THE VALIDITY OF PRINT ADVERTISING/TRADITIONAL MEDIA
In the modern computer era, we’re constantly bombarded by new features and improvements with digital targeting, which can easily lead down a path of over-targeting and extra strict delivery rules. These digital features can be invaluable, but that’s not to say that print advertising has lost its value. There are a few key ways that print can be helpful, let’s take a look at them!
One of the best things about digital advertising is that it’s open to the whole world. However, that also means that it’s fairly easy for your ads to serve an audience that won’t be interested in your product or service. Since print publications mainly rely on some kind of subscription, you know people are interested in the subject matter that’s being distributed. When you pick a relevant publication, you’re not only preventing wasted views but it’s also safe to assume that people are consistently spending time consuming the content around your ads. Especially for brick and mortar businesses, your target audience might be as simple as locals, and since print readers generally stay consistent and in a smaller radius, your business will have more chances to stick in people’s heads. Keep in mind that some messages might do better in certain publications, but overall it’s a straightforward way to ensure that your money isn’t going down the drain.
Print is trackable! Now I don’t mean in the same way that digital is, but there are absolutely ways to track the effectiveness of your print ads. One simple way is to use a phone number specific to the print placement. You could tie a number to a newspaper advertisement, another for a magazine, and a third for direct mail. Another great option would be to utilize QR codes, so people can just scan and go. Each code could have its own UTM link, which you could then drill down results to the campaign, medium and source. If that sounds overwhelming, try offering a discount code unique to the placement! Not only are discount codes simple to track, but studies show that around 67% of people will make an unplanned purchase if a discount is offered. These options are just my preferred methods but there are other ways out there to make sure you’re able to analyze and identify your print audience.
Experts suggest that all advertising is more effective when coupled with an emotional response, and print is more likely to get one because it encompasses more than just your visual sense. With print publications, especially your classic newspaper, there’s multiple textures in the product, from the different grains and finishes of paper and the texture from the mostly-dried ink. It’s a full experience that engages your senses and creates a distinct feeling. With digital, readers are mostly scanning and trying to spot key words, which doesn’t have the same emotional effect. This can sometimes lead to shorter time on page and high bounce rates, which definitely isn’t beneficial for digital advertisers.
Statistically, print is perceived with a higher credibility.The combination of fake online advertising, annoying popups, and less strict guidelines cause lots of people to be wary of the things they see online. And I agree, it is smart practice to be wary because most sites don’t have an effective way to verify or authenticate the validity of each and every ad or advertiser. Whereas with print, it’s a manual process from beginning to end. Generally you’ll have multiple sets of eyes on the print publication before distribution, and each person in this process is another chance to weed out the sketchy ones. Also print ads for the most part require one person reaching out to another directly on the publication’s team, so there’s not really even the opportunity to be placed in the first place.
Digital ads are great, and when utilized properly they can definitely make a huge difference in building your consumer base, but to write off print ads altogether, just because they’re not as popular as they were when that was the only source, would be silly. This type of advertising is truly time tested and definitely holds value.