A blog post not only stays around longer than a print ad, it can better engage potential customers.
The 24-hour news cycle has evolved into the 24-second news cycle with the rise of online media outlets and social media. So, when it comes to advertising your business, generating leads, making sales, and being perceived as a thought leader, you must consider the lifespan of your print ad and its purpose, versus the lifespan of a well-orchestrated blog and its potential.
Though often confused, there is a distinct difference between advertising and marketing. With a print ad, you are obviously advertising your business concisely, with a limited number of words and images. But, this form of advertising has a limited lifespan (only as long as that piece of print media is in the hands of a reader). So, it should be only one small piece of your marketing puzzle.
In contrast, a blog bridges advertising with progressive marketing techniques. It reaches your target demographic in a different way by conveying knowledge and building trust. It works on improving your “image” as well as branding your company as a thought-leader. A blog makes a more personal connection with the reader, while an ad is very obviously trying to sell something — and consumers gravitate toward knowledge rather than a simple sales pitch.
Looking at Longevity
A blog can live on indefinitely. What you post today may still be relevant and a popular read several months from now. Because of this, your company can reach a larger number of consumers within its target demographic for a long period of time, surpassing a print ad’s capacity for results. A blog also reaches consumers in a more relevant, memorable way. Marketing experts would agree: Getting your clients or customers to remember you is half the battle.
Your company’s advertising can include the placement of an ad in print media like newspapers, magazines, or direct mail. Print ads through community newspapers or direct mail flyers are useful for specific purposes, like targeting customers in a localized area.
But, you will find that advertising of this kind comes with a sizable price tag and has limited benefits. According to a Marketing Profs digital report, print advertising ranks as the largest expense of most marketing plans, with public relations and marketing strategies rounding out the important trio.
So how long will a print ad live? According to a marketing study published by Fast Company, a newspaper ad has a maximum lifespan of 2-3 weeks, and an ad placed in a monthly magazine may live up to three months.
In contrast, when a blog post goes live, it may generate the most hits within the first week, but it will continue to serve as available content that consumers will access for months, or even years, down the road. If the blog is well constructed, you may find that a year later it is still ranking in the top five search results for certain targeted long-tailed keywords.
So, it is important to consider the “quality of life” of your blogs and print ads. A blog feeds consumers’ need for more information before they commit. In fact, prior to contracting your services or buying your product, your potential customers will research the topic online and read blogs posts that present information in a vendor-neutral format.
Successful businesses react to this by creating a constant stream of this fresh content, organized into a library of posts (that stand the test of time), then use that content as bait to attract potential prospects. One study revealed that when it comes to blogs, the combination of proper timing and useful insight can result in a 33% higher lead conversion rate and a 38% increase in revenue over the prior year.
Blogs’ Benefits and Social Media
When you publish a print ad, you’ll never really know what your readers think about it. With a blog, you get feedback and you engage the reader, who is also a potential customer. It creates a more viable connection and provides greater insight that you can leverage to garner more customers through:
- Tracking and analytics: Feedback is a powerful tool. Google Analytics can tell you what types of articles are capturing your readers’ attention. You can learn how much time they spend on a page and how they share it. You can leverage this information to determine what sort of content you need to create to reach more customers and generate more leads.
- Shares and comments: Readers love to interact with online content, reading and commenting to express their opinion or thoughts. The comment section of your blog can become a community of readers. If a reader found your blog insightful or inspiring, they may also share it with their contacts or friends through social media. Your business becomes a part of a larger community that is connected through dialogue.
Advertising in any form, digital or print, is only a single component of any complete, multi-level marketing process. Innovative marketing today must include several different components, like well-articulated blog posts that utilize SEO, and connect potential customers to your company by offering information they can use. Blogs are a long-lasting porthole to your business, the product or the services you offer, and your professional insight or vision.
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