Print vs. Digital: Which Is Best for Your Business?

As you’ve probably heard, we’re right in the thick of a digital marketing revolution. The vast majority of media in 2016 is consumed on a digital platform – whether via mobile, tablet or desktop devices – and new ways of reaching consumers are forged every day.

But is print really dying, or has its demise been exaggerated? The truth is, both platforms can be a boon for your business; it’s simply a matter of who you’re trying to reach and how you want to reach them.

The Case for Digital

Virtually unlimited reach. The beauty of social media, aside from that selfie you just posted, is that if your ad is engaging enough, it spreads: People can share it, retweet it, regram it and/or pin it. With print, you basically know how high your ceiling is. But with digital marketing, your ad has the potential to reach millions of people – literally overnight.

More versatility. Banner ads, embedded video, website skins, native advertising – digital marketing comes in many shapes and sizes. Depending on your objective (and your budget), you have the ability to engage consumers with rich, vibrant, clickable media in the way that best embodies your brand, increasing the likelihood of a website visit – and, ultimately, a sale.

Ever-growing audience. A new Cisco Systems study projects that, by 2020, 5.4 billion people will own a cell phone. That’s 70 percent of the world’s population and almost double the amount of people with running water (seriously). In other words, we’ve barely seen the tip of the digital iceberg.

“The truth is, both platforms can be a boon for your business; it’s simply a matter of who you’re trying to reach and how you want to reach them.”

The Case for Print

Not everyone is online – yet. Despite the overarching trend toward digital, the fact remains that older, more technology-averse groups still prefer print. The majority of people 65 and older read newspapers daily, and their overall readership remains print-centric (even if revenue is down). Magazines, meanwhile, have a higher ROI than any other channel. So if your target demographic isn’t toiling away on Facebook or Twitter all day, you’re better off putting your digital ad spend into more traditional platforms.

There’s something to be said for tangibility. Internet marketing is often seen as a distraction – even a nuisance that can have the reverse effect on a potential buyer. Print materials, on the other hand, can be far more inviting, with the potential to add an elegant, personal touch. By providing something tangible, something to hold onto – especially with direct mail, brochures and other on-site collateral materials – print forges an immediate connection with the consumer that digital ads just can’t replicate.

Still not sure which approach is best for your business? Give our team of experts a shout and we’ll devise a strategy that best fits your needs and budget.

Blog Author: Balcom Agency writer

Tags: Branding & Advertising, Media Planning & Buying

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