Has social media killed traditional advertising?

When it comes to finding cost-effective business advertising, many companies are struggling to find value and financial ROI in traditional advertising – as a conversation with a potential blog marketing client clearly highlighted today.

The contact discussed the expense of featuring their business in Yellow Pages, and the lack of financial ROI from this traditional advertising channel.

Thanks to the growth of digital marketing, and the low-cost techniques afforded to businesses through blog marketing, social media engagement and targeted eNewsletter marketing, traditional advertising is looking less and less attractive as an effective marketing medium for businesses looking to reach customers quickly, easily and inexpensively.

Plus, the power of social media, search engines, and word-of-mouth recommendation has already killed the likes of Yellow Pages, meaning that a broadcasting approach to winning new business is a redundant marketing tactic for most businesses.

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But how do the costs stack up? I thought a closer comparison might prove to be illuminating.

Firstly, the traditional advertising route:

* Yellow Pages advert – small colour ad listing £1,200

* Yell.com – ad listing with weblink online £600

* Local daily newspaper – single ad box listing £275 (advertising six times per year)

* Traditional bespoke designed website – £3,000

* Local printed directories – average £200 per insertion (three insertions annually)

Total annual cost – approximately £6,450

Next, the digitally-savvy route:

* WordPress-based website – roughly £800

* Blog marketing – monthly cost of £300

Total annual cost – approximately £4,400

So, on a basic financial level, the digital route utilising a WordPress website and a hardworking blog is far cheaper, but it goes beyond this initial outlay. The additional benefits of the digital marketing route also includes:

* Google Juice – a well-maintained blog delivers top-quality Search Engine rankings, month-in-month-out, as highlighted here.

* SEO Nirvana – a well-written WordPress website delivers targeted traffic and consistent sales, as highlighted here.

* Profitable blogging – a well-marketed blog delivers competitive advantage and immediate cash, as highlighted here.

I found the comparison exercise useful and interesting, although it confirmed what I already knew, having seen clients ignoring traditional advertising and utilising effective blog marketing for increased sales for some time now.

So, has social media killed traditional advertising? You bet – and then some. R.I.P. Yellow Pages 2014, I’d say.

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