Whether promoting products or pitching services, every business needs to advertise in order to establish connections with new, paying customers. Small businesses often face a choice between spending their limited advertising budgets on print ads or television ads. While print advertising often comes with a lower sticker price than TV advertising, newspaper and magazine circulation continue to decline. TV watching remains strong, and TV advertising offers some distinct advantages over print ads.
Virtually every home in America has a TV and, unlike print publications, viewers can watch network and local television for free. Even advertising only with local affiliate stations, a small business reaches thousands or even millions of potential customers every time the advertisement plays. Print advertising reaches only those consumers who buy the newspaper or magazine, which often excludes consumers seeking to limit household costs. The total print run of a publication also physically limits the appearances of an advertisement to the number of newspapers or magazines produced.
Television advertising also allows the business to appeal to a wide cross-section of the population. TV watchers include members from every demographic category, due to the widespread use of the technology itself. Print publications tend to attract a following among a specific subset of the population, such as political liberals or sports enthusiasts. That specific following can provide benefits of its own, but it also means print advertisements do not find potential customers outside of the demographic that follows the publication.
Television engages sight and sound while displaying motion. The connection of information with multiple senses aids in both learning and recall. Teachers often use audio/visual aids in the classroom to reinforce new information. Television advertising capitalizes on the audio/visual learning strategy by tying product or service information to interesting audio/visual information. Print advertising must restrict itself to static visual input, such as text or a single image, which limits the reinforcement potential.
Commercials deliver advertising messaged quickly. On average, a television commercial spot runs 30 seconds, though 15-second and 60-second ads also receive occasional airing. In the space of 30 seconds, an effective television spot delivers a brand image, informational content, emotional content and action content. A restaurant, for example, may achieve showcase all of these by showing a logo, announcing a new menu item, showing smiling families at tables and then showing the families heartily eating the food. Most print advertisements cannot achieve all four of those elements in less than 30 seconds, as it requires more text to convey informational and emotional content than with an audio/visual medium.
Originally Featured @ smallbusiness.chron.com
Article By Eric Dontigney, Demand Media
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