For many small business owners, advertising is limited to a restricted number of avenues. Cheap pricing and the potential for exponential sharing almost automatically throws social media/online marketing into the forefront. Begging the question; in an increasingly digital world, is print advertising still worth the investment? Some evidence suggests it is.
Print Advertising Breakdown
Advertising in Newspapers
It’s no secret that on many levels, newspapers are failing. Readership undeniably consists of an older generation and most papers tend to trend exclusively through online divisions. That being said, few publications resonate with a tight-knit community more than the local paper. Many small businesses invested in a hyper-niche area (targeting the right demographic) could benefit greatly from a local ad. Newspapers carry with them a certain level of credibility that, when tapped, could serve as an ally for those looking to develop a local reputation on the cheap.
Promoting Through Magazines
Magazines are a different form of print in the fact that they are independent from societies standards, and therefore more free to embrace and adapt towards technology (see augmented reality). Many have embraced magazines as a niche-source and statistics show that readership is as strong as ever reporting that 82% of the U.S. population reads one or more magazines a month. Although pricing can steepen compared to other forms of print (depending on the publication) a magazine ad could bring a lot of value to the table in the form of a dedicated niche audience, an established online reputation, and an enhanced visual dimension to the ad itself.
Social Media Myth
Many business owners think of social media as a three-in-one package (advertising/marketing/PR). While technically this may be the case, the simple truth is that it is extremely difficult to build a large social following without an outside source pushing traffic towards one’s page. This is traditionally where a paid for, third-party ad would come into play.
Perhaps social media best suffices purely as a marketing tool (targeting demographics/like interests/lead generation). After all, if one believes in the Pareto Principle (more commonly known as the 80/20 rule) then one would see the importance of increasing their overall audience to consistently add towards the 20 group. It is extremely difficult to do this through social media alone, as a large chunk of content will recycle through “followed” users (who are already participating in sales). Of course many business owners combat this by throwing parties, hosting events, posting flyers etc. But there is an equally large group out there who are just too focused on their work to tack on that much extra organization. Instead of spending the money and investing in a third party promotional group, they are eating up hours of time online spinning their wheels, living month-to-month with patterns of small scale growth.