Making the choice between traditional and digital media probably isn’t as easy as it sounds.
Digital media and traditional media are two sides of a very different coin.
Traditional media refers to mediums that are part of our culture for over half a century. These forms include television, radio, print advertisements, and billboards. The most expensive form of marketing – television ads – have the power to reach broad and targeted audiences, depending on the reach of the channels selected. Radio is another medium that can broadly target audiences. Print advertisements such as those in newspapers and magazines, and billboard ads continue to be used to attract large groups of people at once.
Digital media refers to audio, video, and image content that has been encoded. Encoding content involves converting audio and video input into digital media formats. Typically, this includes social networking sites, website advertisements, blogs, vlogs, and podcasts. While blogs, vlogs and podcasts are relatively new to the field of media, social networking sites and internet ads have been dominating for several years.
TRADITIONAL MEDIA OR DIGITAL MEDIA?
The question arises now as to which is better for business?
The form of media that you choose to use for marketing and advertising is a decision that is critical to business growth. This decision is largely affected by the following factors:
Budget: If you’re a well-established company or simply have more than enough money to use on marketing and advertising efforts, traditional media and digital media can both be used together. However, if you’re just starting out and do not have a huge budget, digital marketing through social media and display ads is likely to be the most realistic option. Your approach can include:
- Email marketing
- Social media marketing (SMM)
- Content marketing (including blogging)
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Targeted marketing: If your marketing efforts need to be particularly targeted, a prerequisite to making your decision would be to segment your target market. This segmentation could be done in several ways:
- Age groups: People under 50 years of age, and particularly those under the age of 35, can be reached best through digital media. However, if you wish to reach out to the working population, you could also use traditional media.
- Interests: Targeting consumers by their interests is a time-honored method of conducting a marketing campaign.
- Income level: When targeting consumers by income level, using a mix of old and new media approaches is a good way to reach the desired demographic.
- Geographical location: Both digital media advertisements and traditional media advertisements provide the potential for localizing ads. With digital media, you can reach out to local influencers and bloggers, as well as target social media ads geographically. Traditional media sources in some cases are by naturally geographically targeted. Thus, a mixed approach can be utilized.
- Interactivity: If your marketing campaign can benefit from interaction with your audience, digital media is typically suited in this respect. Making use of webinars, podcasts, and live streaming interviews or Q&A sessions could be the way to go.
As time and technology have advanced, marketing has slowly become a cross-media, multi-platform activity. Digital marketing techniques can be enhanced when combined with traditional media. Similarly, traditional media campaigns like print, TV and radio are often run today with supporting digital elements.
Customers, or potential customers, in this day and age, are scattered and continuously float between the virtual and the real world. Therefore, being present at both junctions and interacting with consumers are the best ways to ensure sustained and massive business growth.