Traditional Advertising versus Facebook Advertising

facebook-advertising-smallSo what is your choice – traditional advertising or Facebook advertising?  Or both?

The marketing world continues to shift towards online marketing. Arguably, online advertising is quickly becoming the better way for businesses to advertise their products. However, traditional advertising methods such as television and print advertisements still have their place within the marketing mix.

Traditional advertising has been around for a long time and has continued to be improved to maximise its effectiveness within an advertising context. Traditional advertising for the scope of this blog is seen as:

  • Print Advertising
  • Telemarketing
  • Television
  • Radio
  • Billboards and Displays

While there are many advantages and disadvantages for each type of advertising medium listed above, this blog will take a holistic view to make an overall comparison between traditional advertising and Facebook advertising.

The benefits of traditional advertising, include:

  • A large reach of multiple consumer segments – your brand is exposed to a large amount of consumers across multiple consumer groups, reaching consumers that may not use the internet frequently or at all
  • Longevity – Tradition advertising has been around a long time, allowing for refinement of advertising potential
  • Strong creative – your brand has the ability to express itself with strong creative allowing your business to connect with the consumer
  • High level of engagement – Television and radio in particular are very engaging and can make for more memorable advertising

The disadvantages of traditional advertising, include:

  • Expense – Traditional advertising in most instances is more expensive that Facebook advertising
  • Impersonal – Traditional advertising is one-way communication, unlike Facebook where it is interactive
  • Less targeted – Traditional advertising is mass media
  • Greater competition – Traditional advertising competes with many businesses to a similar audience


Facebook advertising has grown at a rapid rate over recent years. Facebook is constantly changing itsadvertising to be increasingly more targeted and efficient.

The benefits of Facebook advertising are:

  • Strong targeting – The ability to target your advertising in Facebook is immense. The targeting options available on Facebook are comprehensive, here are some that are currently available:
  • Location – You can target your advertising budget by country, state, city or postcode
  • Demographics – Age, Gender, Relationship status, Education, Work, Ethnicity, Generation, Politics, Life events
  • Connections – Page fan base, App users or Events attended
  • Languages – Targeting specific speaking sectors
  • Interests – Business & industry, Hobbies & activities, Fitness & wellness, Family relations, Entertainment, Sports & outdoors, Shopping & fashion, Food & drink, Technology
  • Behaviours – Travel, Mobile device users, Digital activities
  • Easy to measure and monitor results – Facebook measurement tools allow businesses to analyse results quickly and make changes immediately
  • Facebook is becoming a part of people’s lives – While not all people are on Facebook, the majority of 18-35s in the western world are spending a great deal of their time on Facebook (and other online mediums). This segment of the market is interacting less and less with traditional media in favour of online media
  • It can go viral – It’s very possible for a business’s Facebook advertisement to go viral
  • It lives for ever – What happens on the Internet stays on the internet
  • Quick to change – Facebook advertising is very quick and easy to test and change as required
  • Cost flexibility – The amount of money spend on Facebook advertising can be varied easily and quickly
  • Good for interaction – Facebook advertising allows for two way communication

The disadvantages of Facebook advertising include:

  • New media option – Facebook advertising is relatively new to the market and hasn’t endured the test of time. For this reason, a lot of time and money can be spent while businesses “work out” how to best use it
  • Constant change – New advertising techniques are being developed constantly, which can be hard to keep up to date
  • Higher ignore rate – It is very simple to ignore Facebook media compared to traditional forms of media.
  • Growing competition – As more and more businesses jump on Facebook as a form of advertising, the media is becoming cluttered and it is easy for consumers to just switch off


So which one is better? Well that’s not up to me to decide for your business. I guess it depends greatly on your target market and what media they are consuming. Developing a marketing advertising strategy is paramount to your business to ensure you maximise your return on investment.

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Lynda Schenk

An energetic and strategic marketing professional with over twenty years’ experience in industries ranging from wine, not for profit, transport, logistics and manufacturing. Lynda founded Purple Giraffe Marketing Consultancy in 2014 offering an end to end marketing service that draws on her proven ability to formulate brand strategies and marketing communications plans that build brand equity, growth and profitability.

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