4 Ways to Integrate Traditional and Digital Advertising

Traditional advertising gets a lot of hate these days. Countless marketers have declared that traditional advertising is dead or dying, with digital advertising being far more modern and cost-effective.

However, this is a narrow viewpoint that prevents you from taking traditional advertising to its greatest modern potential—by using it in conjunction with your digital marketing techniques.

The Illusory Division of Traditional and Digital

Most of the negativity about traditional ads comes from a fundamentally flawed view of its place in the modern marketing world. Namely, there’s a persistent idea that digital and traditional advertising are two completely separate realms, like oil and water, incapable of being mixed together. In reality, they are two sides of the same coin, each driven by the intention to engage with customers and potential customers in some way, at some point in the buying cycle.

If they both serve a similar function, and both remain effective in their respective areas, why not incorporate both, working in unison, to maximize your potential returns?

How to Bring Traditional and Digital Advertising Together

It’s easy to talk about blending traditional and digital advertising tactics in the general sense, but let’s take a look at some of the specific ways you can do this:

  1. Use traditional ads to guide users to online locations. One of the simplest and most approachable techniques, this one has you using traditional, physical forms of advertising to drive more traffic to a digital location. For example, you might use branded site signs to advertise your organization, and use an Instagram handle or URL for your website to get people online. This is especially effective if you use these signs in an area with heavy foot traffic, where users can pull up your digital material on a smartphone.
  2. Use digital marketing campaigns that require in-person participation. This is an inexpensive way to get your digital followers and fans into your physical location. As an example, you might host a social media photo contest where the winner receives a gift certificate; the catch is that to get the gift certificate, they have to come into your store. This level of in-person participation adds depth to your digital campaign.
  3. Add a digital interactive element to your physical business. Taking the reverse angle, you can incorporate more digital interactive elements to your physical location. For example, you might feature QR codes on your most popular products in-store, giving your customers the chance to see more details, order online, or compare prices to your competitors (if you’re confident you have the best price in the area).
  4. Bring events to the digital (and social) world. This is another way to keep your customers engaged digitally, even when they’re attending an in-person event. For example, let’s say you’re hosting a line-up of speakers for an event celebrating entrepreneurship. You could use a hashtag to mark the event and encourage attendees to post their favorite quotes or moments on their individual social feeds.

There are countless examples of brands who have already taken advantage of the power of traditional and digital ads working in unison. They’re much easier to integrate than you might initially imagine, so why not at least give it a shot? You’re already using one or the other, so incorporating its complement shouldn’t disrupt your existing efforts—instead, it’s a cost-efficient new outlet to gain more from your existing campaign.


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July 1, 2016 4 Ways to Integrate Traditional and Digital Advertising