Digital Media vs Traditional? Which is the Best for My Business?

Media magnifies your marketing message, allowing you to tell people about your excellent products and services.

Traditional media such as television, radio and print ads in newspapers and magazines have long been the primary outlet for advertising campaigns, but added to this now are digital channels like email and social media, that have increased the opportunities for companies, big and small, to connect and spread your message.

With so much choice, what is the best mix for your next campaign? The best type of media for your marketing goals will depend on your ideal target audience, budget, and products or services you are promoting. We look at the options.

Traditional Media


This can be an expensive option in prime time spots, but your ad can still reach broad audiences, mainly if your campaign also includes placement within the network’s on-demand site. With a smaller marketing budget, it’s worth looking for advertising opportunities on specialised channels, such as those focused on sport, outdoor activities or cooking. These channels have smaller viewer numbers but allow marketers opportunities to target a niche audience.

Sponsoring popular TV shows can be a highly effective option in combination with an ad campaign. TV advertising also requires a production budget in addition to purchasing the actual media time. These can include creative fees, film company costs, talent fees for actors.


Radio is portable. You can reach people while they drive, work or walk the dog. Keep your message short and sweet so that you’re ‘on the go’ audience knows what the offer is and how to get in touch. Production costs may be relatively inexpensive. Most radio stations will create the ad for you. 

As with all advertising, strong creative will always give you better cut through and memorability, so while it may be low cost, it still has to be good at getting your message across and building your brand preference. Your campaign proposal is likely to be a bundle of stations with some spots in prime time and others in lower listening times. Negotiate your campaign package for maximum frequency in prime time.

Print Ads (newspapers and magazines)

For print advertising, readership is your best guide. Many publications will advertise circulation figures, but this may not equate to readership if they are a free local tabloid. Surveyed readership figures may be quite a bit less. Printed media can give you a short exposure, but you may reach a more engaged audience in this media, especially if they are sitting down to read with a coffee cup. 

Newspapers and magazines are also often seen as credible or trusted sources. There may be publications that perform well in your industry that are best suited to your products and services. If the magazine or newspaper has an online edition, your ad will reach a broader audience here.

Billboard Ads

Billboard ads provide broad access to customers in a specific geographical area. The location of the site can be powerful, and your performance will depend on your creative. Keep it simple and, if possible entertaining or clever. Billboard advertising costs include the monthly site rental, creative artwork (which may consist of talent fees), and the billboard’ skin’ production.

Flyers / Letterbox drop

This can be a great way to put your brand in the hands of your customer. As with any marketing activity, the key is to make sure your message is compelling and makes them want to act, or you may end up in recycling. 

You don’t have to offer a huge discount, but it’s worth including a short time offer that drives store visits or enquiry. A physical coupon that you collect from customers can be a good idea to help gauge your return on investment too.

Digital Marketing

A small budget is no longer an insurmountable barrier when it comes to marketing. Digital marketing has given small businesses more tools to reach their audience with much smaller budgets. Social media or email marketing campaigns can be created for little or no cost if you put in some time. Adding a bit of budget can boost your message to specific target groups.

Video Hosting sites

Television is not the only method for disseminating filmed advertisements. Now your video can be shared on YouTube, Vimeo and other video hosting sites. Even if you create an ad for TV, it is important to post it here too. If your creative is engaging, you get the power of online sharing and the ‘viral’ effect. 

Platforms like YouTube are all about user-generated content. There are no middlemen to pay. You own your channel and pay directly for any promotion of your campaign. If you are using content created by someone else, make sure you have the usage rights or a creative commons license.

Video is powerful, whether on TV or online. In video, you can ‘show’ rather than ‘tell’ and capture imaginations.

Website and Search Engine Optimisation

Every business needs a website, but this shouldn’t be a static brochure for your company. SEO strategies are used to help improve your website’s ranking on search engine results pages in a sustainable way to attract more visitors to your site over time. 

SEO can involve various techniques, including keywords, links, metadata and making your website attractive to visitors, easy to navigate and rich in useful content. A website that offers visitors valuable information can be an effective marketing tool that more than repays the investment involved in creating it. Having got the best advice on SEO techniques, almost anyone in your organisation can then apply them.

VIVID TIP: Adding informative and valuable content to your website to educate visitors is a great strategy. With Vivid Media (Pvt) Ltd, you get access to professionally written content that you can also use on your website.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) or Search Marketing

This is the process of using paid advertising to promote your website and increase its ranking on the search engine results page (SERP). SEM also includes banners and ads which appear to people while they search the internet. 

The advantage SEM offers you the ability to target a specified consumer group more precisely than traditional advertising methods. And like all digital marketing, you get much better reporting and tracking on your campaign performance. You can look at the visitor numbers to your site and from where and click-throughs, enquiries and where they went next.

Display Advertising

Display or Banner ads usually include a headline, text and web address, and a graphic, video, or sound. They are not limited to the search engine results pages. They can appear while searching other sites across the internet but still related to the searcher’s query. 

These ads can be targeted to audiences based on location, demographics and interests. Google display ads appear on websites within the Google Display network, including news sites, Gmail, YouTube, and blogs. When someone clicks on your display ad, they land on your website, so it’s essential to make sure that the page they arrive on delivers on the ad’s promise.

Email Marketing

Email can deliver a return on investment that is among the highest of all digital marketing activities. Part of the reason for this is that it is delivered directly to your customer – but you will need a good database of contacts. Your contact list can be built organically through consumer opt-in methods, and you can offer something in return, such as handy guides or e-books. 

The cost of sending emails is low – But make sure your content is useful and compelling for recipients. Your content needs to serve both your business goals and your customers’ needs.

Social Media

Your customers are there, and you should be too. Social media channels help you reach new and diverse audiences. Through sites like FacebookLinkedInTwitter and Instagram, you can build a relationship with fans and followers. The trick is to show your brand personality here. So be yourself when you post comments, images, long-form opinion and video.

Unlike your website, communication is two-way. Make sure you respond to comments and ask for engagement on things like surveys and competitions. If your posts strike a chord with your audience, they will like it, share it with their friends, and you get even greater reach.

Social Media Marketing

You can use social media platforms to target custom audiences and push your message out well beyond your immediate fans and followers. Social media is undoubtedly a powerful tool for marketing because of the mass appeal of platforms like Facebook and Instagram. 

Advertising helps you cut through the noise and promote your message above others. There are lots of options to build your campaign target audience. In Facebook, these include things like location, age, gender, job title and interests. While there are costs involved, you can set your maximum budget and easily track what works and how many people you will reach. Your paid social media marketing should be supported with organic methods, too, for the best results.

VIVID TIP: Vivid Media (Pvt) Ltd also comes with Facebook and Instagram advertising services so you can target and send ads to your targeted audiences. 

Traditional Media or Digital Media?

Digital Media vs Traditional? Which is the Best for My Business? Vivid Media Zimbabwe solutions

The type of media you choose to use for your marketing campaign depends upon your objectives and the audience you are trying to reach.

Marketing is now frequently a cross-media and multi-platform enterprise. Digital marketing techniques can be enhanced when combined with old media. Likewise, traditional media campaigns like print, TV and radio should be shared and supported on your social media platforms. 

Your target market is unlikely to consume only one type of media, so make sure you are using the best tools out there to broaden your reach, grow your business and achieve your goals.

Categories: Creative, Featured, TechnologyTags: , , , Published On: February 22nd, 2021
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