It amazes me that there are some business owners out there who still believe in paying for high-priced print advertisements, yet don’t see the value in creating a blog for their small business. Content marketing is the present and the future (for now). Whether you’re creating written content through a blog or e-newsletter, video-based content, or even simple audio-based content, it’s critical that you produce some sort of educational information for your target audience. Here are my top 4 reasons why you need to switch from traditional advertising strategies like developing print ads to more new marketing strategies like creating content.
Print Ads Run for a Month, Online Content Lives Forever
One of the biggest reasons for spending the time to develop a blog for your small business is the fact that the content you produce will live forever online. You create it once and 5 years from now someone may come across it and end up becoming a customer. Print ads usually run in the monthly flier/magazine and then they get tossed by readers. You spent time developing your ad and paid for the placement only to reap the benefits for one month. Even if you pay an agency like Catalyst Marketers to develop your blog articles, that content is yours and it lives forever. So even if the costs are the same or a little higher to create great online content, that content has the ability to educate readers and drive sales for years. Print ads are usually one and done. Where do you think you should be spending your time/money?
Print Ads Have Lost Effectiveness, Online Content is Thriving
Does this print ad entice you to buy Dunkin Donuts? For me, I breeze right by it when I see it in a newspaper that I’m reading. Even if I do take the time to read it, it doesn’t really entice me to go buy a smoothie. Does it entice you?
We have learned to ignore print ads, and many traditional forms of advertising for that matter. Now, if I’m new to an area and I’m looking for say, an organic cup of coffee, I’m probably going online to check out sites like Yelp or hit the blogs to find out if there are any great organic coffee shops in the local area. If I come across your blog where it explains where you purchase your organic coffee beans, how you make your coffee, what type of organic creams and sugars you use, then I’m probably going to swing by your store to try your product. Your blog has educated me on your process, as well as, organic coffee in general – an area I’m interested in. You have officially brought value to my life by providing me with great online content. Print ads simply cannot do that.
Print Ads Cannot Tell Your Story, Online Content Engages & Educates Customers
Print ads by nature are limited in the amount of space they offer you to tell your story. Guess what? The more room they have for you to put information into the ad, the more expensive the ad becomes. Most of the time, businesses can only include the most critical information: the offer, their tag line, and their address. That’s it, you’re done. No more space for you.
How do you expect to educate anyone about your business, your products and your services with such limited space? In today’s environment, consumers have an unlimited number of choices for almost anything you can imagine. The difference between purchasing one product over another is usually tied to some emotional reason. How can you evoke emotion from consumers through a print ad? You can’t.
Now, if you’re a salon and you produce “how to” videos for creating different hairstyles and target teenage girls, then you can really bring value to those girls lives. How often do young girls go over to their friends house to do each others hair? All the time. How about for big school dances, girls are always searching for new hairstyles. Now, through your videos, they can learn how to do it themselves. Your videos are now their go-to resources before all school dances. They now feel confident in their looks because they have professional looking hairstyles and your salon is responsible for that.
Talk about evoking an emotional attachment. Where do you think those girls are going to get their hair cut next? How about when they want to spend some big bucks on a hairstyle for prom? You better believe they are coming to your salon. All because you put your marketing budget to work on something valuable instead of wasting it on one and done print ads.
Print Ads Come with Boundaries, Online Content is Limited Only to Your Imagination
We’ve already explored some of the limitations that come with print ads, but just to get them all out in the open, let’s go through them again. Print ads are costly, they have limited reach, there is limited space available to you for telling your story, many people ignore them, and for those that do pay attention, they are only good for about a month before they are thrown away.
Online content is really only limited to your creativity. Have you ever considered running a radio show for your small business? Blog Talk Radio allows you to do that – FOR FREE. You can then archive your recordings to allow people to listen to them whenever and wherever. Those radio shows live forever online.
If you own a retail clothing boutique you can use video to broadcast your own fashion show. A fashion show that models the latest Spring clothing lines that you offer. If you own a restaurant, you can record one of your top chefs preparing one of your best dishes, just like the big guys do on TV. Through your video, people can now make these great recipes at home. You’ve brought value to their lives. Believe me, they are still going to go out to eat, but on days when they need to stay in, they can bring up your video and cook a great meal. You’re now responsible for feeding their family. Again, talk about evoking some emotions. Where do you think they are going to go out to eat the next time they want to do that? Exactly…