By now, most advertisers know digital advertising is probably the most cost effective way to advertise. But the challenge of going from traditional media to digital can be difficult. This article talks about some of the differences between traditional and digital and how you can make the break from traditional to a total digital advertising strategy.

Cost alone is not enough to determine what medium can perform the best. The next  important factor is audience quality or the  percentage of people you reach who would ever buy your product or service. To better illustrate this, let’s look at a hypothetical example comparing traditional media to Cost Per Click (CPC) or Pay Per Click (PPC).

Pay Per Click Advertising

Say you have a moving company and want to increase business by advertising to people who are planning to move in the next month. According to the US Census, about 12% of the population moves each year. That would be about 1% of the population each month. Of those people, about half would hire a moving company.

With traditional media, you do not have the ability to target only people planning to move. So for the most part, you would be paying to reach everyone in the audience while only half of one percent may be looking for your service.

With PPC, you can focus your advertising to appear only in front of people looking for a moving company. Then you only pay for the number of people that actually see your ad and click on it. This enables you to only pay to reach people interested in your offer. Plus you can use the data to continuously improve your ad campaign performance.

Now that you saw a hypothetical about reaching people looking for a service they need now, what about building brands, or awareness to people who may want your product or service sometime in the future?

Let’s say you sell furniture and your strategy is to build top of mind awareness to grow your market share. The objective is to get your brand or products in front of as many people as you can as often as possible. The cheapest ways to do this using traditional media is with billboards at around $4.00 per thousand people reached.  However, online banner ads average around $2.50 per 1,000 impressions. But there is one huge difference. With billboards, you have little ability to target your audience. But you can run banner ads to appear only in front of people who fit the profile of a furniture buyer. So not only is online banner advertising cheaper on a cost-per-thousand basis, it is far more efficient because a higher percentage of potential furniture buyers are reached.

Social Media

There is nothing in the traditional media world that compares to social media. Social media is the electronic version of word of mouth. You’ve probably heard advertisers say “my best advertising is word-of-mouth.”

We focus on Facebook for most of our clients because it is by far the dominant social media platform with the ability to target people by geography, lifestyle, gender, age, favorite products, favorite TV shows, music, and much more. Plus you can build a fan base of people who know, and like your business, and push your advertising out virally through them, creating the effect of word of mouth on steroids.

Email Marketing

The traditional medium that compares to email marketing is direct mail. Everyone knows direct mail can be very effective because of its ability to target and deliver a lot of information. But at average rates of $500 to $1000 per thousand or more, it can be prohibitively expensive for many small businesses. Plus with traditional direct mail, you never know how many people actually got the mail, or how many looked at it. But with email you can see exactly how many people got your mail and opened it by name. You can also see how interested each subscriber is in your mailings. If you have links that take people to other places on the internet or back to your website, you can also see where they clicked, so you know what their interest is.

How To Make The Break

To make the break from traditional to digital, first you should have a well organized website. If your site is optimized for search engines, (SEO) that helps.  But SEO is not as important, especailly to smaller businesses as many in the advertising industry would like you to think. You can learn more about SEO here.  Then use Google Adwords to replace expensive media such as newspapers, Radio, TV or billboards to reach just the right audience to drive business in, and build top of mind awareness. Use Facebook to keep your name in front of your best prospective customers and to boost promotions.  Facebook is also a great tool to attract new potential customer and gather emails. Email marketing is also a better way to keep your name in front of your best potential customers and promote to them.

If you are finding it harder and harder to keep paying the price of traditional media advertising while seeing less and less response, we have a proven digital advertising media mix program that consistently outperforms tradition media. Visit us here to learn more about how you can dramatically cut your advertising cost while improving your results.


2. Average of cpm paid from a survey of our customers.


4. Based on Mailchimp rates of no charge for mailing to under 2,000 addresses. 2,000 to 5,000 address would be $50.00.