How Digital Ads Differ From Traditional Advertising

Digital advertising spiked over 35% in 2021. This was the biggest jump since 2006 when the internet advertising industry was in its infancy stages compared to now. This shift has completely changed how businesses advertise and market their products and services.

If you’re still on the fence about digital ads, or you’re simply curious about how they differ from traditional ads, we’ve got you covered. Here are three key ways digital advertising is different from traditional advertising.

But first, it’s important to understand what each type of advertising entails.

Traditional Advertising

Traditional advertising includes any kind of marketing that is not online. This could be things like billboards, TV commercials, radio ads, or print ads in magazines or newspapers.

Digital Advertising

Digital advertising, on the other hand, is any kind of marketing that is done online. This includes things like search engine marketing (SEM), social media marketing, banner ads, and even things like sponsored posts.

Let’s look at a few differences between each of these marketing methods.


One of the biggest differences between digital and traditional advertising is the cost. Traditional advertising can be very expensive, especially if you’re looking to reach a large audience.

TV commercials, for example, can cost upwards of $100,000 for a single 30-second spot. And while you may be able to get a discount for buying ad space in bulk, it’s still going to be pretty pricey.

Digital advertising, on the other hand, is much more affordable. You can reach a large number of people with digital ads for a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising.

For example, Facebook ads can be as little as $0.01 per click. And if you’re just getting started with digital advertising, there are plenty of options that won’t cost you anything but your time.


Another big difference between digital and traditional advertising is targeting. With traditional advertising, it can be difficult to target specific demographics. For example, if you’re running a TV ad, you might be able to target certain age groups or genders, but that’s about it.

Digital advertising, on the other hand, offers much more targeted options.

For example, with Facebook ads, you can target people based on their age, location, interests, and even the type of device they’re using. This allows you to laser-focus your marketing efforts and make sure you’re only reaching the target audience who are most likely to be interested in what you have to say.


The last big difference between digital and traditional advertising is interactivity. Traditional advertising is mostly a one-way street. You create an ad, and then people see it. That’s about it.

Digital advertising, on the other hand, is much more interactive.

For example, with social media ads, people can like, comment, and share your ad. This allows you to start a conversation with potential customers and get feedback in real-time.

Digital advertising also offers things like retargeting and dynamic ads, which traditional advertising simply can’t match.

How to Know Which Type of Advertising is Right for You

Now that you know a little bit more about the difference between digital and traditional advertising, you might be wondering which one is right for you.

The answer, of course, depends on your business and your goals. If you’re looking to reach a targeted audience quickly and affordably, digital advertising is the way to go.

If you’re looking to build brand awareness or start a conversation with a wide pool of potential customers, traditional advertising might be a better fit.

At the end of the day, the best way to figure out which type of advertising is right for you is to experiment and see what works best for your business. Try running some ads in different places and see what kind of response you get. You might be surprised by the results.

How to Incorporate Digital Ads Into Your Marketing Strategy

If your marketing strategy doesn’t currently include digital advertising, you’re missing out. Digital advertising offers a number of advantages over traditional advertising, and it’s only going to become more important in the coming years.

To make sure you’re incorporating digital advertising into your marketing strategy, start by doing some research. Figure out where your target audience is spending their time online, and then start running ads in those places.

You might also want to experiment with different ad types to see what works best for your business. And don’t forget to track your results so you can fine-tune your approach over time.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. Use social media ads to promote your content
  2. Use search engine marketing to drive traffic to your website
  3. Use display advertising to build brand awareness
  4. Use retargeting to reach people who have already shown an interest in your product or service
  5. Experiment with different types of digital advertising and see what works best for your business

Should You Abandon Traditional Advertising Entirely?

Just because digital advertising is more affordable and targeted doesn’t mean you should abandon traditional advertising altogether. In fact, a well-rounded marketing strategy includes both digital and traditional advertising.

For example, you might use print media or TV ads to broadcast the details of a new campaign and then use digital ads to drive traffic to your website and convert those visitors into customers. This strategy uses traditional ads to build brand awareness, and digital ads to drive sales.

The key is to find the right mix of digital and traditional advertising for your business. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, so you’ll need to experiment to see what works best for you.

Get Started with Digital Ads Today

Digital advertising is a powerful tool that every business should be using. If you’re not already incorporating digital ads into your marketing strategy, now is the time to start.

Media Shark specializes in digital ads that drive sales. We’ll work with you to create a customized ad campaign that’s designed to achieve your specific goals. To get started, contact us today.

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