Demystifying digital advertising

So what really is digital advertising?

While digital advertising certainly isn’t new to the industry, it’s become a popular tactic for many businesses looking to expand their advertising strategy. It’s such a good choice because of the ability to target a specific audience – by behavior, geography or by certain keywords.

Digital advertising is the promotion of products or brands via one or more forms of electronic media. This includes websites, social media, mobile, electronic billboards, digital television or radio. You may have even heard it described as interactive, new media or even internet and online marketing.

How do I pay for all this?

Two main categories exist within digital advertising: paid and display advertising. Paid is usually referred to as pay-per-click (PPC) or cost-per-click (CPC). Display advertising refers to the use of online ad banners of various shapes, sizes and formats. These ads could use a combination of text, images, audio and video to communicate a message. We’ll focus on the display category for this article.

Web banners are typically sold by a certain number of impressions – the number of people who see your ad. One person equals one impression. Depending on budget, you will typically pay for a certain number of impressions per month. Sometimes, however, it is possible to purchase ads for a fixed cost over a certain time period.

Where do the ads go?

Display advertising is sold through advertising networks that run ads on websites. Your ad could appear on well-known websites such as news sites, home decorating sites and more. If a website allows advertising, it’s possible your ad could show up there. Ad networks are able to track display ads and provide monthly reports on user interactions.

As part of the digital campaign, depending on the objective, AMPM recommends that ads link directly to a landing page or microsite to give the audience specific information. Installing website analytics on the landing page or microsite offers valuable information about audience behavior once they’ve clicked the ad.

Is it worth it?

When comparing digital advertising to traditional advertising, the benefits are numerous.

  • Broad reach – potential to reach internet users anywhere
  • Targeted – easier to identify and target specific customer demographics
  • Cost-effective – reach a large audience
  • Flexible – easy to make changes to ads/messages
  • Improved engagement – allows brand promotion as well as gathers immediate feedback from customer base

As with all advertising and marketing activities, it’s best not to put all your eggs in one basket. Yes, digital advertising is effective, but it should be part of a well-rounded strategy that meets your goals and reaches your target audience.