Think Print Advertising Is Expensive? Here's Why You’re Wrong

Think Print Advertising Is Expensive? Here's Why You’re Wrong
  • Nowadays publishing materials online is not a big deal, but how important is print advertising? Is it still an advertising strategy worth pursuing?
  • Your advertising strategy depends on your business and your budget. While many people think online advertising is cheaper and more cost-effective, it's not always the case.
  • Let's take a look at how cost-effective print advertising is and whether it's something you should do for your business.

In this digital age, the comparison between print and online advertising is at the forefront of marketers’ minds. Is online marketing the future? Is print really dying? Should we still invest in print? Is it risky to disregard print advertising altogether?

Nowadays, anyone can publish material online - on blogs, news sites, social media, etc. It is possible to market your brand online and on social media completely for free, however, this cost-free method is only effective when executed with digital marketing expertise.

Because of this, it is easy to assume that online advertising is cheaper than print and that in turn, print is expensive. But this isn’t the case.

Depending on your business model and your target market, you may find that print advertising is cheaper and more cost-effective than online advertising. Don’t believe this? We break it down.

Print Advertising vs Online Advertising: Which is Better?

It has been said that baby boomers prefer print advertising over digital because it is the marketing format they are most used to (whereas millennials are more accustomed to scrolling on their smartphone and digesting the news that way).

However, as humans are tactile by nature, and we like the experience of holding the pages of a broadsheet newspaper or glossy magazine between our fingers - whatever the generation.

When it comes to the accessibility of advertising, the digital space definitely presents more opportunity. Anyone anywhere can promote their business online, and while this may seem great, it means that the digital space has become very saturated.

Ads have the potential to lose their staying power or run the risk of being missed completely because of the sheer volume of content published online.

Print, on the other hand, is very controlled with limited spaces available in newspapers and magazines. While this may seem problematic, it means that print advertising holds a certain prestige over digital advertising.

How Cost-Effective is Print Advertising?

All businesses can benefit financially from print advertising. Arguably, printed ads live longer than digital ads because they don’t get lost in an ever-growing news feed.

What’s more, if you advertise in a printed newspaper or magazine, whose circulation is in your favour (i.e. you’re a local restaurant and you advertise in a local newspaper), you can directly reach your demographic.

Or, for a larger cost, you can advertise in a regional or national publication that has a huge coverage and can deliver amazing returns.

Also, you can advertise in a newspaper or magazine of a similar niche or genre to your brand, product or service.

When it comes to print advertising, circulation is everything, and you can reach your demographic for a cheaper cost. In terms of the cost to advertise in printed publications, they can really range. To advertise a large-scale newspaper can cost thousands of dollars, but an ad in a local newspaper can cost as little as $70.

A Cheaper Solution: Distributing Your Own Printed Marketing Materials

A really cost-effective solution to advertising is to get your own printed marketing materials created and distribute them yourself. If distributed smartly and consistently, this can be incredibly effective as a marketing tactic.

As a brand, it is good practice to have your own printed materials to enhance your brand’s message and identity and hand them out to prospective customers to build awareness.

Printed marketing materials include flyers, banners, brochures, business cards, etc. Let's take a closer look at each one.

1. Flyers

Flyers are inexpensive to create. You can distribute them around a neighbourhood, at a train station, in a shop or a cafe, or stick them to walls and lampposts.

It may not seem like this is doing a lot for your business, but the more people see your brand name and logo, subconsciously or otherwise, they will come to trust your brand more and more, which then leads to conversions.

2. Banners

Similar to flyers, banners will help to enhance your brand message and raise awareness. A banner can last for a long duration, and this will mean that hundreds, if not thousands, of people, will see it.

Think Print Advertising Is Expensive? Here Is Why You’re Wrong

3. Brochures

Brochures give you the opportunity to display all of your brand’s information, services and products in one place that you can easily hand out or send to customers.

If your brand is strictly e-commerce and operates only online, you can still benefit from creating a tangible brochure to showcase your products.

It is an inexpensive additional marketing plug and is only going to aid your business. Plus, it’s that one step further than other businesses will go, so yours will stand out amongst the crowd.

4. Business cards

It is good business to hand out business cards at any given opportunity. Whenever you meet with a lead, a client, a customer, an industry professional, you should always end the meeting by handing them your business card. Chances are they will keep it in their wallet or stick it on their fridge, meaning you will stay top-of-mind.

You can get printed marketing materials created for good prices by commercial printing companies in Australia like Print Logistics.

Tips for Harnessing Both Online and Print Advertising

The best thing to do is to harmonise both online and print advertising; together they are a lethal weapon and can be highly profitable. If an online user sees your ad online and then sees it again ‘off-line’, your brand has higher credibility, looks more ‘real’ and stays on the minds of passersby.

The key thing is to keep consistency across all of your advertising platforms. Use each advertising experience to promote the other: point your print audience to your online and social media platforms.

Do this by incorporating hashtags and URLs in your print ad to encourage your audience to experience your business in more ways. It will position your brand as being dynamic and agile.

Similarly, you should make sure to shout about your print media on your social channels. For example, if your product or service appears in a well-renowned print publication, you should showcase this. You can even get an “As Seen In [name of publication]” badge to add to your online profiles.


The battle between online and printed advertising is a pointless one; both are effective and helpful in engaging your audience and increasing your profit margins. Your advertising strategy will largely depend on your business, but you should aim to have both bases covered.

The key thing to remember is that print is not expensive if you use it wisely.

Tam Bui

Digital Marketing Manager at

Tam is a profound Digital Marketing Manager at Print Logistics. From her six years of work experience in this industry, she has gained enormous knowledge and command in online marketing. She is an always-updated digital marketer with an urge to help organisations in this digital progression! Tam loves to share her online marketing agendas and expertise among new businesses and marketing aficionados. You'll often find her exchanging latest digital marketing trends over different online portals.

Comments (3)
Erik Bigalk

Erik Bigalk, Founder and CEO at

All too often business owners look only at the cost of something, rather than the value. Such as advertising or other marketing activities.  It should not be so focused on the out of pocket expense of something than rather about the value the activity presents, and the ROI it can bring...  Like spending $5 000 on an ad for an example. Sure for some, this is a chunk of money, but if the ad brings in a lasting brand imprint, rustles up new leads, some immediate sales and a generally strong impression - then that is actually a small price to pay with the returns surly far outweighing the investment. Now the cost actually stays the same, but the perception of value shifts and it then stands to be a cheap marketing exercise...  one you would probably want to do again...  This short-sighted view on costs/value is often what hinders small businesses from growing and succeeding...  Too many businesses won't advertise and when they falter,  will advertise the business for sale. Go figure! 

Justine Garcia

Justine Garcia, Community Manager at

What a deep and wonderful insight Erik. Good points to consider.

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