The fastest growing media outlets for advertising are through those accessible on digital devices that utilize internet and mobile network technologies. Digital media advertising principally includes ads presented on desktop computers, tablets and smartphones, though digital televisions accessing internet content can also fall into this category. Compared to spending in other media, the rate of spending for digital media advertising is experiencing tremendous growth. Digital media advertising’s influence continues to expand and each year more major marketers shift a larger portion of their promotional budget to this medium. Two key reasons for this shift rest with the digital media’s ability to: 1) narrowly target an advertising message, and 2) track user response to the advertiser’s message.
For advertisers, digital media offers several advertising options including.
- Website Advertising – When visiting a content-focused website (i.e., a website that primarily delivers informative content rather than selling products), there is a good chance visitors will be exposed to advertisements. When creating website advertising campaigns, marketers have a large number of options to consider. These include:
- Multiple creative types (e.g., video, image-only, text-only, 360-degree, etc.)
- Multiple ad sizes (e.g., full-screen, ads adjusting to screen size)
- Multiple user involvement options (e.g., users see ad for 10 seconds before watching a video, users must click in order to remove the ad)
- Multiple general targeting options (e.g., demographics, geographic location)
- Multiple specific targeting options (e.g., ads appear based on words entered in a search box, ads appear based on user’s previous experience on a website)
- Selective ad placement options (e.g., ads placed on specific websites, so-called native advertising where ads appearing to be part of the regular content of a site)
- Mobile App Advertising – The growth in advertising on mobile devices is being fueled by technological advances occurring with the computing power of hand-held devices as well as significant gains in speed of data delivered over wireless networks. Not only are advertisements displayed when a mobile device user opens a web browser to view internet sites, advertisements are also embedded within specialized apps that run on these devices. Also, social media apps offer unique ways for inserting ads within users’ postings.
- Email Advertising – Using email to deliver an advertisement affords marketers the advantage of low distribution cost and potentially high reach. In situations where the marketer possesses a highly targeted list, response rates to email advertisements may be quite high. This is especially true if those on the list have agreed to receive email, a process known as “opt-in” marketing. Email advertisement can take the form of a regular email message or be presented within the context of more detailed content, such as an electronic newsletter. However, as most people are aware, there is significant downside to email advertising due to highly publicized issues related to abuse (i.e., spam).
- In-Text Advertising – This type of digital advertising ties ads to text found within a marketer’s digital material, such as specific words contained in articles or other content. For example, when placed on websites text is formatted to be distinct from surrounding information (e.g., underlined words) and an ad will be triggered in the form of a pop-up box when visitors moves their cursor over the text.