Print VS Online: Where should invest my advertising budget?

Print VS Online: Where should invest my advertising budget?

When it comes to promoting your business, there are a huge and almost unlimited range of options. However two of the most popular and well know of there are print advertising (such as flyers, business cards, catalogs, letterheads) and online advertising (websites, landing pages, social media sites like Facebook and Twitter). But which is the most effective and where are your advertising dollars best invested for a maximum return? Unfortunately there is no single answer to this question. Every business is different, and so are their advertising needs. However below are some pros and cons for different mediums which can educate you and help you narrow down the possibilities to what is most suitable for your business.

Online Advertising: Websites

These online versions of your business are becoming and more and more popular. In fact, research shows that more businesses are now online that not. There are many options when it comes to websites ranging from build it yourself options to hiring a group of professionals to create something very tailored and effective for your business. When it comes to a website, you get what you pay for. The more time, effort and budget you invest, the better return you will receive.

Pros: Great exposure (world wide) if you put in the time to draw your audience to your site

Cons: Can be expensive and time consuming to put together

Price (including domain, a template and hosting): $200 – $50,000+

Things to think about:

  • Get a good design – impressing your viewers quickly is crucial as they will decide whether to stay or move on within 3 seconds of your site appearing
  • Make sure your site legible and quickly conveys your message
  • Lots of content will help you rank better in Google
  • High quality photography can help keep your readers interested

Print Advertising: Business Cards

Business cards are a great tool for getting work from your local community. They help you to network in a professional well and if designed well, can result in a lot of work a referrals. They are compact and easy to pass from friend to friend, and can help lead traffic to other forms of advertising you might have such as a website or facebook/twitter page.

Pros: They are cheap and quick to make up for your business

Cons: You have to be in close contact with the person they are given to, so can only reach a small audience

Price (including design and printing): $50 – $500

Things to think about:

  • Make sure they are readable
  • Don’t put on too much information
  • Make sure they are well designed and interesting to look at
  • Invest in good printing. Your advertise to look good, and cutting costs here can destroy your professional image

Online Advertising: Social Media

Social media is one of the most affordable and can be one of the most effective forms of advertising. It allows you to easily connect with your audience in a personal and social way, but best of all its free! All you have to invest is your time.

Pros: Free, simple and easy to maintain.

Cons: You get back what you put in, so if you are a busy person and unable to stay on top of your site, your page will become lost.

Price: Free!

Things to think about:

  • The design of your page – going that extra mile to design nice backgrounds and banners can really make a difference
  • Being engaging and social – talk to your audience in a normal way. Its set up so you don’t have to do your elevator pitch, the sales will come because people simply like you and your brand.
  • Advertise. Facebook advertising is very affordable and you can easily target it to your genre and area.

Print Advertising: Catalogs

Catalogues are a time proven solution to getting your product out there, however if you are quite an expensive option. There are multiple ways to distribute a catalog, including via a magazine or newspaper, or a letterbox drop. If you are interested in getting a catalogue completed, things you have to factor into your budget are design, rounds of revisions of the design, final print set up, printing and distribution. That said though, they are a great tool for getting large amounts of product to your target audience.

Pros: Your audience receives a hard copy version which they can look through as much as they like.

Cons: This can be expensive depending on the scale you want to attempt.

Price: $5000 +

Things to think about:

  • Make sure you catalog is design well and easy to read
  • Make price points easy to locate
  • Used good photography
  • Make sure the viewer is clear about how to access your services/product by the time they have read the catalog

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