Online vs. Traditional Marketing: Which One is Better for Your Small Business?
Running a small business can be tough. It’s an experience that’s both exhilarating and nerve-racking, especially if you’re just starting out. Throw tight budgets into the mix, and it can be a challenge determining which resources to invest in and which to push to the side.
Despite marketing being a big factor in driving business success, many young entrepreneurs are intimidated by it. This is because the process can be expensive and time-consuming, and it needs consistent awareness and the right channels to develop a brand properly.
Without effective marketing, it’s near impossible for your target audience to engage with your business and understand everything you have to offer. There are multiple ways to get the information out there, but which one is best for you – online or traditional marketing?
With digital and content marketing taking the business world by storm, some of us are left feeling like traditional mediums are dead. But they’re not. Digital printing is still very much alive, it’s simply how you use it. Both channels achieve the same goal, just via different paths. Stuck on deciding what style of communication will work best for your business needs? Read on!
Online Marketing Drives Big Results
Online marketing is constantly evolving. Every year, new trends emerge with the best ways to attract an audience and convert them into big bucks. It’s marketing that shouldn’t be a new concept for small businesses and one that certainly should not be ignored. Through online blogs, cleverly-crafted websites, interactive videos and social media platforms you have the power to reach a wide audience and measure its success through comprehensive real-time data.
It’s a one-on-one engagement with your customers. Dynamic content and smart marketing strategies that are personalised to their needs and interests are what drives it. And it doesn’t have to cost you a fortune either. Online marketing has multiple benefits for boosting business results, here’s a few:
- Cost-Effective: It’s the big one we all want to hear! Online marketing IS very cost-effective. Be prepared to make some investments though, which can range in the $ department depending on what your goals are. On the lower end of the scale, paying for online advertising through social media platforms is necessary for many marketing campaigns. The higher end of the scale sees other vital investments like Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) which focuses on optimising your website to increase natural rankings in the search engine results (SERPs). This encourages more customers to click through to your site.
- Data Driven: See the results of your marketing efforts through Google Analytics, social media insights and other comprehensive tools. Data is always in real-time which enables you to see how your business is doing online and adopt any changes quickly to boost results.
- Audience Interaction: Through content marketing and social media networks, interaction with your audience is easy and encouraged. Online marketing prompts clients, prospects and followers to take action and learn more about your brand.
- Brand Development: A visually appealing website that is well optimised and maintained drives your brand further. Same with personalised email marketing and social media Use relevant and engaging content to add value and generate opportunities and check out these web design tips here.
- Viral Power: Post likes on social media and share buttons on your website gives quality content viral power.
Tell vs. Give
Online and content marketing is effective because it gives your brand a voice through published materials tailored to your demographic. But traditional marketing shines through its ability to give them something tangible to hold onto. It’s a physical reminder of your brand that can be kept and utilised long term. This materialistic engagement stimulates more of the senses and can be more memorable for many consumers.
Why Traditional Marketing is Still Effective
There’s a big debate about whether print is dead is not. Whilst measurement is much more difficult in traditional marketing, it still holds a valuable place in today’s marketing strategies.
From a marketing perspective, traditional mediums like newspaper advertising aren’t as effective as they once were. Hard copy marketing materials, such as business cards, brochures, take home presentation folders, corporate branded gifts, stationery and posters still have a positive impact. Believe it or not, letter drops are still effective too. Flyers and menu drops (perfect for restaurants) is an inexpensive and effective way to encourage your audience to find out more about your brand.
Physical materials can be more ‘real’ to the brain too. They also provide a fantastic resource for corporate meetings, seminars and events. Other benefits include:
- Branding: Solidifies your brand’s identity and builds vital brand recognition. Maintain consistency through fonts, colours and images to allow your audience to better identify with who you are and what you do.
- Design Driven: Quality, relevant and eye-catching designs grab and hold your attention. Your branding should still hold without and interaction of technology, and stand strong even when videos and moving images are eliminated.
- Credibility: All brands should be more than a website. Business cards and professionally printed materials fuel the online personalities created for your brand. These can trigger emotional responses to the person holding it. The basics – a logo and a well-designed business card show clients you’re committed to your brand too.
- Reemerging: Because of its tangibility, print has the power to resurface. Printed materials can be kept around the house or office, stuck to the fridge or filed away for future reference.
Both print and online marketing hold a valuable place in today’s small businesses. Good marketing is about attracting more clients and building a strong and recognisable brand. And both mediums, when utilised effectively, can get you there successfully. Too many marketers leave traditional mediums like print out, but it’s a cleverly balanced split between the two that maximises customer reach with minimal expenditure. Part of this investment is embracing traditional medium like print, and realising what it can do to boost your online campaigns.