Advertising is about time and place. If you’re not advertising where your customers are, then you’ll miss them – and your money will be wasted. And it’s never been more important to be on top of the latest advertising strategies than it is today, because the internet has changed advertising forever.
Internet advertising is everywhere
For as long as it has existed, advertising has been about meeting people where they are. Advertisements printed in newspapers greet people over their morning coffee. Ads on trains find commuters. Billboard ads reach drivers making their way into the city. Television ads speak with people in between their favorite TV programs.
But, increasingly, one type of advertising has the ability to find people no matter where they are. It’s online advertising, and thanks to the smartphone revolution, it’s no longer limited in the way that newspaper ads and billboard ads are. Online advertising speaks to people over their morning coffee, too. It speaks to them on the train. And while it hopefully doesn’t speak to them while they’re driving, it reaches them while they view their favorite media. In other words, online advertising can go anywhere that its legacy competition can, plus many more places that advertising has never before stepped foot in. You’d never let someone put a billboard up on the ceiling above your bed, but you’d willingly watch a streaming video on your phone before you go to sleep – and that video might have an ad play before it. Internet advertising is everywhere.
How companies use the internet to be found
It’s 1950, and you’re on your way to the grocery store. When you get there, you need bread. You want healthy bread, and you saw an ad somewhere once that told you that Healthy Brand Bread is the best. You see Nutritious Brand Bread on the shelf, too, but you’ve never heard of it. You buy the Healthy Brand Bread.
It’s 2017, and you’re on the same errand. You reach the bread aisle. Which of these is better? You pull out your phone and you search “healthiest bread.” The first his is Nutritious Brand Bread. You buy it.
Maybe you didn’t even click on Nutritious Brand Bread’s website, or notice the paid result at the top of the search page. In some ways, this wasn’t a victory of advertising at all – at least not in the traditional sense. But good modern advertising appreciates the importance of something called search engine optimization. This simply means making your brand and its website as friendly as possible to the algorithms used by search engine companies like Google.
Internet advertising includes pay-per-click ads and social media options, too, but few things are as important as search engine optimization. The internet is the place where customers find their brand loyalties – and SEO is about being the brand that’s found. A good advertising strategy will combine point per click ads, paid media, and SEO to create a brand that’s easy to find on the web.
Tools of the trade
Even if online advertising didn’t exist, the internet and computers would still have changed the game.
These days, even print advertising starts online. Advertising experts are hired online. Computer tools are used to create the brands and images in the ad. Apps are used to develop everything from advertising strategies to specific ads. And even the letters in your ads are online-influenced – the way we view certain fonts has a lot to do with the culture of the internet, which has exposed people to far more fonts than they ever saw in the age of typewriters and newspapers.
The internet has changed advertising – and the industry will never be the same. The good news, though, is that advertising has grown more agile and powerful. The change has been good for advertisers, because there have never been more ways to reach consumers. Companies that invest wisely in good marketing will find that the internet has made their advertising options better and more versatile.