Unless you’ve literally been living under a rock for the past couple of decades or just woke up from a coma, you have probably noticed that the world has changed a lot in recent years. The advent of the internet and the massive shift to digital mediums that happened as a result of internet-enabled mobile devices has impacted the entire world in a number of ways.
Of primary concern to us at Cardinal is the change in the way in which most people consume content. Prior to tablets, smartphones, and the internet, people spent a lot more time enjoying print content from magazines and newspapers.
These days, however, consumers are spending a massive amount of time in front of screens. And wherever consumers go, so must the advertisers. This reality is why digital advertising came into existence before soaring to new heights.
What is Digital Advertising?
Digital advertising, also called internet advertising or online advertising, is the process of using digital mediums such as blogs, social media, and search engines to promote a message. One of the most common forms of digital advertising is sponsored results on search engines like Google. Advertisers pay for their links to show up at the top of the search engine result pages (SERP) when people search for specific keywords related to that product or server.
While traditional advertising still has its place and continues to be a space that sees massive investment, US digital ad spend surpassed that of traditional advertising in 2019 with a continued upward trajectory. Over $100 billion have been spent on digital advertising every year since 2018.
The biggest names in the digital advertising space are Google and Facebook, with Amazon coming in third. In fact, Google and Facebook alone have accounted for about 60% of total US digital ad spend over the past several years. This duopoly has been seeing some challengers lately with Amazon and all the other competitors like Twitter and Pinterest chipping away at their lead.
Why Do Digital Ads Work?
With this much money being spent on digital advertising, it must be working or companies would have abandoned it long ago. But what is it about digital ads that have made them such a powerful tool for businesses across the world? The answer is a whole bunch of things actually, but some of the biggest benefits provided by digital advertising over its traditional counterpart are targeting, customization, and metrics.
Digital Ad Targeting
We briefly mentioned how ads can be placed at the top of SERPs for specific keyword searches. But that is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the ability advertisers have to target specific audiences through digital advertising.
Digital ads provide advertisers with the ability to create complete customer profiles of their ideal target audience. This makes sure that the people who are served your ads are prime candidates for your specific products or services.
Digital Ad Customization
Unlike traditional advertising, digital advertising allows advertisers to quickly and easily make changes to virtually every aspect of their ad campaign. Imagine being a traditional marketer that notices a mistake in their full-page print ad after it’s already been printed and distributed to millions. That much egg on the face doesn’t wash off very quickly.
Now, imagine you’re a digital advertiser who notices a mistake right before instantly fixing it. You’re already feeling much better than the traditional marketer before you remember that digital advertising also allows you to have multiple versions of ads running simultaneously using methods like A/B testing to determine which version works best.
Digital Ad Metrics
The true power of digital advertising is due to the incredible amount of data tracking that is incorporated into most ad platforms. Customization of ads and the ability to target specific audiences is greatly empowered through the use of detailed metrics, providing constant and nearly instant feedback regarding the success of your advertising efforts.
The impact of every change you make can be measured to deliver specific and actionable information you can leverage to maximize the return on your advertising investments.
At Cardinal, we have made it our mission to help organizations find the audience they deserve with our digital advertising expertise. Contact us to find out more about digital advertising and the services we offer.