Can Traditional Advertising Still Be Effective for Your Business?

Is traditional advertising dead? Read on to find out whether traditional advertising can still be effective for your business.

Small business marketing strategies are constantly evolving, especially as technology evolves. Traditional advertising strategies that worked 20, 10, or even 5 years ago may no longer be applicable in today’s markets. That’s why you should regularly evaluate your small business marketing strategies.

Where Traditional Advertising Stands Today

Traditional advertising consists of tried-and-true methods, including newspaper and magazine print ads, radio spots, television commercials, billboards, and even direct mail sales letters. However, the point of an advertising strategy is to reach a targeted consumer, and these mediums have lost their luster.

Newspaper readership is at an all-time low, with readership at levels from 40 years ago. In fact, the total number of newspapers in the country has steadily dropped the last 60 years, from a total of 1,848 in 1940 to a 2008 low of 1,408 newspapers. Cable television has spread out target demographics, making it more difficult to reach your audience. And billboard advertising has become so expensive only the biggest corporations can afford it.

Mixing Traditional with Modern Strategies

But despite the negative news, there are still ways that traditional advertising can work for your small business. The key is to integrate your forms of advertising and find a marketing mix that works for your business.

So many people are now using the internet to find out more about businesses, and having an internet website for your business is crucial to your overall marketing strategy. For instance, what do you get at the end of most TV and radio commercials? A direction to a website. Billboards are the same. Yellow pages? Yes, a website link. For your small business marketing strategies to work, you need to have an internet presence that integrates with all forms of advertising.

Here are a few strategies you can use for your traditional advertising efforts:

  • Use cable TV resources – Most cable television providers have many resources available to help advertisers prepare an ad. Read the guidelines. Note quality and format requirements. These will help flesh out your television advertising strategy to get the most benefit.

  • Hire a professional writer – Don’t write your own ads. Use a professional copywriter. Many radio stations offer ad writing as part of their advertising package. If you use print ads, use an experienced copywriter to compose your sales copy.

  • It’s all about the headline – Whether you write your ads or hire a writer, your headline is the most important element of any ad. A headline must be catchy, interesting, and offer the benefit to the reader/listener/observer right away. Your headline will be the deciding factor to whether the target audience will be responsive to the rest of the body of the ad. Deliver breaking news or facts. Deliver a promise. Intrigue consumers with “how to” headlines. Your headline will be the key that makes or breaks your entire ad.

Traditional advertising is not dead, but its importance has dwindled considerably over the last 10 to 20 years. Consider your traditional advertising sources carefully, and with the right strategy and target consumer, your small business marketing strategies can be successful.

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