Inbound Marketing & Big Media Advertising
Big media advertising is expensive and high risk
One of the traps that many start-ups have fallen into has been to set aside a budget for traditional media advertising. This budget can be drained quickly because it involves a fun element, which is creating commercials. But once the spots are run, pressure builds to see a return on investment. Television and radio spots are seen and heard by thousands of people, but most viewers and listeners still consider commercials to be an interruption.
Inbound Marketing vs. Traditional Media
Traditional media such as television, radio and newspapers still reach a huge audience. It’s still a way to deliver a message to the masses and hope that the numbers game will produce a return on investment. The cost of a radio spot depends on how big the station’s market is, but in major markets a sixty second spot can cost hundreds of dollars per minute. Even though television advertising is much more expensive than radio advertising, they both equate to seeing thousands of dollars spent quickly.Inbound marketing usually does not reach as many people as television or radio audiences, but connects more with the target market. While traditional media marketing relies on reaching as many people as possible to produce a single digit percentage of respondents, inbound marketing aims at building a more loyal following, instead of a general following. Reaching followers through blogs and social media has a more personalized feel than traditional media.
In the late 1990s one of the reasons there was a “dotcom bust” was that many new internet companies thought they could create markets for their brands through buying radio and television time. Many of these companies attracted funding that helped pay for the advertising, but they eventually collapsed due to having poor business models that did not have clear revenue streams.
The lesson of the dotcom implosion helped steer internet companies toward more concrete business models. The collapse of hundreds of companies served as a reminder that markets cannot be created so quickly just by spending a lot of money on exposure. Part of marketing that remains true is that you cannot build a brand overnight regardless of the medium.
In recent decades the number of newspapers and magazines have dwindled, but advertising rates have remained high. Ask yourself if advertising in a newspaper helps your cause in any way, knowing that most of your market gets its news online. Big ads – the expensive kind – work best in print, but the best deal when it comes to print is printing your own flyer and mass distributing it through various channels.
You can combine print with inbound marketing by offering printed materials to people who request them through your website. A big part of inbound marketing is offering free items that give people a chance to engage with your brand. You can use print to promote your website locally at stores that reflect your industry. Working with a printer is also helpful in getting your logo on various marketing items.
Avoiding Expensive Advertising
There’s a tendency for some business owners to blame sales declines on lack of advertising. But a business is much more than the product it advertises, which is why advertising does not always work. Mass advertising works when many factors have come together. Loyalty, brand awareness and reputation are just as important as the message being advertised.
It’s better to conserve resources and develop a business slowly than to try to jump start a business with expensive media advertising. By building a market with inbound marketing, a company can focus on developing a long term organic following.
Ian Conklin is the President of OTR Web Solutions a web development company building marketing websites since 2000 with offices in Canada, USA, Europe and South America.
OTR Web is a Certified Partner with HubSpot and Google.
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