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Content Marketing Vs. Traditional Advertising: Which Is Best?

The Internet has only been around for two decades and already the days of traditional advertising are slowly starting to fall behind us. More and more companies are embracing content marketing, and generating their own organic methods of driving customers to their site. Content includes social media, blogs, videos, email newsletters, webinars, podcasts, newsletters, ebooks, and more. Your marketing plan should include a mixture of both content and traditional advertising methods (i.e. radio, television, billboards), both of which take very different approaches to converting consumers into customers.

The Known & Unknown Markets

Traditional marketing supports the principle that an individual needs to see your business several times before remembering important details and contacting you. Utilizing repetitive messaging, companies are able to convert customers quickly but often for a high price. Traditional marketing is also mass marketing. Your message is being sent out to everyone who listens to a particular radio station, watches television at a certain time, or drives past a specific billboard to and from work. They’re not necessarily people who want or need your service, and that information can easily go in one ear and right out the other.

Content marketing, on the other hand, lives by the motto “quality over quantity” and demonstrates what your company is capable of versus simply and quickly talking about it. A newspaper advertisement may tout you as the trusted tree removal company in your hometown, but you’re just asking people to take your word for it. Website content, social media posts, and videos of your crew on the job build that trust and credibility that homeowners are looking for when looking for a company to hire.

Sticking with the tree removal company as our example, let’s say a large tree branch is hanging precariously in my front yard and I want it removed as soon as possible. I’m not going to search through a newspaper, or even the Yellow Pages for that matter, for a company in my area that can help me. I’m going straight to Google or social media, as I imagine most or all of you would as well. I either want to search for a company and base my decision off of several key factors including website and hours of operation, or I’m going to ask my friends and family for a recommendation.

If your tree removal company has a blog article about spotting the signs of hazardous trees, images on social media of your removal crews on various job sites, reviews on your website from homeowners just like me singing your praises and so on and so forth, aren’t I much more likely to call you based on these things as opposed to a 1/8 page ad I remember seeing in my Sunday newspaper last week? Of course.

That being said, I’m not suggesting that you throw traditional advertising out the window completely. While content builds long-term value for your company, traditional advertising can yield short-term gains. That repetitive messaging helps to build your brand, customer awareness, and information retention. It also brings information about your company to potential customers, without them ever having to look for you.