Paid digital media offers brands and organizations an affordable way to target and reach intended audiences. It is especially effective as part of an integrated marketing strategy.
As people have gravitated to online sources of information, it makes sense to follow them with advertising. But the advantages of paid digital media go far beyond tracking after eyeballs.
TV and newspaper ads reach “mass” audiences. They offer some ability to target an intended audience – buying ads in specific TV shows or sections of the newspaper. Paid digital media offers a greater range of targeting, including customized messages for groups of individuals aimed at the digital media and platforms where they pay attention.
Television advertising has an impact because it is visual. Digital media is also at its best visual. A key difference is the wider range of visual possibilities that work on digital media. Most TV ads try to appeal to a wide audience. Paid digital media can be designed to appeal to a narrow audience. If you wanted to advertise industrial land or available facilities to rent, you could produce visual tools showing off what’s available and direct those tools to industrial or commercial brokers. A restaurant could announce a special holiday menu via its Facebook page with a discount offered to loyal patrons who “like” the page.
The cost and lead time to produce and place a TV spot don’t allow a great deal of flexibility, especially compared to paid digital media that can be placed relatively quickly and affordably. Nimbleness permits an advertiser to engage in trial and error placements with less cost exposure than a full-blown TV ad campaign. Digital media provides solid analytics to guide modifications to the message and/or the channel.
Paid digital media has the advantage of being portable. A coupon can be embedded in an ad and used at the point of sale, much like coupons printed or inserted in newspapers. Because the digital media ad is targeted, users don’t have to file through a stack of inserts or leaf through the newspaper itself.
Smart marketers recognize the advantages of paid digital and social media advertising. They also appreciate that an integrated marketing plan can achieve even more. Traditional media advertising can play a valuable role in raising the visibility of digital media opportunities by driving viewers to websites or other digital platforms. Earned media and content marketing strategies are also useful in building awareness and creating interest in opportunities accessed through digital media.
The simple truth is that consumers, businesses and anyone paying attention to media are bombarded with information and messages. It is easy to be overwhelmed, tune out and miss something of interest and value. Encircling your audience with impressions launched from different directions, which is essentially the point of integrated marketing approaches, offers a higher level of confidence you can have at least one and hopefully more touch points with the people you want to reach. You don’t need to put all your eggs in one marketing basket despite digital’s clear advantages.
A key to success on digital media is finding the right staff or marketing partner that can provide quality advice, good insight on content, up-to-date knowledge on paid digital media placement and demonstrable skill in using analytics to inform decision-making.
Scorning digital media or brushing it off as only valuable to connect with Millennials is unwise and, frankly, untrue. Most people have become digital creatures. And for increasing numbers of people, there main lifeline to the outside world is online.