Skip to content

Digital Advertising vs Traditional Advertising for SMBs

Social Media

06 Jan 2022 • 4 min read •

A Fantastic Loomly Guest

This is a guest post from our friends at Blip.

As an SMB, figuring out where to best spend your ad dollars can sometimes be tricky. Many businesses choose to dump their entire advertising budget into digital advertising, as they think it’s the most successful way to advertise their business.

However, digital advertising isn’t the only effective way to promote your brand! Traditional advertising still plays a big role in the advertising sphere and is worth looking into as an SMB. Let’s discuss different ways SMB’s can advertise in both traditional and digital spaces.

Manage all your social media accounts in one place.

Craft, schedule, & auto-post content to all your social channels, then track analytics and manage interactions from a single, easy-to-use dashboard.

Digital Advertising

If you’re an SMB, you’re most likely already advertising in the digital space. Display ads and pay-per-click are both great ways to advertise your brand and easily lead consumers to your website. In fact, it was found that “71% of business buyers start their product research online with a search engine”.

So if you aren’t already taking advantage of PPC and display ads, you should consider adding them to your marketing mix! Social media ads are a great way to increase brand awareness, but Google ads put your brand in front of consumers who are actively searching for your product or service. 

Consumers also search for products on social media. Platforms like Instagram and Pinterest are very helpful in searching for new ideas, products, and services. Running ads on these platforms is a great way to grab the attention of new consumers who might not be familiar with your brand. 

Loomly Tip: With Loomly Ads Manager you can manage Facebook and Instagram ads directly in the Loomly interface. Additionally, you can boost organic posts with Post Sponsoring.Loomly Ads Manager

Deciding which digital platforms to advertise on really all comes down to who your audience is. Don’t only go after the next trending platform. As new apps like TikTok become popular, make sure your audience is on TikTok before diving into a content and advertising strategy.

If your audience isn’t using the platform, then don’t waste your time promoting your brand there. Instead, invest your advertising dollars where you know your audience will be.

A combination of display, PPC, and social ads is a great way to increase brand awareness. However, what if you aren’t seeing enough results from your digital advertising efforts? Perhaps you have been utilizing digital advertising for months or maybe years, but still want to increase your brand’s reach.

Turns out, you can boost your digital/online advertising efforts with the help of traditional advertising media.

Traditional Advertising

In the digital age, many brands don’t utilize traditional forms of advertising like billboards, radio, TV, and print ads. Traditional media is thought to be outdated, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Traditional advertising is still very relevant, especially as consumers become overwhelmed with digital devices and over-served with online ads. Let’s take a look at some of the traditional advertising methods SMBs should add to their marketing mix.

Billboards and Other Forms of Outdoor Media

Billboards tend to feel out of reach for SMBs because of the cost, and you typically only see big brands advertising on billboards. However, with the growing number of digital billboards in the outdoor advertising space, accessing digital billboards is easy for businesses of all sizes. 

Digital billboard advertising is becoming more popular and is more affordable than static billboards. When you advertise on static billboards, you have to purchase a long contract, where you are tied to the same ad creative for months.

Digital billboard advertising allows you to change your creative as much as you like. Not to mention digital billboards are more effective than static. A recent study found that digital outdoor signage is 63% more effective than static. 

If you’re an SMB looking to advertise on billboards, digital billboard advertising can be for you. Brands like Blip offer affordable, self-serve digital billboard advertising, making it accessible to businesses and ad budgets of all sizes. It’s essentially the PPC of billboard advertising, and advertising with Blip allows you to be in complete control of your entire billboard campaign. With no contracts and no minimums, you get to select your own budget, schedule, locations, and upload your own artwork.

Y ou can learn more about advertising with Blip here .

Radio & Podcasts

Radio may be outdated, but podcasts are a great way to advertise your SMB! There are podcasts with niches and followings of all shapes and sizes, so do some research to find one that fits your business and would be a good opportunity to advertise on. You can even offer a discount code or special offer to listeners of the podcast as a good way to track conversions. 


As an SMB you might not be able to or want to run a TV commercial on a popular channel like NBC, but just like how Blip democratized billboard advertising, Hulu has done something similar. The streaming site has made self-serve advertising available to all businesses, democratizing TV commercial space. With more people using streaming services than cable, you might even receive better results by advertising on a platform like Hulu!

Hulu Ads Manager

How Digital and Traditional Advertising Works Together

It takes about 6-7 times for your brand to make an impression on someone. This means you need to create 6-7 different opportunities for people to become familiar with your brand and advertisements. Each time someone is exposed to your advertising or marketing efforts, you are building brand awareness, putting you one step closer to driving a conversion. The easiest way to do this is to create cross-channel campaigns.

When you utilize both digital and traditional advertising media, you create more effective cross-channel campaigns. Cross-channel campaigns have been known to produce better results, like higher ad recall, increased brand recognition, and more conversions. 

Let’s say you create a cross-channel campaign that combines social ads, display ads, and billboards. Studies have shown that brands who add billboards into their marketing mix see over 4x more FB & IG activations, and a 48% click-through rate lift on their online ads. See? Traditional advertising works to increase your digital efforts!

If you haven’t dived into the traditional advertising space yet, we highly recommend you do so! This is not to say you should abandon your current digital advertising efforts, but by combining traditional and digital advertising, you can see a lift in your ad results and continue building your brand.

Loomly is the Brand Success Platform that helps social media consultants streamline client collaboration:  start your 15-day free trial now.
In need of a better way to manage your social media?