In the digital age, we sometimes forget marketing methods of the past. In the battle between social media and traditional marketing, there isn’t one that’s necessarily better for your business. Most companies find a balance and integrate traditional and social media to maximize exposure and opportunities.
In order to identify which method fits your marketing objectives, we must define what each entails. Traditional methods of marketing commonly involve advertising through print, trade shows, direct mail, radio, and TV. Social media marketing on the other hand is an online marketing method that focuses on gaining traffic or awareness through social media networks.
Let’s examine the benefits of both traditional and social marketing for businesses:
Advantages of Social Media Marketing:
With social media, businesses can receive a great deal of exposure. In fact, according to the Social Media Examiner 2013 Industry Report, 89% of respondents said that social media marketing has generated more business exposure than any other medium. It’s much easier to increase brand exposure on social networks because of its accessibility and integrative marketing process.
Social has the benefit of empowering businesses to build an online community through tagging, hashtag, and search features. On social media, you can easily identify relevant partnerships, social influencers, and competitors.
Conversion ratios tend to be higher on social media because users can track and monitor social activity on each network. The primary benefit of this is that brands can detect what works well and what they need to improve in regards to their social media strategy and execution.
Advantages of Traditional Marketing:
Television broadcasting is not dead. While there has been a significant drop since the rise of the Internet age, a Nielsen 2013 report estimates 115.6 million Americans still own a television set. Despite the boom of social media and online marketing, TV is still an important traditional marketing method companies should consider advertising on. Advertising efforts on TV or radio has the benefit of reaching a mass audience, and while it may be costly, some industries can really benefit from TV and/or radio ads.
Social conversation certainly has its advantages, but nothing can really compare to face-to-face experiences. Humans still long for that personal connection where we can read expressions and mannerisms, especially when it comes to business matters. Further, word of mouth is still highly effective, particularly for small businesses.
If you have the marketing budget and know your customers, traditional methods such as billboards, TV, radio, trade shows, and newspapers can bolster your activity and efforts. Traditional media works best when you understand your customer and marketing strategy, and you’re realistic about your marketing spend.
Need more tips on social media vs. traditional marketing? Check out this infographic created by Kuhcoon.