As a business in today’s world you’re probably thinking, “How can I get recognition by the most people efficiently?” Finding effective ways to advertise products and services is one of the most difficult challenges small businesses face. Online and print advertising are two common forms of promotion, each of which has advantages and disadvantages.
Reaching Your Target:
One of the biggest differences between online advertising and print advertising is the efficiency in which you can reach your target audience. A single website or can potentially reach customers anywhere in the world. The circulation of newspapers and magazines and the logistics of sending direct mailings to customers limits the number of consumers that print advertisements can reach. This means online advertising can potentially reach more customers in more places and allow small companies to do business far outside their local area. You can only hand out business cards to so many people.
Defining Your Target Audience:
Small businesses often operate in certain markets that reach specific types of customers or consumers located in specific areas. Print advertisements are useful for targeting ads to localized areas. For example, a company that operates in a small town could advertise in a local newspaper or other local publication to reach customers that are actually in its vicinity. Websites such as social networks track user locations and other personal information, which can allow businesses to make targeted online advertisements.
Advertisements must connect with customers and convince them to buy your product or service. Internet users often spend a few seconds or less on a Web page before browsing elsewhere, which can make it difficult for an advertisement to catch their attention. In addition, Web users can install ad-blocking software to prevent ads from appearing on websites. Readers may spend several minutes reading each page of a newspaper or magazine, which gives advertisements more time to connect with customers and influence decisions. That being said, an effective Call to Action can not only keep customers on your website, but direct them exactly where you want them. You can lead your audience directly to the sale in a way that is comfortable and easy for them, whereas with a printed advertisement the customer has to work to contact you or make a next step prior to completing a purchase.
Online advertisers allow businesses to set spending limits on ads, which lets small businesses spend precisely according to their budget. For example, a self-employed photographer could choose to buy $50 worth of online advertisements a month. Print advertisements can be expensive — a single print ad in a local newspaper and or magazine can cost more than $100. However, a single print ad can reach hundreds of customers, while online advertisers often charge clients for each ad click. Although print ads are more costly per advertisement, they can be equally cost-effective in terms of how many sales they bring in per dollar spent. Again, that being said, with one website you can reach countless customers in any area all over the world, rather than just a local town where your newspaper ad is listed.
In terms of efficiency, I believe anyone will get more bang for their buck with online advertising over print advertising any day. Not only is it easier to reach more potential customers, but you can track traffic and such so easily with Google Analytics. This makes changing or updating your marketing strategy easier with the information you’re finding out with the provided statistics. Not to mention, it’s a lot easier to update an ad on a website than to redesign, reprint and re-distribute all those printed ads!
As far as tracking traffic and marketing strategy goes, MDWebPro’s Inbound Advisor can do this with ease! If you’ve got some free time, try it out. You might be surprised by how much you can grow your traffic!