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The Rise of Digital Advertising

By 10/11/2021Blog

The Rise of Digital Advertising

Do you remember banner ads?

If you’re old enough, the phrase probably brings back memories of websites that sported gigantic horizontal advertisements that blocked content and never disappeared.

The rise of the banner ad and its cousin—the big, bulky sidebar ad—opened a new channel for marketers and advertisers.

The History of Digital Advertising

As banner ads became common, website developers and marketers started looking for the best big thing: pop-up ads. They were impossible to miss, cluttered up web pages, and annoyed users. All in all, they left such a bad user experience, that to say you worked in digital advertising left your conversational counterpart on the verge of disgust. 

As technology continued to evolve, targeted advertisements began to rise in popularity. Ads were sold based on the number of impressions (CPM = Cost Per Thousand, or Mille) impressions. Besides building sales, these ads yield accurate data that can be interpreted to yield even better results. 

Paid search results grew from there as another channel for advertisers who began to dedicate more of their budgets to make sure their websites appeared “above the fold” when customers were looking for products and services.

Digital Advertising Growth

As the technology behind digital advertising improved businesses began to increase their marketing budgets. In 2016 the retail industry alone spent $16 billion in digital ads, with a forecast of $23 billion by 2020. The spend last year was actually $28 billion.

Globally, digital ad spending topped $378 billion in 2020, which was surprising due to the impact of COVID-19 on the economy. Digital advertising experienced a slight decline, but spending still grew by 12.2% in 2020.

What’s more, digital spending is set to grow overall by 5.8% for this year. Economic uncertainty will likely continue to hinder digital spending growth until next year with projected total advertising spends of $619 billion.

The Future of Online Ads

Today, in the digital advertising space you hear terms such as:

  • Geofencing – a type of location-based advertising where you draw a boundary around an area and the ads are delivered once a mobile device enters the zone.
  • Connected TV advertising – digital advertising that’s performed on streaming tv channels, such as Hulu or Roku TV, typically with the ability to retarget the viewer on another device later, like a laptop or phone
  • Conversion tracking – the method, usually using a piece of code, that will track someone who clicks on a digital ad and performs your desired task, such as completing a purchase or download a white paper
  • Display Ad – the new name for banner ads, a visual ad with or without animation that appears on a website or mobile device
  • Frequency Cap – the limit of times a specific visitor will see your ad
  • Retargeting – delivering ads to the same use after they have viewed a website or product at a later time or on another device
  • Programmatic – when you define a set of criteria about your target audience and desired outlets, and ads are bought in real-time

It is becoming a more intricate and involved space that requires knowledge and experience to navigate.

Have you ever had an advertisement follow you around the internet? Or felt like your phone knows what you’re thinking? That’s a prime example of hyper-targeted advertising. Marketers know that ads must target a particular user profile, at a certain time, with an appropriate message. As most know, they’re getting our data from our browsing history and what we respond to on social media. However, with changes in operating systems to meet user demand for privacy, we’ll definitely see a shift in strategy in the coming years.

Native advertising is one such shift. By creating ads that fit the style and design of a web page, the marketing becomes more “advertorial.” As with influencer marketing, brands know that hearing a suggestion from a trusted voice in an authentic way is more powerful than being advertised to. 

Another shift is using a non-digital ad source for outreach. Strategic placement of QR codes in stores and restaurants, targeted direct mail campaigns, and even good old-fashioned out-of-home marketing (like billboards) can extend reach and find customers who may not see your content online.  

Plan Your Strategy

It can be difficult to decide how to conduct an advertising campaign that will provide positive ROI. 

Sinuate Media can help you craft a compelling—and competitive—organic marketing strategy. Our team’s experience and knowledge enable our clients to experience positive results and growth. If you have questions about digital marketing, website design, print marketing, or your brand, please get in touch for a complimentary consultation. We’d love to hear from you!