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There’s a Battle Outside, and it’s Ragin’

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Versus online campaigns, traditional print advertising remains a top contender


The times, they are a’changin’, in the world of advertising. But this is nothing new, is it? Over the past decade, the Internet has spawned a whole new cache of advertising options. Online opportunities have not replaced the traditional ones, however, as print advertising remains a beneficial choice.

A 2012 report by Forbes magazine contends that print remains a powerful component for any advertising campaign; even though this report is 4 years old, experts still believe this to be true, and it is expected to continue despite the growth of online advertising and marketing.

Online ads are a popular option, but print is still so vital. For starters, it provides a sense of legitimacy and credibility. Many customers still prefer a print advertisement, according to experts at MarketingSherpa earlier this year, and see it “as coming from a more credible company, everything else equal, than an online advertisement.” MarketingSherpa is a research firm powered by MECLABS Institute in Florida.

Fear of fakes

The Internet is inundated with sometimes fake banner ads and pop-ups, prompting a rampant fear of spam and viruses among website visitors. “Fake traffic schemes and the like” pose the risk of ad blocker software obstructing legitimate advertisements, as well, said Daniel Burstein, director of editorial content for MECLABS and MarketingSherpa. Such danger does not exist with print advertising.

Print also offers the element of permanence, and helps to solidify a company’s brand in the eyes of potential customers and clients. A physical copy of a magazine or newspaper can stick around indefinitely, removing any “out of sight, out of mind” concerns.

“Online ads can be fleeting,” Burstein said. “See something you like and accidentally leave the page? When you click back, that ad will likely be gone. So print becomes a great way to convey information that your potential customers can refer back to.”

Audience choice

A print publication can be more engaging for readers, inspiring consumers to spend more time viewing the ad and reading the material in print form than online. The average time a website visitor is spending on a given webpage peaks at around 2 minutes; many people tend to simply skim through content if they’re not looking for something specific, according to the Forbes report. In these instances, it is too easy for online ads to get lost in the shuffle.

More focused advertising is another “plus” for print campaigns. Ads online can reach to the far corners of the Earth; this is great for visibility, but it’s virtually impossible to know for sure that a target audience is even seeing that specific ad. The solution: take advantage of print options. Ads in print go directly to an audience that the advertiser has essentially chosen by selecting a specific magazine.

Print advertising is king, according to information from MediaBuyers LLC — it offers benefits that digital does not, such as tangibility, reputability and better branding. And when paired with digital campaigns, print becomes an even more powerful tool, as it can essentially bridge the gap between traditional and new age media. The longevity of print ads, in addition to high engagement rates with readers and higher ad recall, makes print an advertiser’s shelter from the battle for your advertising dollars.

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