• Advertising /

World of Online Advertising: How It Works

Online advertising is big business, but it can be daunting to the uninitiated. The marketing experts at Sparx Publishing Group break down this sometimes confusing world and explore the future of advertising.

/ SparxTeam / 4 mins

Online advertising is not one-size-fits-all – and that may be one of its greatest strengths. 

Compared to traditional print ads, online ads can be very precisely targeted based on the audience’s age, location, or other demographics. These days, blogs, email newsletters, online articles, and social media are changing the advertising game, with ads often becoming an extension of the content the audience has navigated there to see.  

Types of Online Advertising

To get started, here’s a breakdown of some of the different types of online ads:

Digital Display Advertising: These graphic ads are found on third-party sites and use images, text, audio, video, and flash to catch the eye of their target audience. They can be found on websites, social media, and apps.

Search Engine Advertising: Also known as Search Engine Marketing (SEM). These paid ads appear alongside other search engine results pages (SERPs) and are tailored to a consumer’s immediate interests. After all, they did just type it into their search bar.

Text Ads: Making the leap from print to online, text ads now usually refer to text-based hyperlinks that promote a brand or product and often use a pay-per-click (PPC) model.

Social Media Marketing: Platforms like Facebook and Instagram are popular options thanks to robust analytics tools, which help marketers closely track the success of their ads.

How Online Advertising Is Done

So now that we know a little more about the world of online advertising, how does it actually work?

According to the “Father of Advertising,” David Ogilvy, “A good advertisement is one which sells the product without drawing attention to itself.” At Sparx, we agree. 

The best advertising not only complements its surroundings, it just feels like it belongs. When done right, a well-placed ad can enhance a user’s experience. Which is why where your ad is placed is just as important as what it says. 

On our own Sparx Trading website, for example, we only accept ads that speak to our specific audience.

How you place your ad brings into play direct versus programmatic media buying. Programmatic media buying is, well…programmed. 

Basically, you set up an account on an automated ad-buying platform and purchase your ads through that. Social media ads are a good example of programmatic buying – once you have an account, you can buy ads to your heart’s content, day or night.

In contrast, direct media buying brings more of a human touch – and expertise – to the whole process. It’s a little like the bricks-and-mortar version of shopping. 

Sure, you can buy almost anything online, but if you have questions or prefer more personalized service, you want to talk to a real human with expertise in the product being offered. 

Is Online Advertising Dead?

The rapidly shifting market of online advertising seems to bring up a common question: Is display advertising dead? 

The answer is no, with a caveat: as long as your advertising content is good. Ad blockers stop aggressive pop-up ads and auto-play content – basically the worst of the worst of interruption marketing

Some believe that newer players to the market, like TikTok and Instagram Reels, will eventually replace advertising as we know it. But it’s not an issue of replacement, otherwise television, radio, and newspaper ads would have disappeared long ago. Instead, it’s a matter of adapting and shifting gears. 

The name of the game? Capturing the audience’s attention. 

At Sparx, constant testing – and ad updates whenever needed – help ensure our clients’ messages never get boring or repetitive. 

Communicating value is the bottom line and leads to questions like: What does the audience want to buy? What’s in it for them? Or, as entrepreneur Seth Godin put it, “Don’t find customers for your products, find products for your customers.”

At the end of the day, advertising is still big business, and it won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. 

In 2020, Google’s advertising products created more than $426 billion of economic activity for two million businesses – in the US alone. And, on average, businesses pull in $2 for every $1 spent on ads on Google’s platform. Definitely nothing to sneeze at.

Want Help Creating Your Online Ad?

When it comes to growing your business, online advertising has an important role to play. If you need help getting started, or have questions, the experts at Sparx Publishing Group are always available to chat. You can reach us here

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