With all of the ongoing attention being given to "sexy" new marketing and advertising techniques (think Vine and Snapchat,) it can be easy to forget the benefits of tried and true media. So-called "traditional" advertising platforms like TV, radio and billboards still play a huge part in the success of many businesses.
While online advertising should definitely remain a core part of your advertising goals, you'd be wise to take a look at the benefits of going old school. Here are just a few of the reasons that traditional advertising is far from dead.
Your demographic might not be "up to speed"
If you are marketing to an older or more rural demographic, you may have trouble gaining traction from online-only marketing methods. Even in countries like the United States, your demographic has likely not achieved anywhere near full engagement with the Internet.
According to a recent survey conducted by the US Census Bureau, almost 40% of non-metropolitan households don't have access to high speed internet. In fact, about 25% on non-metro homes report not even owning a computer. That certainly makes it difficult to capture such computer non-users with online ads.
Even those who do actively use the Internet (either by accessing at a local library or simply relying on their slower in-home connection) are likely to go online only for simple or pre-planned activities, like checking email or completing specific to-do's. These users are unlikely to spend enough time online to run into a banner ad or more nuanced social media promotions.
Traditional advertising adds weight
This is an especially important point for professionals who need gravitas such as doctors, lawyers and accountants. A prime example is a personal acquaintance of mine, Vegas-based lawyer Adam Kutner. He's positioned himself for success in the uber-competitive industry of personal injury law. In markets like his, billboards and TV spots are an absolute no-brainer. They lead to higher brand recognition, which can be the difference maker when up against countless competitors for online traffic. For this reason, offline content is still a very important part of running a strong online marketing campaign.
Offline ads can boost your online marketing efforts
If you are looking to create more leverage in your online marketing campaign, you can actually get it from an offline campaign! Much of the productive content that goes viral online comes from an offline source (think TV commercials posted to YouTube and shared via social media.) Offline ads can also gain more direct traffic to your online properties. In effect, they can become a boon for your SEO efforts by driving an increase in branded Google searches, leading them directly to you instead of a SERP full of competitors.
Once these offline users arrive on your site, you'll be able to take advantage of the same funnel you've already built for organic or referral visitors. Contrary to what you might think, offline ads like billboards are often viewed as less annoying than many online ads since they are a normal part of the offline experience.
Offline targeting can lead to better online results
Many of the television shows and radio programs that attract your target audience (some of which you might already be running offline ads on) will also have online content. You can and should set up a re-marketing campaign to "follow" your customers from the TV set to the online platform so that your content is viewed in correlation to the content of the TV and radio shows that you know your audience already likes. You can target these users on Facebook. You'll want to be careful not to oversaturate your audience, but this type of cross-channel targeting is a great way to grease the wheels of the offline to online transition.
Remember, the best marketing efforts target their audiences across a broad range of media, both online and off. Avoid the temptation to think that only the newest media are effective in terms of targeting your audience. You will be glad you did!