In modern times, advertising online is one of the most successful ways to reach a large audience, especially if you are intending to appeal to a broad spectrum of people within society.
But while there are many other successful methods of advertising – age-old methods that have worked for decades – what are the distinct benefits of online advertising, and what, if any, are the downsides?
Methods Of Online Advertising
Unsurprisingly, there are now many different methods when it comes to advertising online, all of them different levels of efficacy.
Of course, having a website is the most common way of establishing an online presence for you or your business.
This lets you tailor your own space and aim it towards your own personal goals, and differs from traditional advertising, which would have once required a degree of subservience to the hosting platform – or indeed a certain moral line you had to walk to fit their tone.
In many ways this epitomizes the effectiveness of online advertising, taking something that was once guarded by industry gatekeepers – or that would require a fee – and putting it in the hands of the people themselves.
For growing businesses, or indeed ones with a community focus, social media has been a game changer to the way we can advertise products and services.
Used frequently by small businesses, and those within the service industries, sites such as Facebook and Instagram are great spaces to connect with customers and supporters on a personal level, and can be a great and (sometimes) productive way of getting feedback.
Similarly, established companies with large revenue streams can spend money to advertise on these sites, thus exploiting the amount of time people spend on social media, and using it to attract their attention while they are scrolling through their news thread.
Even with regards to tragic events, spreading the word about missing people, or by sharing a news story that people will find poignant, social media is a great way of spreading awareness and getting people on board with projects, events, or new products.
Banners & Displays
Companies can also take advantage of the internet to advertise their own services and products through other websites and applications.
These commonly appear in the form of banner and display advertisements, and can appear on any number of social media sites, personal websites, and search engines.
Companies pay a premium for the number of visitors they get through the host site, and the owner of the host site gets a little extra cash as a result.
Simple, cheap, and easy to establish, these were the first form of online advertising, and remain a common occurrence even after nearly 30 years of public internet use.
This is a lucrative and commonplace business model in modern online business, and can be a great way of establishing working relationships between like minded businesses, people, or entities.
These are also good for advertising special offers, or for reinforcing a brand. It can also keep certain brands in the minds of viewers, who may then be compelled to visit the specific site, or look for the product when the need arises.
Pay Per Click
This is another good way of advertisers and host companies making money.
The host company gets a specific amount of percentage (usually based on achieving a specific amount of traffic), which makes this a lucrative and preferred business model for many companies.
Considered the best form of online advertising – both for the advertisers and the customers – this doesn’t cost the viewer anything, and means that the advertiser only has to pay the host site for the actual click through to the site, instead of a premium for verbal advertising or product placement.
Search engine optimization is used by many companies, who use keywords to increase their prominence within their specific topic.
For example, when researching, most people will choose the top result for their query, and this is the spot that companies and pages will vie for.
Online Advertising: Benefits
There are of course manu benefits of online advertising, many of them touched upon already.
Online advertising is far easier than traditional forms, and can be done by anyone who has a computer and access to the internet.
It is also (usually) free, depending on the form of advertising, which means that small businesses and private sellers have more control over their outgoings when getting started.
They also have the ability to reach a larger and more diverse audience, as opposed to newspapers and magazines, who only have limited readerships.
Online Advertising: Downsides
There are of course some downsides with online advertising.
Depending on the product you are marketing, you might be aiming it at children and senior citizens. If this is the case, then they are far less likely to have access to the internet, meaning you aren’t reaching them.
An example of this could be children’s toys, which are generally marketed through children’s television channels.
For older people, this could be pension plans, holiday homes, or even more sensitive things like funeral care. If these are being advertised online, they might not see or interact with them in the same way they would with TV or magazines.
With a global marketplace, there also comes global competition, and whereas in a local community you could corner a market with ease, the nature of the internet means you have to get a bit more creative, or work harder to get your voice heard.
And there we have it, everything you need to know about online advertising, and the benefits therein.
It really has been a game changer for the advertising industry, and while other methods are still used and available, this is ahead of the pack, and it’s clear it isn’t going to be going anywhere soon.