Long before the existence of the internet, the prime mode of advertisement was magazines, newspapers, handouts and suchlike media. However, with the invention of the internet and the advent of Facebook, Google and other social media platforms, there is a sea change in how advertising is being done today.
Print media has remained a popular way of advertising products, services and businesses. With growing competition among businesses, it was not surprising to find the rates of print ads shoot up. The space in newspapers and magazines started selling by square inches and square centimeters.
Today, the cost of a typical ad ranges from $500 to $20,000, depending whether the ad is appearing in a local publication or a national daily and the territory it covers, the size of the ad and whether it is in color or black & white. Some leading national magazine charge a whopping $500,000 for inside front cover!
The onus of choosing the print media rests on brand managers of various companies. They are the ones who decide which publication would get the ad to their target audience. For example, a healthcare product is best advertised in health and lifestyle magazines and an industrial device in industry-related magazines.
However, there are sections in popular magazines too that showcase ads of all kinds of products in the belief that a small percentage of people interested in a niche product will see that ad. Whether the money spent on the ad will get corresponding results in terms of sale remains a moot point.
The print ad to be successful requires the advertiser to know the demographics of the readers, the frequency of publishing of the magazine, its distribution and its special sections and themes planned for the year.
Today, online media has become the most efficient way to advertise products and services. Let us take the example of Facebook and see the benefits of advertising on it:
Instead of Facebook dictating the rate of the advertisement, the onus is on the advertiser to book whatever amount he or she is comfortable with and the quantum of exposure required for the ad. This means that an advertiser can spend from $5 a week to $50,000 a week.
How much an advertiser spends depends on the budget and also on the bid strategy. Facebook helps by automatically bidding for the advertiser in a way as to spend the budget evenly throughout the ad’s run time.
Facebook also cuts cost by ensuring that it does not cross the advertiser’s campaign spending limit and account spending limit. This makes advertising on Facebook way cheaper than print media.
Advertising on Facebook helps in reaching the intended target group of the advertiser. In this, Facebook helps in estimating the number of people the advertiser can reach and what results he or she can expect. All this, even before actually placing the ad on Facebook.
Facebook has a mechanism of sending notifications about how the ad is doing. This can even be viewed by the advertiser on the Insights tab of his or her Page or Ads Manager.
It is evident that Facebook is a much more effective medium for advertising, both in terms of price and reach than print media. Facebook has an edge over print media in targeting specific buyers, thereby increasing the sale of the product or service.