Online advertising comes with various benefits thanks to the increasing amount of time consumers spend on the internet. Yet, online marketers are facing several obstacles. New technologies, laws and even changes in consumer behavior make it more difficult to reach the masses. Is digital advertising still worth the effort these days?
Advantages of online marketing
1. Targeting specific customers
You can focus your ads on a particular online market segment and filter your target group according to the location, interests or age. Search engines also let you target the exact keywords related to your business. With these advanced targeting options you can easily create successful campaigns and increase visitor conversion.
2. Lower cost
If we compare online and offline advertising, the cost of online marketing is significantly lower. For example with PPC campaigns, the main advantage is that you pay per visitor, therefore you don’t spend money just because consumers have been shown your ad.
3. Full control with accurate statistics
Online advertising campaigns are under your full control. You know the exact expenses, so you can set a daily budget and monitor overall spending. If you overstep your limit, you can always check the status of individual keywords and ads to adjust them. You also know exactly how many people clicked on your ads and turned from leads to customers. There’s no need to guess if a certain campaign led to an increase in revenue.
4. Improved customer interaction
The possibilities are endless. Customers can click on your ad, order your product directly or strike up a conversation and seek additional information. After buying the product, they can review and share it with friends on social media, thus motivating more customers to shop.
5. Wide range of formats
There’s an ad format for every business. Most of us are familiar with popular banner and text ads displayed in search engines and on websites. We’re also used to seeing video ads preceding and interrupting content on social networks and YouTube. Still, that’s not all – QR codes, text links, affiliate marketing, hashtags and social media contests, all of these can be part of your online marketing strategy.
Disadvantages of online marketing
1. Not everyone is on the internet and wants to share their data
Your potential customers might just not be present online, or only occasionally. They might also use only one specific search engine or social network and you’ll have to find out which one that is with user research. You also have to follow the laws concerning privacy and collection of user data. If your users don’t want you to use their data for any purpose, you have to comply.
2. Limited space for ads
Your advertising message must be short enough to fit into the available space, so you might need to get creative with the call to action. You will probably also have to compete with other business owners trying to promote their own brands. Since there are so many different forms of advertising, it definitely pays to combine them to increase the reach and see which works the best.
3. Declining ad-clicks
The click-through rate is gradually decreasing. While in the past online advertisement enticed a good number of users to click, over the time people became more immune to marketing charms. Large number of internet users actively block the ads through browser extensions. Many others simply choose to ignore them. Some ad formats are not popular at all, because they create a distraction or prevent people from quickly reaching the desired content. For example, instead of paying attention to the video ad, some people will just watch the countdown clock waiting to skip the ad and continue to their video.
All in all, to make sure your company will profit from online advertising, it’s best to start with research. Consider both the advantages and disadvantages of online marketing we mentioned. Determining whether your target audience is online and which social media or websites they frequent is just the start to help you pick the right ad format. Give online marketing a try and see if it works for you.
Do you advertise online? Tell us about your experience!