Social media has become a revolutionary component of the average individual’s daily life. This reality continues to challenge the once dominant traditional media. Although traditional media is still hailed as the most valuable form of advertising, this barrier may very well be broken by social media. In what follows, we will explore the top 5 differences between the two.
Social Media Marketing vs Traditional Marketing
Cost: Traditional media such as television can be quite costly. The average price for a 30 second time-slot during a local news broadcast is upwards 1200$. For smaller firms, this may be an investment that holds a high amount of risk. That is why larger organizations are able to invest in this form of advertising. They are able to allocate large amounts of capital to these forms of media with minimal risk. In terms of social media, the most valued platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, are all completely free to establish a public profile. Facebook has low cost advertising which offers the opportunity to distribute advertisements to a desired segment.
Evaluation Metrics: Traditional media fails to provide accurate methods of evaluating the success and performance of any marketing effort. For example, the Nielsen company, who is responsible for the majority of prime time television ratings, accumulates this information by geographical assumptions. In contrast, firms who advertise online are offered actual, data-driven insights on how well their marketing efforts have panned out. Google offers highly informative programs for advertisers to collect and analyze the performance of any online advertisement.
Reach: Social networks have a highly active and highly responsive community. Facebook has over 890 million daily users. This leaves organizations with a very high potential to reach a specific target market. Traditional medias are generally exposed to a very broad audience, which results in irrelevant ads being served and lower ROI. On the other hand, social media offers a method for advertisers to accurately target relevant audiences, which results in the right message being delivered to the right person at the right stage in the sales funnel.
Engagement: Unlike traditional media, social media offers customers a means of direct communication with the brand. They can interact directly with representatives of the firm or with other customers who act as brand advocates. Not only does this type of engagement help create a buzz, but it also helps the company gain insights into what they are doing right and what they can improve upon.
Ease of Implementation: Traditional media has the burden of allocating, organizing and executing highly complex tasks. To do this effectively, traditional media requires not only a generous budget, but also significant time and employee expertise as well. The reality is that the consumption of information is evolving in a direction that is not congruent to this manner of content product. Consumers now more than ever, want to enjoy a highly dynamic environment where information is always at their fingertips.
We are able to see that traditional media has its own advantages. However, this type of marketing spending isn’t recommended for firms of all sizes. On the other hand, social media is a solution that can and should be employed by all firms due to its highly effective and highly simple nature. Keeping in mind that traditional media still has a very valid place in today’s marketing field, it is important to find a balance that is suited between the two depending on your business goals.
At concept9, we always adopt a holistic view that encompasses all aspects of the digital marketing spectrum. We have experience in helping Fortune 500 clients find the right mix of traditional and social media marketing, then combine these tactics with search engine marketing and search engine optimization to draw relevant traffic and increase revenues. To find out how this can apply to you, contact us today.