Online Advertising – Is it For Me? Three Steps to Deciphering Online Advertising Opportunities!

Do you sometimes feel like you’re on the road to nowhere trying to decipher online advertising opportunities? Well, you’re not alone. With all of the social media marketing, banner ads, article sites, ad words, blogs, podcasts, gaming, etc. it can be quite a daunting task to sort through the maze of available online advertising opportunities. So, here is some information to help you get started in this fascinating online world.

Definition of Online Advertising

What exactly is online advertising? Examples of online advertising include contextual ads on search engine results pages, banner ads, rich media ads, social network ads, online classified advertising, advertising networks, and e-mail marketing, including e-newsletters.

With all of these choices which ones should your company dive into? Well, if you’re a novice in the online world, perhaps you should start small and send e-announcements to your customer database. This is a good way to stay in touch with your existing customers. If you want to enlarge your circle of prospects, then it’s very easy to offer an e-newsletter with an opt-in subscription. If you don’t have the staff in-house to accomplish this there are several companies that can help you develop your e-mail template. They also will maintain your database of subscribers and provide you a report of new and opted-out subscribers. They even provide you the HTML code so that you can place a sign-up box on your website.

Competitive Advantage of Online Advertising vs. Traditional Print Advertising

Unlike print advertising where your prospects have to wait for the magazine or journal to hit the streets before they see your ad, online advertising is instantaneous. So, it is a good way to promote special seminars that your company may be sponsoring, highlight a new product launch, or even provide personnel announcements. It is also much easier to track who is clicking on your ad. However, be wary because you really want to count clickthroughs rather than just clicks. You also pay for CPM (Cost per Thousand) rather than a frequency rate for a particular sized ad like you do in print advertising.

Interactive ad expenditures are forecast to increase dramatically in 2010. Whether you are comfortable or not with online advertising, you will definitely need to budget some of your marketing dollars for this type of media. Social media marketing is still in the development stage. No one is really quite sure how to make money using these tools. Right now it is a good way to get prospects to follow your company and to direct them to your website.

Does Online Advertising Work?

Some of you may be skeptics but online advertising does work. Statistics show that 77% of Internet users employ search engines more frequently than any other online advertising media. 84% of Internet users are online four or more hours per day. 55% of Internet users are more likely to purchase online after seeing a search listing. Only 9% are more likely to purchase after seeing banner ads. But that doesn’t mean that banner advertising is dead. Instead of using a static banner, try integrating rich media such as video or gaming to the mix. For an attention-grabber, some companies get viewers to interact with their banner ads. Promoting some sort of contest or game does the trick. In fact, in-game advertising is expected to see a 9% growth in 2009 and up to 28% growth in 2010. In-game advertising is a good way to engage the visitor.

Another form of online advertising is known as contextual advertising. These are graphical or text-only ads that correspond to keywords of an Internet search. They can also correspond to the content of the page on which the ad is shown. For example, if you type in a search for “flowers” you might get an advertisement for a florist’s website. A newer technique involves embedding keyword hyperlinks throughout an article, which is sponsored by an advertiser. When the user follows the links, they are sent to the sponsor’s website.

There are many ways to advertise online. So, take the plunge and get started with this new and exciting media.

About KIWI Communications, Inc.

KIWI Communications, Inc., a privately held company, is a leading provider of marketing and advertising services, specializing in the life science, biotechnology, medical device, and high-tech industries. They have a diverse client roster ranging from early stage start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. Founded in 1999, they offer a variety of marketing services such as eMarketing, public relations, social media marketing, direct marketing, exhibit planning, market research, as well as traditional marketing and advertising services like print advertising and collateral production. Located in Orange County, CA, KIWI Communications,

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The Art of Online Advertising

Online advertising is all around us. Sometimes it’s discrete, and sometimes it’s in your face. Sometimes it’s helpful, and sometimes it’s annoying. As the web continues to evolve into a completely free service, sponsored only by advertisers, so too does the integrated complexity of online advertising. The purpose of this post is to explore the art of online advertising by looking at human nature with respect to both the general public and advertisers.

How did the internet evolve into a collection of free services?
In the early days of the internet, people had to pay for pretty much everything. Can you imagine having to pay for an online directory? AOL did. And they made a lot of money from it too. Paying for services like online directories was very short lived however, due to the human nature of competition. In the mid 90’s, a couple of college students created a free online directory of their favorite websites, and later added search capabilities. It was a little project called Yahoo. As other free services began to emerge in order to compete with paid services, the free services began to take over the internet, resulting in the web that we know and love today.

The nature of online advertising
In one of my previous articles, How online advertisers sponsor the internet, I discussed how most of the major websites we use today are free services that earn revenue from online advertisers. That being said, it’s interesting to see how different business models support online advertising. To really understand how online advertising fits into the world wide web, it’s important to realize what the general public wants and expects out of their internet experience, and what online advertisers want and expect out of ad-driven websites.

The general public, for the most part, uses the internet as a tool to find information, to be entertained, to network, and to get work done. People aren’t usually seeking to find new products and services offered by businesses. Online advertisers, on the other hand, see the internet as a portal of potential new customers. They are generally only concerned with one thing: getting people to find out about their business, and getting people to use their services or buy their products. Finally, the free websites that we use every day, like Google, YouTube, and Facebook, must somehow find a happy medium between both of these group’s desires and expectations. How do they do it?

Assault Advertising
Assault Advertising is when a website aggressively forces users to look at advertisements. The most notorious example of Assault Advertising is popup ads. Fewer websites use this technique today because it usually causes new visitors to leave the site and never return. These types of websites are like radio stations that play commercials 90% of the time. Who wants to listen to that?

Assertive Advertising
Assertive Advertising is a technique that websites use to promote advertisers in less aggressive ways than Assault Advertising. For example, when a page or video is loading, sometimes websites will use Assertive Advertising to show an ad while the user waits for content to load. Visitors are usually more accepting of this type of advertising because it’s non disruptive, unlike Assault Advertising.

Peripheral Advertising
Peripheral Advertising is a type of advertising in which websites display both content and ads simultaneously, with the hope that users might glance at the advertisements while viewing content. This is the most common type of advertising because it’s easy to implement and usually doesn’t annoy visitors. This type of advertising is usually implemented with banners and image ads like the one at the top right of this page.

Inline Advertising
Inline Advertising is the most effective and least invasive form of online advertising. This type of advertising is usually implemented with one or two links integrated within a website’s content. Google for example displays paid advertisements at the top of selected search result pages. As users search for the content they are looking for, they naturally read through the advertisements and have a very high likely hood of clicking on a link. As another example, Digg uses Inline Advertising by positioning paid Digg articles in the third slot of every Digg category page. WebKrunk also uses Inline Advertising because the end of each article leads directly into two links paid for by online advertisers.

The future of online advertising

Since Inline Advertising is more effective for advertisers and less intrusive for visitors, it only seems natural that this form of advertising will become increasingly popular with future ad-driven websites. Inline Advertising is the happy medium that ad-driven websites have been looking for all along.

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