I was asked today “Which works better, advertising or articles?”
The answer? Generally, articles. Much better to have someone else flaunting your merit. It’s called PR. Besides, articles are free, and someone else will often do the work for you. You never know for sure when you’ll get some good press, but when you do, it’s tough to beat.
“Then why does anyone pay for advertising?”
Good question. Some because they don’t know any better, and others because they have mastered the human psyche and the media and they know that they serve two distinct purposes, and that they work very well together.
The neophyte will assume, always, that there is no point in putting a paid advertisement in a publication when there is already going to be an article about you.
The Guru knows that the advertisement will have infinitely more impact if it is in the same publication as the article.
Frequency over reach . . . again.
They also know that the article will have infinitely more impact with the advertisement. Far more bang for your buck. But the clincher is, and there are two of them:
1) You can write your own article for them to publish which gives you total control over the content, and
2) if you tell the publication that you want to run your next ad in their publication with your article you will be virtually assured your article will be published.
There you go, website, magazine, email or newspaper; add the proverbial square inches and multiply the effect. Buy the 100 square inch ad and have them print a 400 (or 4,000) square inch article. Then, multiply the draw and you have exponential impact.
So, I would say the answer to the original answer is obviously “Both.”