small text ads at the top of results pages. If you need help understanding what your goals should be, consider hiring a digital marketing specialist.

Tracking Performance of Digital Ads

As with any marketing campaign, it’s important to track the performance of digital ad campaigns. Thankfully, tools like Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics make it easy for advertisers to understand how their ads perform. Real-time tracking and analytics make it easy for a business to adjust its strategy too. Instead of waiting to see how a billboard or other outdoor campaign performs, advertisers can review the data right away and make changes.

The Case for Traditional Advertising

As everyone is online, there are many ways to get the word out about your product or service through digital ads. And while this may sound great at first glance, you might also be spending more money on marketing than necessary by neglecting traditional methods like radio and print ads which can still generate a lot of traffic for your company. Opting for traditional mediums will get you top of mind for your customers and allow you to advertise to a large audience. While it may not lead to a direct conversion for you, you’ll spread the awareness of your brand, products or services.


All in all, it seems that starting off with digital channels will pay dividends down the line because they offer quick access to audiences who love technology. However, you shouldn’t completely ignore traditional advertising as part of your marketing mix. Depending on your product or service and the area you serve, you may uncover a great number of customers through traditional ads.


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