Why Choose Digital Advertising vs. Traditional Advertising?

By now, most people know that there are many advantages to digital advertising vs. traditional advertising. It isn’t that traditional media isn’t useful – it still has its advantages. But in today’s world, online advertising has an overwhelming amount of benefits. 

digital advertising vs. traditional advertisingWhat Is Considered Traditional Advertising?


Traditional advertising refers to the conventional methods and practices of promoting products, services, or brands through offline media channels. These methods have been used for many decades, before the rise of digital marketing. Some examples of traditional advertising include:

  • Print Advertising: This includes advertisements in newspapers, magazines, brochures, flyers, and other printed materials.
  • Television Advertising
  • Radio Advertising
  • Outdoor Advertising: Billboards, transit advertisements (on buses and subways), posters, and signs are forms of outdoor advertising.
  • Direct Mail: Includes delivered promotional materials, such as postcards, catalogs, or letters, directly to mailboxes.
  • Event Sponsorship: Businesses can sponsor events, such as sports games, concerts, or community gatherings, and have their brand prominently featured in exchange for financial support.
  • Yellow Pages

Traditional advertising has its strengths, such as broad reach, creating brand recognition, and a tangible presence in the physical world. 


What Is Considered Digital Advertising?

Digital advertising, also known as online advertising, refers to the practice of promoting products, services, or brands on the internet using various digital channels and platforms. There are many forms of digital advertising and your options continue to grow as the digital world expands. Some examples of online advertising include:

  • Display Advertising: Display ads are visual advertisements that appear on websites, apps, or social media platforms. They can take the form of banners, images, videos, or interactive multimedia ads.
  • Search Advertising: Search ads appear in the search engine results when users search for the keywords targeted.
  • Shopping Advertising: Ads featuring products sold online.
  • Social Media Advertising
  • Video Advertising: Usually found on sites like YouTube and Vimeo.
  • Over-the-top (OTT) Advertising: Advertising found on streaming TV services like Hulu, Plex, and streaming cable services.
  • Programmatic Advertising: Programmatic advertising uses automated systems and algorithms to buy and place ads in real-time. It optimizes ad placements based on data and user behavior.
  • Sponsored Content: Sponsored content involves paying publishers or influencers to create and promote content that subtly promotes a product or service within the content.


Ten Advantages of Digital Advertising Vs. Traditional Advertising

Let’s break down the top 10 advantages of digital advertising when compared to traditional advertising:

1. Cost Control

You get to set how much you want to spend. But if you change your mind, you can decrease or increase that number almost any time. There are rarely minimum spend levels, whereas traditional advertising will have minimums that could start in the thousands.

2. Incredible Targeting

With traditional advertising, there is a lot of wasted spend. You are reaching a wide audience and if you have a niche product or service that isn’t for everyone, only a fraction of that audience is a potential customer.

With online advertising, your options are almost limitless with targeting. You can target things like buying behaviors, age and gender demographics, life events, job types, situational demographics, and social and personal preferences.


3. Global Reach

Almost instantly, you can reach people around the world, instead of just in your city or region, as with most traditional advertising.


4. Measure ROI

This might be the biggest advantage. With traditional advertising, you are only able to guess the impact of the advertising. With online advertising, and with proper tracking set up, you can know the impact of your ads. You can even know which types of ads or mediums are bringing in the best results. For eCommerce retailers, you can track down to the revenue that is made from online advertising.


5. Instant Results

This one is true, but a little tricky. With the right setup and the right management of online advertising, you can start seeing results almost immediately in most cases. Proper setup and management is key though to seeing those results.

With traditional advertising, you sometimes have to wait for the publication to print, or to get scheduled on the TV placement calendar.


6. Interactivity

When you get people interested in your brand with digital ads, their immediate response is to click on the ad. This interactivity then leads to your website (or wherever you’d like to send them) where they continue to interact with your brand and get to know the products and services, as well as make immediate contact with your or complete forms. This provides many more touchpoints with your brand than traditional advertising can ever offer.


7. A/B Testing

In general, you only get one ad with traditional advertising at a time. Test out variations of colors, messages, images and more with digital advertising to see what drives more traffic and has better engagement.


8. Real-time Tracking and Intelligence

With the right tracking setup, you will be able to see in real-time how people are interacting with your ads and website. This data leads to being able to make changes to your website or ads that will help improve your conversion rates.


9. Flexibility

There is flexibility to start and stop ads, change ads, change landing pages, change budgets and more with digital advertising.


10. Cost Effective

Depending on the ad type, platform, and targeting, some ads can be bought for incredibly low prices. With the ability to cut out wasted spend and only target your buying persona, even more expensive digital ads end up costing less per ideal customer reached.


If you haven’t tried out digital advertising yet, but have considered that traditional advertising may not be as effective, now is a great time to get started so you can see the advantages of digital advertising vs. traditional advertising firsthand. Many of your competitors have likely been doing online advertising for a while, so there is really no time to delay in gaining traction in your industry. 

Need help deciding how to get started? Let’s chat.

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