Written by Zachary Schleter — This year, 93% of U.S. adults reported that they use the Internet, up from 79% just 10 years ago, with this number even including 75% of individuals aged 65 and up.
As the percentage of people engaging in digital activity increases, the opportunity to advertise to people online becomes more and more promising.
There are a variety of types of digital advertising, from social media to search engine marketing, all of which can help your business reach a wider audience, often at a lower cost than traditional print advertising.
Below are four of the key types of digital advertising you should be using to give your business the online clout it needs.
Social Media Advertising
Social media is taking over the world. It may sound dramatic, but it’s true. It’s changing the way that we interact with each other, and it’s changing the way that businesses interact with their customers.
Social media allows for a two-way communication process between customers and businesses, giving consumers the ability to like, share, comment, and create their own content and giving businesses the ability to interact with their customers and potential customers in an intimate way not possible before.
Facebook currently has 2.85 billion active users, Twitter has 206 million, and Instagram has one billion, meaning that there’s a large audience for you to reach online.
Each social media platform can play a different role in your overall strategy.
YouTube can be used to share videos, Instagram to share photos, Twitter to share quick updates, and Facebook to share longer updates, using videos and photos.
You can always tailor your use of each platform to support the needs of your business. No matter the industry your business is in, there’s an audience to reach on social media, and there’s an effective way to reach that audience.
Search Engine Marketing
Search engine marketing, also known as SEM, is one of the trickiest types of digital advertising to master.
It involves paying per click for your website to appear at the top of a search engine results page. A majority of a website’s traffic comes from search engines, like Google, so ranking high on a search engine results page is crucial.
SEM usually begins with an ad auction process, whereby advertisers bid to pay Google a certain amount per click on their page for certain keyword searches.
Google selects which advertisers get featured on the top of the search engine results page based on the amount the advertiser bids and the relevance of the advertiser’s webpage to the keywords.
Usually, SEM and its organic counterpart, known as search engine optimization, are best done by a specialist, who keeps up to date with Google’s specifications to ensure that their websites are getting the most traffic possible.
Display advertising, also known as banner advertising, catches your eye several times a day without you even realizing it.
Placed at the top, bottom, or side of a webpage, they are images or graphics that subtly advertise to you, creating recognition of a brand’s message by exposing you to the message repetitively.
These ads are delivered by ad servers, who constantly track the ads in real-time.
Web banners are similar to traditional print ads, though they are advantageous because they provide real-time analytics that allow your ads to be targeted toward web users with specific interests, which can increase your web traffic as users click on your banner to learn more.
It’s the assertion and personalization of banners that will get your name and message out there.
An effective video advertisement can create a connection with viewers in a way that a static image cannot, and it’s a key tool used in the growing digital advertising industry.
Video advertising can take a variety of forms. Linear advertising plays at the beginning, middle, or end of a video like you see on television.
Non-linear ads play in a banner on top of videos, allowing the viewer to watch the video while simultaneously seeing the ad.
Similarly, companion ads playoff to the side of videos, to avoid disturbing the viewing experience.
The different types of video ads allow for more versatility in your advertising, giving you the opportunity to send your message in unique ways that may resonate differently with different viewers.
Making the switch from print or broadcast advertising to digital advertising can be scary, requiring deep consideration.
But digital advertising opportunities continue to grow, and there’s no doubt that the Internet is on its way to being the most powerful force in the advertising industry. Now’s the time to start using all types of digital advertising to elevate your clout online.