Reach Out To Your Audience With Online Advertising
Rihanna’s 2023 show at the LVII halftime was a pure treat to watch and it recorded over 121 million viewers. That made this the most-watched Super Bowl in history. Wow!
Or do you remember when Alexa "lost her voice" in 2018 and celebs such as Cardi-B, Gordan Ramsay and Anthony Hopkins stepped in to create a marketing uproar for Amazon at the 2018 Super Bowl?
If you’re a marketer, you were thinking of ways to place your ad on that screen to capture millions of eyeballs, right?
Sorry to insert this reality but as you know, you need a LOT of capital to plug your business anywhere near Queen RiRi or the ‘Big Bowl Screen’. Yet, what if we said there’s another way to reach your target audience without burning a hole in your pocket? A way that makes sense - that is sustainable, affordable, trackable and works even when you’re vacationing!
Intrigued? Read on to learn more about Online Advertising!
If you’re here reading this article, you probably love technology. Hey, we love it too!
A lesser-known love of ours is marketing and the psychology behind it. At the end of the day, tech is made for humans and if we don’t understand our kin, high chances are that our tech is in the beta phase.
Let us prove our love: we’re sure you have heard of the infamous Coca-Cola vs. Pepsi brand war and how Coca-Cola became the preferred drink of choice for consumers. In 2003, neuroscientists conducted a blind taste test where participants were given unlabeled colas and asked to pick their preferred choice.
More than 50% of participants chose the unlabeled Pepsi. Upon scans, the team found that a brain region called ventral putamen, associated with seeking rewards was active. Pepsi passed the taste test! However, after showing the labels, the ratio shifted to more than 67% of the participants choosing Coca-Cola as their preferred drink with the medial prefrontal cortex blinking up which is associated with happiness and memory. So, why did the label win over taste?
Over the years, Coca-Cola used subliminal messaging to mask their sugary drink with happiness, inclusion and good memories with family and friends – even overriding the product's actual quality. Open happiness, Red White & You, Sign of good taste…bring home the magic of Coke?
Marketing aided by psychology has the power to change behavior, preferences and buying decisions. However, these almost always take the form of advertisements. So, how can you effectively use ads to convince your consumers about your product?
Well, TechDogs dives into the world of Online Advertising so you can do it like the pros!
Firstly, What Is Online Advertising?
Traditional marketing has ruled for decades, which includes TV ads that make a mammoth’s share of the marketing dollars; billboards, flyers, door-to-door marketing and hot air balloons – the list is endless.
Marketers need to find their audience. Say you had to sell medical equipment for elderly patients. You know your target audience but how do you reach them? TV ads would cost you thousands of dollars and without online targeting and reach, you would be flipping yellow pages and making cold calls. #Ineffective
Not anymore! Online Advertising in its simplest definition is the type of marketing that uses the internet to send promotional messages to its consumers. This could be using several mediums such as email, social media or on apps and even in the metaverse!
This helps marketers target the right audience with the right messaging...at the right time. Your product can reach your desired gender, age, geographic demographic, interest and even the time of the day to ensure your dollars spent have the maximum impact. Makes sense, since today more than 56% of overall marketing funds are allocated to online channels and by 2026, 69% of overall advertising spending will be generated via smartphones. #Wow
Yet, this wasn’t always the trend. Let’s discover how it all started and where it is right now!
The Evolution Of Online Advertising
The first online ad went out in 1994 and it changed…everything.
At this point, everyone had heard of the internet but they weren’t sure what to make of it. The early 90s used the internet for military and academic research but it definitely showed promise. Some Ecommerce took place but the first online ad by Hotewired for AT&T was an absolute game-changer.
Online ads kickstarted the dot-com bubble, where every image you downloaded, or cat meme you laughed at were fueled by ads. Online Advertising has grown to be the fuel of the largest database of knowledge, network and entertainment hub humanity has seen.
We’ve put it down for you in a nutshell:
The first banner ad was purchased by AT&T. The commercial web magazine, HotWired, sold this space for a price of $30,000 with a run time of three months. From then, the term ‘Banner Advertising’ was coined.
The http:// cookie is invented, Yahoo! launches and becomes the main online search engine Following the success of AT&T ads, online display ads become more popular.
