The number of internet users has recently reached 5.16 billion, which is more than 64% of the world’s population.
With the vast majority of consumers spending significant amounts of time online, online advertising has become essential for marketers looking to connect with their target audience, build brand awareness, and achieve their desired goals.
If you’re still on the fence about trying it, this post will give you an overview of the key benefits of online advertising and help to understand why it’s a must in every modern marketing strategy.
Online advertising, or digital advertising, is the practice of promoting products, services, or brands on the internet using a variety of channels and techniques.
Some examples of online advertising include banner ads, social ads, email marketing, mobile and video advertising. These ads can be targeted to specific audiences based on factors such as demographics, location, interests, and behavior.
Typically, advertisers use online advertising to increase brand awareness, generate leads, drive traffic to their website, and increase sales. The effectiveness of online ad campaigns can be measured through metrics such as click-through rate, conversion rate, cost-per-click, return on investment, and many more, depending on specific campaign goals.
The online advertising industry is dynamic and constantly evolving, with new technology and platforms emerging regularly. Considering how much time people spend immersed in their smartphones nowadays, that’s not really surprising.
Here are some numbers to begin with:
Based on these numbers, there are some unmissable opportunities within online advertising, not to mention the benefit-rich nature of this marketing form itself.
Every time you go online, you leave a digital footprint behind. It’s like a regular footprint that can help someone trace you but on the internet, and it refers to the trail of data you leave when surfing the web.
This can include websites you visit, the information you submit online, devices you use, your geographical location, and much more. In online advertising, this data can be used to target the right audience, regardless of the channel advertisers use to serve their ads.
Put simply, by using online advertising, you can reach people who are most likely to be interested in what you have to offer, in the right place, at the right time.
For instance, you can use location-based targeting to promote your brand in a chosen geographic area, e.g., if you’ve just opened a new beauty salon in San Francisco, you can target only people who live there.
In the same way, you can target people by age, gender, browsing behavior or interests, socio-economic class, and other criteria.
People all around the world use social media, read news sites, play mobile games, and engage in many other activities online. Given the size of this audience, that’s a lot of eyeballs ready to see your ads, which wouldn’t be possible using traditional advertising.
Online advertising is independent of any country or specific time and can help you promote your products or services beyond the area where you’re located or actually operate.
For example, advertising on Facebook offers a potential reach of 1,983 million users as of January 2023. Although this figure has slightly decreased since 2022 and is varying overall, it’s still an impressive total potential audience many different businesses can tap into and find their ideal customers among it without being limited by country borders.
When it comes to online advertising, social media is one of the first channels that pops into the mind. It’s a quick way to connect with the target audience and build more meaningful relationships, as you can put ads in front of people and keep an ongoing conversation with them.
Besides social media, online advertising enables brands to reach people using a variety of other options, including:
Those are just a few examples that prove that any brand willing to start advertising online can find a channel that best suits its needs and works best.
Online advertising offers one of the widest varieties of creative ad formats compared to other advertising types. And when we say wide variety, we mean that there are basically no limits to how you can showcase your brand.
Depending on the channel and the platform you use to advertise, this can vary from static banners to in-game ads that naturally blend into the gaming environment. Moreover, in a world of short attention spans and advertising clutter, rich media are gaining more traction as an ad format that can help to significantly increase user engagement.
For example, instead of serving a regular banner that’s not that difficult to ignore, Fanta chose to encourage interaction with the ad by inviting its audience to play a little game (try it out):
Another great advantage of online advertising is personalization possibilities, which is key to not only building more meaningful connections with potential and existing customers but also essential for more effective advertising campaigns.
Personalization means customized experiences, ads, or actions that address the audience’s needs and wants, increasing the chances of conversion – whether it’s a newsletter sign-up or an online sale.
This goes hand-in-hand with the digital footprint and targeting possibilities, as we all know that platforms providing advertising services are swimming in data. This data helps get a better image of the target audience and craft compelling messages.
So, in short – collected data are great for choosing targeting criteria, but this alone won’t help you meet the needs of your target audience. But the combination of the latter and content personalization based on the data you have can help you do that when advertising online.
Depending on the type of online advertising you’re using, you can often optimize your campaigns in real-time or make necessary edits if you notice anything missing. It’s something you can't do with, for instance, print ads or TV advertising.
Take programmatic advertising, for example. You don’t need to wait until the campaign is over to evaluate the results. You can track impressions, clicks, and websites where your ads appear and make changes based on their performance while they're still running.
Or imagine you accidentally left an embarrassing typo in your social media ads – you can still quickly fix any errors (but be aware of the engagement your post might have already gained).
Online advertising gives you more flexibility and freedom for making mistakes (don’t abuse it, though), but the possibility to tweak your campaigns as you go can also make a noticeable positive impact on the campaign's effectiveness.
Another great benefit of online advertising is that it allows advertisers to retarget consumers who have already interacted with their brand in one way or another (e.g., visited a website, checked social media, etc.) but didn’t complete a desired action. Thanks to the data, again.
In online advertising, it can be beneficial for several reasons:
Simply put, retargeting truly enriches the possibilities of online advertising, enabling advertisers to reach people who are already easier to convince.
Since online advertising requires effort, ideally, you should know if the strategies you’re using really work.
Online advertising, regardless of the type or channel you use, allows you to track progress accurately and measure the results of your campaigns. Basically, anything you want to track – you can track. Impressions, engagement, clicks, conversions, sales, ROI, you name it…
Access to this information can help you make data-driven decisions in the future, like improving targeting, setting objectives and goals, and maximizing the effectiveness of campaigns overall.
Although it might seem like brands are the only ones benefiting from online and advertising in general, it’s not really true.
There are many reasons why ads are also beneficial for consumers – and why some are hunting them online.
So online advertising is actually a two-way street. Quality advertising benefits both sides, enabling businesses to raise awareness and sell more while consumers can broaden their knowledge and be sure they’re spending their money wisely.
Advertising online can be an efficient and very effective way for brands to reach potential customers in ways that were not available with traditional advertising methods.
With the continuous growth of the internet and the increasing usage of digital devices, companies can leverage online advertising to build successful marketing strategies and achieve their overall goals.