Traditional Advertising Strategies that Still Hold True in the Digital Age

Law at Deakin Uni - Tram Advertising

Law at Deakin Uni – Tram Advertising

The internet has revolutionized advertising in many ways. Never before has such a global audience been so easily accessible, and it’s easier than ever for small businesses to get their name out there through social media and website promotion.

Online advertising has risen 16 percent in 2013, and Google’s business department believes that 50 percent of all advertising will be online in the next 5 years. But it’s still a relatively small percentage of a company’s budget, and it’s had much less impact on the general state of company promotion than you might think.

Traditional Advertising

Traditional advertising is far from dead, and there’s no substitute for offline advertising such as billboards, television commercials, and print ads. What does that mean for small business? Simply, that you shouldn’t discount traditional advertising when you’re looking for ways to build your brand, because methods like these hold up best of all.

brashCreative Advertising Club at The Art Institute of Portland

brashCreative Advertising Club at The Art Institute of Portland

1. Freebies

Handing out promotional items is a tried and true way of generating buzz about your business, and if you’re willing to put the time and money into creating these products, the results you see will be well worth it.

Pencils, stationary, stickers, and other small items with your business logo on them will increase your yearly revenue and skyrocket brand awareness.

You can hand them out at a trade show, college campus, or business convention, or you could also combine them with other methods of offline advertising.

Door-to-door promotion works much better when the pitch is accompanied with a free gift. And customer appreciation days always yield great results when people who walk into your store or place of business can walk out with free items. If these items include bumper stickers, decals, pins, or t-shirts, there’s a huge chance for exposure.

2. Outdoor Banners

Fuzzy's Yellow 15' advertising flag

If you can afford to rent a billboard, it’s naturally one of the most effective ways to advertise your business. But billboard can cost hundreds of dollars a month, and eye-catching, professional outdoor banners can give you the same effect for much less money.

If you can develop a precise, brightly-colored logo with the most pertinent information about your business, you can set up banners in high-traffic areas that will capture the attention of drivers.

In order to run a successful banner campaign, you need to have the right artwork and message for your banners. But if they’re durable and easily rolled up, you can use them in many different locations, including street corners, trade shows, and special events. Billboard may be bigger, but they’re much less portable.

3. Car Magnets

Have you seen those vehicles driving around with a business advertised on the side? Those are car magnets, a cheap and effective way of turning your car into a moving advertisement. Car magnets are different from banners in that you can usually fit a lot more information onto them, and anyone who is stopped next to you in traffic can easily find a phone number and address printed for them to see.

Like banners, keeping the message simple will increase visibility. Remember, even though this is offline advertising, all a customer has to do is see your company name and they can Google for more information. A colorful, high-quality sign is much more helpful when it comes to attracting customers. Before you order your car magnets, make sure to measure your car and get the right size for it to be noticed.

4. Radio

2009 07 05 - 7171 - Barnegat Light - Advertising Airplane

Barnegat Light – Advertising Airplane

It’s easy to assume most people stream music or listen to their iPod these days, but you might be surprised how popular radio still remains.

The research group Arbitron recently showed that 93 percent of Americans tune into broadcast radio at least once a week, so investing money in a radio ad is actually a wise advertising strategy.

Even if you can’t afford primetime ads, many people listen to the radio when they’re on the road late at night. Developing a clear, concise, and memorable pitch for the airwaves might take some time, but this is one traditional advertising method that hasn’t gone away, and it’s guaranteed to increase the amount of traffic coming through your door.

The ideal advertising strategy is a mix of offline and online methods which will reach all kinds of consumers across many different mediums. The goal with advertising is to build word of mouth, and sometimes that’s easier to do when a customer has seen, heard, or interacted with your business slogan, not just clicked on a computer screen.

Online ads might be slowly taken over, but it’s doubtful that they can ever really replace the human side of running a company.

Amy Chandler is a blogger for , one of the UK’s leading providers of banners, vehicle graphics and posters. Follow her on Twitter @DBPamy.