Pop-up ads are introduced to combat banner blindness. The world’s first ad servers were launched here, DoubleClick enabling businesses to track their ROI on ad spend.
Google launches and by this time, the click-through rates had begun to drop on display ads. As a result, advertisers began to turn to paid search and Pay-per-click advertising.
Google AdWords takes birth. The intent of AdWords was to develop a sponsored paid search experience that did not hamper the quality of search results.
Dotcom bursts. Google took the opportunities that the Dot Com bust offered and flourished from it! It filled the space that the existing players had left behind and there was no turning back.
Google adds the pay-per-click (PPC) model.
Mobile ad spending takes over desktops for the first time as online ads flourish on mobile devices.
From thereon, there was no looking back. It took 30 years to reach here, but Online Advertising is more agile than it’s ever been aided by the biggest digital platforms and technological developments.
We’re Convinced But How Does It Work?
The ads that you see today and brands that you adore have an entire army behind the scenes. Behind one simple ad lies a massive ecosystem of agencies, media buyers, creative directors, concept planners and various departments. Now how do they ensure their artwork is converted into a sale, which let’s be honest is eventually all that matters?
Online Advertising works by using various digital platforms like Facebook, Google, YouTube, etc., deploying targeted campaigns and advertisements to reach a specific audience. It involves creating creative texts, videos, images and other forms of media that incorporate digital advertising. Today almost every digital platform allows various forms of digital advertising – and we love it.
Online Advertisement supports the vast array of free apps and content on the Internet through two primary methods:
Contextual ads are when advertisers use ad networks based on content or keywords to place their ads. For example, a kitchen appliance company may pay for a food ad network that showcases recipes.
On the other hand, personalized ads are based on the user’s behavior, physical location, demographics like age, gender, income or race to display their ads.
Today with Online Advertising taking such a large share of marketing budgets, the simple definition does not serve us well as the industry has transformed into several branches. To completely understand how Online Advertising works, we must understand different forms of digital advertising.
Types Of Online Advertising
Online advertising is everywhere. If you have access to even 1 MB of internet, you are exposed to ads. Some love it, some hate it, some block it, while some of us love it so much that we create blogs about it.
To choose the right format for your campaign’s success, purpose and goals, ensure your campaign is leveraging the right form of digital advertising to maximize your return on investment (ROI). You will need to familiarize yourself with four main types of Online Advertising.
Social Media Ads
With more than half of the world’s population on social media, it’s difficult for marketers to ignore this gold mine. Social media ad spending allows your business to reach and target specific audiences on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest and much more. With platforms like Facebook and Instagram which have more than 2.7 billion active users, you can leverage business tools to advertise using images, videos, stories, leads, or content-driven ads.
Modern consumers today pay money not just for the product, but also for the brand’s ethos, values and engagement. More than 77% of Twitter users appreciate when brands respond to their tweets helping companies garner priceless earned media. Depending on your product and goal, you can do targeting advertising leveraging the platform and its features offered. For example, if IBM were marketing data analytics software for professionals, they would rather pick LinkedIn to target that clientele rather than Pinterest. But glue gun ads would do wonders on Pinterest!
Paid Search Ads
This is also known as Search Engine Marketing (SEM) which helps businesses connect with people looking for that specific query online. This type of digital advertising works on a pay-per-click advertising model, which means the business promoting themselves on search engines does not have to pay for that customer till they click on the advertisement. This was a huge turning point for advertisers as it helped them understand how effective their ad spend is.
Without SEM and Search Engine Optimization (SEO), you would be flooded with catering results from across the globe making your search a nightmare. Paid search ads allow the right businesses to connect with the right audience who are actively looking for their products and services. The most popular platforms for paid search ads are Google (of course!), Bing and Yahoo!
Slipping in this fun fact, Google makes up for more than 70% of total daily searches online with more than 3.5 billion queries!
Native AdvertisingThese are non-disruptive ads that you see on the side of an article or a web page that match and function naturally in the media format of that page. Most readers may not even notice that they are consuming a paid ad and yet it is effective – 31% of the consumers say they are likely to buy from a native ad. There are different types of these ads like in-feed ads that appear in your social feeds, listed in your Google search in blue, etc. You also receive content recommendations after reading an article that is a form of digital advertising and retargeting.
