Traditional vs digital advertising | Clear Channel

What is the difference between traditional advertising and digital advertising?

16 May 2019 / Insights, New to OOH
By Clear Channel UK View Author on Twitter
Royal Ascot campaign on Billboard Live that says

Whatever the size of your business, advertising is a crucial tool for increasing the scope and reputation of your brand, and so it’s very important that you advertise your business in the most effective possible way.

There are so many different methods of promotion now, that it can be tough to know where to even start. In this article, Clear Channel Direct are going to pit two forms of advertising against each other: traditional billboards and online banner advertisements, so you can determine which one is better for your brand.

What are online banner advertisements?

Online banner advertisements are the strips of promotional material we see on webpages. They can slot seamlessly around a page or they can be positioned right in the middle to grab users’ attention. These adverts are either static or animated images, designed to attract the user to click on them, taking them to the website of the advertiser.

What’s a billboard advertisement?

Billboard ads are the promotions we see on the sides of roads and buildings all around the world. The traditional form of a billboard advertisement is either a 48 or 96-sheet poster, with each panel pasted onto the billboard to form the whole advertisement. 

Why should I use digital banners?

Spread the wordOne of the main benefits of the internet is the ease with which people can communicate, and this lends itself brilliantly to word-of-mouth promotion. A well-planned digital advert on the right site can lead to countless clicks, which can lead to countless people telling their friends about your site, your product or your event.

Give yourself a little boostWhat’s more, making use of paid promotions means that you can spend a little more money to give your advert an extra boost. This boost can be invaluable in reaching more people - social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook allow companies to promote posts on their site, slotting them into users’ timelines and feeds as if they were normal posts from their friends. 

Why should I use traditional advertising?

On the face of it, when you compare traditional advertising to the advertising platforms on the internet, the latter should be the winner, surely? That’s actually not the case.
It can’t be denied that the internet has revolutionised advertising in many ways, but traditional billboard promotions are still here for a reason: they work.

SizeThis might seem rather vague, but the size of billboard adverts means they are so hard to ignore. Whether you’re driving, walking or on the bus, huge billboards will have diverted your gaze for a second or two whenever you travel past them. If your billboard advertisement is well-designed, succinct and impactful, then you’ll make a lasting impression on the countless people who pass it every day.

They can’t be blockedOnline adverts can be blocked. Today, the modern internet user is so besieged by adverts when they go online that there are plenty of programmes available that completely eliminate adverts from the web pages they visit. This means that those advertisers don’t get seen, and therefore they don’t get the money they would otherwise get from clicks.
 With outdoor advertising, this isn’t a problem. Your display can’t be blocked, so you’re free to push your message out to the world.

Don’t forget digital billboardsAs well as the poster formats, digital billboards are now commonplace in cities around the world. These digital displays offer a whole range of exciting and interesting features that cannot be replicated by any other medium. For example, a digital bus shelter advertisement can feature motion detection, interactivity and even augmented reality functionality, if the budget is there. All these features lead to more engagement from consumers, which means they’re more likely to follow up on your brand, or tell their friends about you.

Traditional advertising is more respectedIn recent years, there have been plenty of news stories and several scandals involving how our data is collected and used online. There’s no shortage of theories that our phones’ microphones can use our real-life conversations to determine what adverts to show us on social media, and multinational companies collating and selling our data to advertisers means that online advertising’s reputation has taken something of a hit in recent years.
This hit means that there’s a natural level of scepticism over an online advertisement - you might often ask yourself “is this spam?” before clicking on one, which can lead to many people ignoring your advert altogether. In fact,
a survey of 1,030 Americans by Clutch
found that online and social media advertising were the least trusted forms of advertising, with only 41% and 38% respectively.
That same survey found that traditional advertising is the most trusted format, with 61% of those surveyed trusting the medium. It’s such a tried and tested format, such a mainstay on our roads and our buildings, that people will inherently give more credence to these advertisements.
Overall, there are benefits to both formats, but traditional advertising is still one of the top mediums for promotion. Outdoor ads are more likely to be seen and absorbed than online promotions, and with digital displays offering a new arsenal of effective features and functions, there’s no sign of outdoor advertising slowing down.

Clear Channel Direct are proud to provide outdoor advertising services for clients around the UK. If you’d like to know more, please get in touch with us today and we’ll be happy to help.