Online advertising, also called e-marketing, online marketing, online digital marketing or online advertising, is an extremely dynamic type of marketing that makes use of the Internet to send promotional advertising messages to potential customers. There are numerous ways to launch an online advertising campaign, from search engine optimization (SEO) to pay per click (PPC) campaigns and social media advertising to article writing. However, when it comes to an effective online advertising campaign, the key to success lies in having a carefully thought out plan, from selecting the right media to the most suitable targeting of prospective customers. An online advertisement campaign is highly effective when it targets potential customers who are likely to make purchase decisions.
The most popular way to target potential customers is by creating a website for them. The purpose of a website is to gather information about a person – his likes, dislikes, preferences, skills, etc. By providing helpful information on a website related to a product or service that you are offering, you will be able to drive a lot of traffic to your website. For example, if you are a dental clinic offering dental services through a website, your online advertising would include the provision of links to different dental websites that might be interested in using your services.
A very interesting aspect of online advertising is the use of “paradigm” in delivering messages. Paradigm refers to the way a brand communicates itself, and the various patterns of communication depend on the cultural and historical conditions of the audience. In online advertising parlance, these are called “paradigm faces”. For example, a common internet advertising pattern called the ‘shelf icon’ tells the user that further information regarding this item can be found at the website of the advertiser. In another example, a photo image of the product’s packaging, or a short video clip with an informational background is added to the website.
Online advertising differs from traditional marketing in several ways, as it takes into account the peculiarities of the modern internet environment, the ability of people to be distracted, the difficulty in composing highly targeted marketing messages, and the need to adjust strategies depending on the changing market conditions. Online advertising differs in the way it targets the audience. Unlike print and television advertising, which usually target a single audience, online advertising targets a diverse audience, varying according to age, gender, geographical location, education, income level, interests and other factors. Online advertising also targets the right kind of customers, based on their browsing activities, past shopping habits, the preferences they have for purchasing online, the purchasing cycle they adopt, and the cost they are willing to spend for the goods and services they buy.
In order to effectively use online advertising to promote the business, the advertiser should be able to carefully choose his/her target audience. Online advertising requires the knowledge of the customer base, his/her preferences, his/her mobility and geographic reach, his/her buying cycle and buying behavior. To successfully target the right audience, the advertiser should use various channels to communicate with the target audience. Online marketing requires an interactive process between the advertiser and the potential customers.
Another important change in online advertising is that now advertisers are paying only for the number of clicks, not for leads or purchases. Click-through rate, a measure of the effectiveness of an ad in generating leads, has gradually declined over the years because of the shift to CPA networks that require less data for the calculation. The advertiser is charged for each sale generated by the banner ads. The good thing about this is that the advertisers pay only for the number of action users take, such as clicking on the banner ads, signing up for the subscription list or filling out the form. Online advertisers prefer this system because they benefit from every sale and do not have to worry about refunds.