While this may not seem that effective in reality, consumers look at native ads 53% more than display ads, which means that even though your ad may not look promotional, it’s getting the job done.
Display AdvertisingDisplay ads are usually text, images or video-based and meant for the reader to click on that specific CTA encouraging a specific action. Most of them are promoted through click-per-pay and the right platforms help your brand gain visibility to the targeted audience. Google Display Ads use Google Display Network (GDN), where advertisers can design engaging and visually appealing ads and place them on millions of websites and apps (including YouTube and Gmail) connected to their Google Ad Account. Google Ads can also take care of your bidding process and enable automated targeting, clicks, impressions and conversions through Google Analytics so you can track how effective your ad is.
You can also leverage Facebook’s Audience Network which uses the same form of targeting and retargeting from its platform to help you place native ads, banner ads, in-stream ads and much more to the desired audience helping you monetize and boost your ad revenue.
The options today are endless and so are the consumers online. If you still have the lingering thought that online is not always the right solution and traditional marketing cannot be replaced, allow us to take you through some benefits that cannot be ignored!
Benefits Of Online Advertising
Once a Genie offered 3 wishes to businesses: They wished for effective and measurable marketing, accessible reach to the target audience and the ability to track the consumer journey. Lo and behold, entered Online Advertising!
Here are the benefits that we have compiled for you:
If you know your target audience, the demographics, geographics, likes and interests you can reach them within an optimized budget.
An elderly couple may not find baby cereal ads relevant but the same ad will spark interest in a young couple with children. You can interact with your consumers on various steps of their buying cycle with the right targeting messages.
Digital advertising allows you to make tweaks to your campaigns in real time based on your data, budgets and insights.
Lower Operational Costs
Whilst TV ads are still the most effective way to reach wider audiences, they cost a lot. Online Advertising helps target a niche audience with a lower cost that is incurred only when your consumer clicks on your ad helping you build the right ROI strategy.
Online advertising is independent of geography and time. If your business can advertise services and products even in the remotest parts of the world, you will reach your consumers. Let your marketing work for you across the globe!
Say you pay for a billboard ad that is located on a busy highway. There is no way for you to measure how many people saw the ad, read it, or even called you after reading it. With Online Advertising you can measure each step your consumer takes track their behavior and enhance your strategy.
For businesses and marketers, the world of Online Advertising has been a total game changer and we are rooting for their success! The present looks good but step into the time machine and find out what the future of digital advertising holds.
The Future Of Online Advertising Is Here!
We promise not to bombard you with AI and to share a more holistic picture of the future of Online Advertising (because we love you and want you to be prepped for what’s coming ahead!)
To confirm Moore’s Law, digital marketing will never stand still. Its very nature is so dynamic and intertwined with marketing and technology it is limitless. Many trends were slowly taking shape and switching gears, giving rise to the need for hyper-personalization in ads, interactive content, humanistic brands, cookie-less futures and so much more.
In the future, ad tech and MarTech will continue to holistically merge to provide uber-personal user experiences based on shared big data. The unison of Ecommerce and social media will make shopping experiences even more seamless and enable targeting and retargeting of existing clientele. We will see the rise of new marketing formats with AR and VR advertising and more consumer-friendly advances.
As more and more younger generations abandon cable TV (infamously known as cord-cutters) advertisers make their way into connected TVs (CTV), streaming portals, gamification experiences and much more. In 2022, a whopping 92% of US households were covered by CTV programmatic advertising. Why? Personalization is the name of the game. Audiences want ads that are relevant to them and want to understand and sell a more engaging and personalized user experience.
Ok, we lied. We have to talk about AI too. AI will play an increasingly important role in curating personalized and targeted ads for audiences and we are expecting a watershed moment with the emergence of generative AI across virtually every industry.
That was it for the future of Online Ads!
Online Advertising is here to stay and we were lucky enough to witness its growth. Digital advertising is growing at a remarkable pace and following strict formulaic online advertising is not going to help you differentiate yourself from your competition. Eventually, with the advent of AI and the growing needs and demands of the consumer, only human ingenuity and discernment will matter by the end of it. Embrace the opportunities that Online Advertising shows you while staying true to your brand and its ethos.
At TechDogs, we love keeping our readers abreast of our latest technological topics of interest to help you stay ahead of the curve. Hope you enjoyed reading our article!
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