Marketing Library


Why advertising with traditional media is the number one way companies market their Internet presence.
by Dr. Kevin Nunley

I am flipping through the back ad pages of a travel magazine. There is page after page of small display ads for bed and breakfasts, hotels, and tourist attractions. Almost ALL of the ads feature a web site address. The small ad is used to interest readers while the web site gives the prospect complete details and order information.

This method of promoting web sites with ads in traditional media has become extremely popular. It makes a lot of sense now that half of all North Americans are online (with huge and growing groups on other continents). A recent survey of large companies shows their favorite ways of marketing the corporate web site are (1) print, (2) TV, and (3) radio. It is a great way to stretch the benefit of small print ads and short commercials. Commercials tout your main message while your web site fills in all the details and takes the order. Quick, less expensive media advertising does double-duty thanks to the Internet.

Network TV commercials regularly flash a web site address at the end. Local auto dealer commercials direct viewers to their web site. A newspaper or magazine ad that doesn't feature a web site URL almost looks bare. Even radio commercials and telephone hold messages feature info on the company's web site.

Traditional media offer you established audiences of all sizes, targeted to every imaginable group. Print, radio, and TV have reliable ways of measuring audience and setting ad prices. You can use ratings and cost per thousand to find the best deals and gauge response. Find media options and rates by calling media sales departments. Also check SRDS (Standard Rate and Data Service) who publish the latest info on media, ads, and prices.

Promote your site with radio

Radio gives you low-cost local commercials designed to reach a specific age group and lifestyle. Many businesses plug their web site in radio commercials as a way to give customers additional information. What the sixty second commercial can't include, the web site fills in. Rates range from a few dollars in small towns to several hundred dollars in larger cities. Prices are always negotiable and are cheaper when bought in bulk "packages." If you can't afford your own radio commercials, ask another business if you can piggyback your ten second ad onto their commercial (while helping to pay for their ads).

Print ads

Daily newspaper advertising can be very expensive. A small, cheaper one inch display ad run in each Sunday issue can bring big results over time. Include your web site address with a compelling benefit visitors will receive (info, e-coupons, special prices, instant ordering).

Magazines give you a more tightly targeted audience. The more closely you match the media to your best customers, the better your advertising will work. Magazines and journals usually require a couple months lead time before your ad appears, so plan well in advance and stick with your plan. Industry newspapers and newsletters have a much shorter lead time and reach an even tighter targeted group of prospects. Don't hide your web site URL in tiny print. Many people who are online will eagerly check out your web site whereas they might not call or request info by mail.

Cable gives you low-cost TV commercials

Cable TV gets you access to a large television audience without the often high prices of broadcast TV. Rates are about the same as radio's. Your local cable operator can put your ads on in specific neighborhoods or zip codes and on specific programs that are most likely to draw your best customers. Save production costs with one of the many small production houses that are popping up with the advent of cheap digital video cameras.

Use traditional media to build your email list

One of the problems with traditional media is it's very hard to get participation from the audience. It is difficult for readers, listeners, and viewers to ask questions, make suggestions, or voice concerns. Email gives you a huge advantage in this area. Use your traditional media ads to get prospects interested in being on your newsletter or discussion group list. Also offer info via autoresponder. People don't mind getting email from you if it contains interesting, valuable information.

Watch for the Internet to mesh with traditional media more and more in the near future. Cable TV is already working on set-top boxes that will instantly link viewers to related web sites. Big Internet companies with an eye on advertising revenue are working hard to shape their audiences to be more like traditional media audiences. You can ride the front of the wave by looking for ways to promote your web site with print, radio, and TV.

Kevin Nunley provides marketing advice and copy writing for businesses and organizations.

Close This Window



copyright © 2005,