In an age of unprecedented technological growth in an increasingly busy society, the question must be asked – Is the Web more effective than Print for advertising a business?

Now, I’m sure I don’t have to go into too much depth to persuade you of the power of the Internet. In fact, two key words come to mind when contrasting web from print advertising– accessibility and cost effectiveness. In an era of urgency and rush where there’s never quite enough hours in the day to complete your daily tasks, the convenience of purchasing or selling a product or service online is deeply valued in our society.

Consider this scenario. You awake in the morning aching with anticipation to purchase that new video game you’ve been holding out for, for the past three months. You drive 20 minutes to the shopping centre and wait 45 minutes to get a parking space, only to get caught in a large crowd because of the annual winter clearance sales. Once you finally hustle your way through storms of people, you get to the shop only to find that it’s been sold out. However, due to the lack of advertising you aren’t too sure where else the game is sold and instead go home empty handed. Let that thought brew for a little while.

How can this be avoided? The answer is simple. Online Shopping. When purchasing or researching a product or service online, there’s something so simplistic and wonderful about laying on the couch and scanning through pages of products – whether it be on a computer, mobile phone, or tablet. Once you’ve found a product you like, after scrolling through a limitless number of Websites, you reach into your pocket and grab out your wallet to find the product delivered to your doorstep a couple of days later – meanwhile you’re still in your pajamas! Not to mention, you were able to purchase that video game even cheaper online as not only are Websites more interactive than print, they also expose you to a much broader range of options, all of which are at the touch of your fingertips.

So, how does this differ to print? Unlike print advertising, online advertising is extremely easy to absorb and almost impossible to ignore. Whether you’re on YouTube, Facebook, or even doing a Google Search, advertisements are popping up all around you.

Yet, among the most notable differences for business owners is the customized design elements that help create an aesthetically pleasing and unique brand image and the broader scope of the Website, meaning it is effectively reaching a national or even a global audience. Finally, unlike print, websites have the ability to track your success through using certain tools to gain a better understanding of the demographic and views, which allow you to see what consumers are responding well to and what they aren’t.

In turn, this creates convenience for consumers as they can shop from the comfort of their own home or on their mobile phone while on their lunch break. Likewise, the ease and accessibility of online advertising ensures that consumers are being exposed to a number of options right in front of them, opposed to print advertising where you have to go out in search for different products and brands. More importantly the affordability of running a Website and not putting large sums into print advertising is often passed onto consumers, meaning better bargains!

However, perhaps still the biggest difference between online and offline forms of advertising is the visual aesthetics and feel of a website, which is often difficult to convey through print. How often do you get drawn into a website due to its visual elements only to realise half an hour later that you have no use for any of the products? The visual aesthetics of a website can be your selling point in many instances and this is a distinct advantage over print media, which can only use a certain amount of visual effects to sell a product.

There’s no doubting that the Internet will continue to play an important role in our lives, and whether you’re a consumer or an entrepreneur, the Internet is an extremely powerful place to sell and be sold.

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