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Traditional vs. Digital Content Marketing: 5 Points to Help You Decide Which Works Better

Marketing has come a long way in the 21st century. Technology is moving forward at breakneck speed and with it comes a new way of marketing. It is important to understand the differences between traditional and digital content marketing so you can utilize the type of content strategy that works best for your company.

Traditional marketing consists of a variety of things such as television and radio commercials, newspaper and magazine ads, banner ads, direct mail brochures or fliers and billboards and signs. Digital marketing generally consists of content articles, email newsletters, blogs, infographics, podcasts and videos and e-books.

It is important to note that marketing isn’t one size fits all. Instead, it is a fluid and variable plan that needs to be customized to your specific needs. In order to decide which type of marketing will work better you need to take some time to evaluate your current marketing strategy and the various points that can help you decide which works better for you.

Photograph by SwanOmurphy  via Bigstock

Know Your Buyer Persona

Your buyer persona is one of the most important aspects of your marketing focus. You need to fully understand your buyer before you can successfully market to them. When deciding whether to use traditional marketing methods or digital content marketing you need to know which type of media your target audience best understands.

You can develop a buyer persona by reviewing your customers and determining their specific needs, wants and problems. A persona should be a complete overview of a person who would be most likely to be a customer.

You can customize digital content marketing to each of your buyer personas so that your marketing is targeted to reach exactly the group of people who are most likely to be interested in your products or services. Plus, your content is faster, easier and less expensive to produce.

Understand What Types of Strategies Work Best

Social media is the most popular form of digital content marketing. According to Content Marketing Institute as many as 92 percent of marketers utilize some form of social media. In fact, social media is one of the most popular and successful venues for digital marketing.

If your target audience is over the age of 35, for example, social media marketing may not be the best option. It has been found that social media is most utilized by the age group ranging from 18 to 34 years old. If your product or service is mostly utilized by people older than 34 another type of marketing may be more successful.

Email marketing may be best for certain types of industries. It is helpful to know that most people don’t make a purchase the first time they visit a website or read marketing materials. They may visit several or more times or may read more than a few emails before they decide to spend their hard-earned money.


Content marketing costs more than 60 percent less than traditional marketing and brings in 3 times as many customer leads according to DemandMetric. This number is exciting, especially for small to mid-sized companies with a small marketing budget. If you are looking for a better way to improve marketing efforts for a better ROI, digital marketing may be exactly what you need.

You can get the most bang for your buck with digital content marketing. It is a great way for new companies with small marketing budgets to be able to get their advertising in the hands of those who may make a purchase. You can create a content strategy on a very limited budget and can begin to see results almost immediately.

Return on Investment

Cost is one factor but you need to couple that with results. While it may be less expensive to participate in digital marketing it has to be successful in order to be of any good. Your ROI is one of the metrics you can use to actually measure your costs versus your results. You can pretty easily calculate your ROI without much trouble. There are also programs and statistics you can use that will provide you with some data.

It is estimated that digital content marketing may have conversion rates that are up to six times higher than traditional forms of marketing. This statistic pertains to high quality content marketing that utilizes a successful content strategy.

Broad vs. Personal Audience

Traditional marketing is best suited to broad audiences. When you are trying to create a brand or have an extremely broad target market, traditional marketing strategies may still be a good route. On the other hand, if you have a good understanding of your target market and want to tailor your marketing efforts to an audience that is much more likely to make a purchase, digital content marketing may be your best option.

Keep in mind that you can usually produce and post digital content much more quickly and less expensively than traditional marketing. This allows you the unique ability to reach a large audience with a custom tailored content marketing strategy that is sure to be successful.


When you decide how to allocate your marketing budget, make sure that you evaluate all of your options. While you don’t necessarily want to spend money on traditional marketing you may not yet know whether digital marketing is a good choice. Take some time to consider your needs and goals. Keep in mind that you may want to start out with digital content marketing in order to create an affordable content marketing strategy. You may want to add some traditional marketing options to help you reach your objectives.


Annie Ianko

Chief Content Officer

Annie has over 20 years of experience as an editor and content creator and manager. With work in television and written media, she has dedicated her past 10 years to learning the ropes of online content creation, from writing to editing, from SEO to content management.

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