Digital vs. Print Advertising: More Bang for Your $

Digital and print advertising are waging a generational war on each other. Okay, that may be a bit of a hyperbole, but in the marketing world, it’s quite true. The reality is that businesses are unsure where to spend their marketing budget these days. For older business owners, it’s hard to break from the status-quo. Ditching billboards, newspapers, and magazines for a tiny glowing screen in the palm of people’s hands is a daunting decision to make. So why should most businesses be shifting marketing spending towards digital and away from print? The answers are all here, folks.

  1. Digital marketing wastes ZERO money.

Think about this: with print advertising, you have to pay a large, flat fee. Who knows what you will get from it? That billboard off the highway may not even be looked at, let alone inspire action. With digital marketing, you can spend exactly what you want to the dollar and know precisely what you will be getting.

Let’s say you want to reach locals with a $500 budget. With $500 on Instagram, Google, or Facebook, you may be able to reach an entire small town. And, you know that they will scroll past your educational and creative content on a social media, and most likely pay it some attention. With print, there is no guarantee that $500 will get you anything let alone the attention of your target market. Why pay a flat fee to shout a phone number at people when you can spend the exact amount you want and capture the attention of everyone within a 5-mile radius?

  1. The digital world is where revenue and purchases are made.

You have probably heard this statistic, but for every $1 spent on Google Ads, business make an average of $2 in revenue. Meanwhile, individuals and businesses are moving in droves to Instagram and some of the biggest marketing success stories have been found on Facebook.

Instagram has said that over 80% of users follow at least one business. This means that users are increasingly looking to social media for purchase decisions, partly because around 70% of all digital time is spent on mobile devices perusing social media. Tapping into this shift in consumer approach is key to increasing revenue and utilizing an ever-growing market platform.

Meanwhile, on Facebook, businesses have been given the opportunity to get increasingly specific with ad targeting. Companies like Denny’s and organizations such as the Oakland Raiders have seen 15% higher reach and a 19X return on ad spend respectively by adding Facebook to their advertising budget. And that, my friends, is because Denny’s and Facebook are able to advertise deals, sales, and promotions directly to locations with a Denny’s franchise and Facebook users who are fans of the Raiders. Advertising becomes streamlined, bringing in more revenue per $1, and social users are confronted with advertising that plays to their tastes while on a digital platform where they are spending more and more time.

With your 2019 brain, consider the simplest of examples, while keeping in mind that is evidence is entirely anecdotal. Think of a team you root for. Now, compare these two situations. One: you are driving down the freeway and catch a glimpse of a billboard driving by at around 60 mph. The billboard shows players from your favorite team sporting holiday gear. It advertises a holiday sale that you can take advantage of by visiting their website. Two: It’s November. You scroll through Instagram and see professionally taken photos of your favorite athletes in new fan gear, attached to a funny video of your favorite player buying gear on sale at a department store. Which advertising method would you be more likely to engage with, learn more about, and take action on? Digital or print? I would guess that 90% of answers to this question would be digital, with the only print answers being non-users of social media.

If you’re a business, it’s time to make the switch – if not completely, then partially. Of course, print advertising can be beneficial in local markets, but even in the local advertising niche, increasingly nuanced social media advertising tools have allowed digital marketing to compete and win. If your marketing department is stagnating, allocating more $ in the budget to digital advertising may stimulate growth.