There was a time not too long ago – even twenty years ago or less – that the internet didn’t have anywhere near as much power as it has now. As far as advertising was concerned, newspapers, magazines, mail marketing, door to door sales, and billboards were extremely successful in terms of promotion to consumers. These things still exist today, but the world wide web has so much authority over what we consume and don’t, that most people become visually aware of products through social media. Is there even a point in taking out a newspaper ad anymore?
The Pros and Cons of Print Advertisements
Back in the day, newspapers and magazines were commonly read. Even after the introduction of television, people would buy their local paper and read it in the mornings before work, which was great for the community and local businesses. Nowadays , people still read the paper, albeit less than they used to.
Just because newspaper isn’t as popular as it used to be doesn’t mean that it isn’t a successful form of advertising. However, it’s more commonly used by middle aged fold than younger generations.That said, if your product is for young people, the local paper may not be good for you. A magazine would be better, most likely – but often, a magazine ad costs an egregious amount of money for the one issue it will run in. Door to door might be nice, but it’s often annoying. Billboards are great for awareness, but again, how much money do you want to spend?
The least amount of risk goes into mail marketing – getting ads in the mail that are more or less similar to postcards advertising your product. It gets to people’s doors, and while it’s more or less spam, it puts the brand in their head. Often time, coupons are sent with it to give people more reason to go to the store in question.
Social Media: Free Advertisement
Social Media definitely embraces the younger generation more so than the older, but based on similar research, I would also be willing to bet more middle aged plus people are on social media than young people read the newspaper. Using the internet you undoubtedly have farther reach than any newspaper can get you, and at a certain point you might surpass magazine reach if you build up a strong following.
Of course, there’s more to it than meets the eye – there are ways to write a great status, tweet, and the like and ways to not. The best part about social media advertising is the fact that it’s free. It’s like a website that people are already spending time on – they just need to find your page. On Facebook you can still boost your reach by paying money. You can engage people on Twitter like I do all the time, and yet there’s even more options for Instagram and other social media places.
E-mail List Marketing
I used to get a lot of “update” spam in my inbox – companies telling me about their new product, business plan, changes to software, and more. I don’t know how effective this is, as I started a new e-mail address to get away from it. However, my personal experience doesn’t seem to be the normal one. And to my discredit, there were a few I remember reading from musicians I was actually interested in – and some of them, then DIY musicians, are huge now. Dan Oshinsky at Buzzfeed, a recognized marketing professional, still considers e-mail to be a crucial tool “for any publisher or marketer.”
In general however, I don’t think you should bombard people’s personal accounts with everyday things such as “see our new product!” and “you haven’t logged in for a while, is that okay?”
Also, it’s a desperate and lame thing to make someone sign up for an e-mail list when they buy your product or make an account. Give them the option, but don’t make it mandatory. Be a respectable company, not a manipulative one.
Really, at the end of the day, print media doesn’t seem to be as necessary as it used to be. I would argue that things like magazines – which people still buy from time to time – are somewhat valuable for promoting your brand, but you may want to have a following and a good amount of income coming in before starting such an endeavor.
You don’t need to spend tons of money on print media, because online marketing is easier and cheaper. Print media in this age should be used when necessary, but otherwise you’re probably fine just doing things for free or online.
Am I wrong? Tell me on Twitter.