Content Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing – Which Costs Less?

Old school or new school? In this Smart Marketing podcast, Jason and Justin discuss which form of marketing they believe is more cost-efficient: content marketing vs. traditional marketing.

by Jason Bagley

Inbound Marketing | Podcast

| 4 min

Does spending more money on a marketing budget really bring better results?

Do we see a better return on investment (ROI) with traditional advertising or content marketing, and how should we measure our marketing strategy’s ROI?

Join Jason and Justin as they delve deeper into this hot topic in Episode #30 of the Smart Marketing Podcast.

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Full episode transcript


About the Smart Marketing podcast

Whether you’re a business owner, seasoned marketing professional, or just starting out, the Smart Marketing podcast will help advance your knowledge by sharing the latest in SEO, paid advertising, email marketing, content marketing, social media, and conversion optimization.

Your hosts — Jason Bagley and Justin Lester — bring you regular, actionable digital marketing tips, tactics, and strategies that you can use to improve your marketing.

Jason Bagley is the VP of Digital Strategy for SiteCare and Justin Lester, the founder of Ruby Digital, a digital marketing agency from Cape Town, South Africa.

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Full episode transcript

Jason:
Good afternoon Justin Lester.

Justin:
Good afternoon, Jason Bagley. What do we have in-store today?

Jason:
We’ve got another great episode of the Smart Marketing podcast, and we’re going to be talking about a really simple question. There’s probably a simple answer to this, but the devil is always in the detail. Does content marketing really cost less than traditional marketing? Go for it, Justin.

Justin:
So as always, there’s never one answer, it depends, but more often than not, yes. Because I mean, just look at the facts, right? For one, digital has, in many aspects, a low barrier to entry.

Let’s use the example of posting something to Facebook. You’ll get some tension. It doesn’t mean it’s going to be a huge success. We know the numbers around Facebook at the moment and organic reach is less than 2%. But ultimately, it doesn’t actually cost you anything. So, from that perspective, yes, it does cost less.

Jason:
That’s true. Yes. But then it comes down to, well, what are you actually trying to measure? Because cost, sure it’s money, but it also could be, “Well, what is it that you’re trying to achieve?” For example, if you bought an ad on the Super Bowl, which is like, what? I think it’s about $1 million a second for an advert on TV during the Super Bowl? That is a lot of money. And then, if you ran a digital marketing strategy and you pumped $100,000 a month into ads for six months, the digital side would be much cheaper. But if what you were looking for was brand awareness, reach, and ‘X and Y and Z,’ and you’ve got that from the [Super Bowl] ad; it drove the results you were looking for, yes. It [the digital marketing] was more expensive, right?

Justin:
Oh yeah, the cashout.

Jason:
The cash perspective, yes. But from the results perspective, it [the Super Bowl ad] actually cost you less. So your leads, or whatever you were looking for, whatever you measure from that perspective, then it was less. Obviously, the flip side works the same for digital too. You could be spending more on that, but the results cost less than traditional.

Justin:
Yeah. So that’s arguing for the other side of the argument. I think the key here is with digital and content marketing is your ability to measure return on investment. And this kind of ties into your point, which is, when it’s the definition of ‘what costs less’ is. It’s like, can you get a return on investment? So you’re spending $50,000 versus $100 000. Yeah, okay, $100 000 is more, but if you’ve got something that’s a lot more targeted that gets you a better return, then in my perspective, that’s cheaper.

Justin:
And the thing with digital is that you can be so specific, and you can optimize your campaigns. You can get into and drill down to a target audience. And then, you can also optimize your campaigns based on that data. And more often than not traditional marketing, doesn’t give you that sort of granular information. Therefore, you’re not able to optimize your campaigns as effectively, and you’re not also able to measure your return on investment effectively.

Justin:
How many times, you’ll see, above the line advertising. We ask them, “How do you measure your return on investment?” And they’ll be like, “Well, we’ll see a sort of uplift in sales.” Although it definitely is a way, it’s just not going to be as accurate. [With digital marketing] You can go down to the nth degree in the finest detail, down to what keyword, a bit of imagery, color, and color image worked better? What did they respond to more? So that’s my perspective anyway.

Jason:
Yeah, no, I also think to realize is what it is that you’re trying to achieve at the end of the day and reach. Sometimes, it’s impossible to reach as many people as you’re trying to, from the digital perspective, as you are with traditional.

So, whether you’re using radio or TV or newspapers, there’s potential that the research you’re looking for, you’ve expanded, and you just can’t spend the budgets online and digitally.

You have to start now supplementing that with traditional. That’s obviously another whole discussion itself. But I think at the end of the day, it comes down to the ROI that you’re looking for.

What is it, the result that you’re looking for? And what does that result cost you? And whichever one is, then let’s call it cheaper, that’s the one that works.

And I think ultimately we’re both on the same page, Justin, where we definitely think content marketing will deliver more than traditional.

Justin:
A 100%. I couldn’t have said it better.

Jason:
Thank you.

Justin:
Cool guys, well, listen, thanks so much for listening today. If you liked what you hear, do us a favor, like, subscribe, all the good stuff. And we’ll see you guys next week.

Jason:
Peace.

Justin:
Laters.

Jason Bagley | Vice President, Digital Strategy

Jason Bagley is the VP of Digital Strategy at SiteCare. For more than 12 years, Jason built and ran a highly successful lead generation agency, which SiteCare acquired in 2020.