Pros & Cons of Digital Advertising
The digital world has made online advertising an absolute must for many companies. While it is the primary way to get your name out there and attract the billions of dollars that flows through e-commerce and retail stores as a result of online advertising, it’s not without its downfalls. When you’re setting up an online advertising campaign, it’s important to understand the pros and cons of the situation before you invest a significant amount of time, money, and effort into the process.
- You have the ability to reach your potential customers at the places they visit online. Online advertising through search engines, social media sites, and popular websites gives you adspace on some of the most trafficked places on the Internet.
- Ad targeting. While you can simply get impressions on high traffic sites to get as many eyes on your advertising as possible, your marketing results tend to be much better if you do some targeting before you start running the ads. Many sites have extensive data on the type of reader who visits and uses their sites on a day to day basis. Some have ad platforms that allow you to only display your ads to certain user segments, such as the way Facebook handles their advertising. Since a significant amount of demographic and location information is shared by Facebook users, this allows the social networking site to give you a great deal of opportunity for laser focused ads.
- A wide range of costs. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re a massive business, there’s a site that has an advertising cost that meets your needs. Smaller niche sites also have the advantage of attracting your target demographic, so you’re getting high quality traffic without having to pay an exceptionally high price.
- Responsive testing. In the print and television advertising world, it takes time to change marketing collateral to adjust to errors in the advertising, change marketing tactics, or update the information. Online advertising allows you to quickly change your marketing materials, sometimes even without the direct intervention of the publisher. For example, the Google Adwords backend allows you to make on the fly adjustments of existing advertising so you can see the phrasing or style that works best for you, and what’s falling flat for your company.
- Easy split testing. Many online advertising platforms allow you to load several versions of a particular ad, as well as how often you want to run a particular ad type, so that you can test several ads at the same time. This makes split testing and other types of online advertising testing easy to accomplish.
- Many website visitors are so inundated with online advertising that they experience ad blindness. Their eyes simply skip over the locations that banner advertising and other types of advertising are located, and may have a negative view of sponsored content.
- Ad blocking. All current versions of popular Internet browsers such as Google Chrome have access to ad blocking extensions. Instead of experiencing banner blindness and not seeing your ads, they completely block the ads from getting to their browser. By default, these extensions block a majority of ad servers and are updated to adjust to new ones on the market as well.
- Competition. You have a great deal of opportunity on the Internet, but you also have a great deal of competition. You can’t just set up an e-commerce site and expect the money to flow in. If you don’t have any way to set yourself apart from your market, you’re going to be drowning in a saturated market. Your online advertising is likely to be displayed alongside competitors, so it’s important that you have a way to stand out.
- Distraction. When you’re advertising through a search engine or on a site that has a lot of content curation, your potential customers are getting distracted by dozens of things on the screen at once. The amount of traffic leaks can easily lead your online advertisements to not be as effective as they are.
- Analytics learning curve. To completely take advantage of online advertising methods, you need to spend a lot of time tracking the data and adjusting your advertising by watching stats tracking and other analytics programs. If you haven’t used this before, there is a learning curve before you understand how all of the stats interact.
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