Since you clicked this article, we probably don’t have to tell you the importance of digital marketing in this day and age. But if you weren’t born and raised in the internet era, it can all feel overwhelming. The technological challenges, rapidly changing social media landscape, and the time it takes to wrap your mind around everything... Luckily we have good news. Traditional marketing isn’t dead, and digital marketing doesn’t have to be difficult. Let’s explore the sweet spot between both worlds.
Let’s clarify this before we start: traditional marketing by no means lost its importance in the marketing landscape. In fact there are still a few unmistakable assets to it which digital marketing simply doesn’t offer.
The value of traditional marketing
When your target audience aren’t avid internet users, you’ll probably benefit more from spending resources on advertising through the traditional channels such as broadcasting, print and billboards. But even people who are born in the digital age are still reachable through the old school methods, and even they are susceptible to their charm.
We all get spooked sometimes by how creepily accurate online ads can be. You Google a baby clothing brand for your niece one day, and the next thing you know you’re getting flooded by baby brand ads on every webpage you visit. Not to mention the ads on social media that show us things we didn’t even Google, but only talked about with a friend.
Besides that, the amount of ads you pass while scrolling through any social media feed is mind boggling and quite frankly, annoying sometimes. So it’s no surprise that digital ads can feel like a breach of our privacy one day, and a pain in the (pardon our French) ass the other.
Traditional ads pop up in our daily lives, they are just there, which is way less intrusive. They pass us by on the side of a taxi while we’re arriving at the train station, or speak to us from the morning radio in our car. And this feeling - that they’re just there, existing - isn’t merely a feeling. It’s because unlike digital ads, they are not targeted directly to us based on our personal data, and they usually don’t allow for direct access to whatever it is they are selling us. We can experience them, sometimes enjoy them, and maybe even remember them afterwards.
Digital ads on the other hand can feel intrusive as they’re tailored to our needs and invite us to engage: we can like them, we can open them, we can read and like comments, ask questions to the brand, and even directly buy the product with just a single tap of our finger. This is of course also what makes them so effective. All we’re saying is that as with everything in life, the coin has two sides. The scary relevancy of digital ads is a blessing and a curse, and the same applies to the simplicity of traditional ads.
Another downside, and that’s why you’re here: from a marketer’s perspective, digital marketing can feel a tad challenging. There’s something to be said about the simplicity, the stability and the straightforwardness of traditional advertisements. However, there are a few undeniable benefits of digital marketing. And as much as we agree with the fact that a combination of both is to be preferred in some cases, in others, digital marketing has proven itself to be the absolute star of the game. And those challenges? We can help you with those. Let’s take a look.
Digital advertising vs. traditional advertising
1. Unlike traditional ads, the performance of digital ads is easily and accurately measurable.
This is probably the biggest asset of digital ads. Thanks to the accurate analysis of their performance, we have proof of what works and what doesn’t, which allows us to spend our money more wisely. We boost what works, we change what doesn’t. Because unlike traditional ads, digital ads can be updated in the blink of an eye. This first, major asset makes digital ads more affordable, more adaptable and more effective than traditional ads.
2. Unlike traditional ads, digital ads can be targeted to very specific audiences.
As we said before this can sometimes feel a little intrusive from a consumer’s point of view, but it surely helps us a lot as marketers. No longer do we have to hope that the billboard we spent an embarrassingly large amount of money on will inspire the right people to do business with us. Social media allows us to show ads to the people who are most likely to interact with our brand, to show interest in our product or service, and to engage with others who are potential customers for us as well. When you think of how ingenious this is, it’s almost like the wildest dreams of every marketer in history have come to live with social media. You’d be silly not to make use of this immense opportunity.
3. Traditional marketing is not changing as quickly and offers more stability.
The digital marketing landscape, let’s be honest, is changing like the Belgian weather. For many years Facebook was the place to be, yet one day everyone seemed to have left it as if it were a sinking ship. Or at least, most young people did (although it’s still the biggest social media platform out there right now). People moved over to Instagram, and then TikTok made its entrance. You can’t seem to trust that one year from now, your effort to learn the ins and outs of one platform will have been worth it. Not to mention the fact that every platform gets updated constantly, and you have to keep up with those changes or your ads get disapproved, your content doesn’t get as many views, or your analytics no longer work. How can you do all of this and still have time for all the other things that your job requires? The answer is: you don’t have to. That’s where we come in.
4. Unlike traditional ads, digital advertising offers more engagement with the audience
Traditional ads are communicating one way. That’s what we mentioned before: they’re just there. Digital marketing allows for the customers to interact with us and with each other, which builds a community, gives us the opportunity to get immediate feedback on what we put out there, and it creates social proof which builds trust. When you see a poster showing you a product on the street, no one is there to tell you they bought it before, how many other brands they tried, and how this specific one turned out to be the best. However online this is exactly what you’ll find, and social proof like this influences buyer’s choices every single second.
5. Digital marketing can be technologically challenging
Whereas old school methods are more simple and straightforward and you could just speak to a publisher to handle everything for you, digital advertising requires some technological skills, as your company will have its own accounts that need to be managed. The good news is that if you want to learn these skills, we are here to coach you. It’s actually quite fun and doesn’t have to be overwhelming at all, as long as you have someone to turn to with your questions.
6. Digital advertising can be time consuming
Let’s face it, you don’t get away with posting once in a blue moon when talking about social media. Unlike print advertising, you don’t just put something out there, and there’s that. As mentioned before, social media marketing allows for engagement, which is great for your brand. But engagement means someone (spoiler: you) has to sit on the other end and interact. Meaning you have to spend time and resources on it. Moderating online communities, replying to questions, liking comments, sharing user generated content, posting regularly, you name it. Want to hear some more great news though? We can help you with this as well. We help you schedule your content so you don’t have to spend your time planning and posting stuff on social media. That’s right. Woah, Willow, what else do you do for me? We’ll tell you. We also offer inspiration on what to post. We know what works, and we’ll share our secrets. So you’ll have more time for other stuff.
Did we give you back a little spark of hope? We hope we did. Believe us, as frustrating and challenging online marketing can get sometimes, it’s definitely worth it. We’ll help you!