Advertising online has become more strategic over the years as lessons have been learned, technology has advanced, bandwidth has increased, and new venues and channels have emerged. Some of the trends we are seeing today are discussed next.
You can purchase keyword advertising on search engine sites that have sophisticated advertising programs, or sites whose advertising real estate is maintained by online advertising agencies that have sophisticated advertising programs. Your ad appears when someone does a search on the keyword that you purchased. This is good for zooming in on your target market.
Purchasing geographically targeted advertising is one of the trends in Internet marketing. This is done by purchasing advertising for a range of IP addresses. Every device that connects to the Internet has its own unique IP address. These are assigned centrally by a designated authority for each country. Sites sell advertising by IP addresses to help businesses pinpoint their target geographic group. For example, John Doe is planning to purchase a motorcycle in Florida and is searching for a dealership in his area. Cycle Riders, a new- and usedmotorcycle dealership in Orlando, happens to be marketing over the Internet, and as part of Cycle Riders’ advertising campaign they have purchased ads by keyword and by IP address. Simply stated, they have said that they want their ad to appear only when the keyword motorcycle is searched on by individuals whose IP address is within a certain range (the range being those existing in Florida). When John Doe does his search on the word motorcycle, the Cycle Riders ad is displayed at the top of the page holding the search results. Someone in Michigan searching for motorcycle would see a different ad.
Behavioral advertising, also known as behavioral targeting, is advertising to Web site visitors based on their own behavior and the behavior of others who are searching for the same things on the Internet.
Behavioral marketers target consumers by following Web site users around and categorizing them based on their searches. For example, if a user visits several Web pages related to skates and hockey and then visits a car dealership Web site, on that Web site there will be an ad for hockey skates. The key for this ad is not the actual profile, but the user’s behavior. Had the user visited several pages related to amusement parks, there may have been an ad for Six Flags Amusement Parks.
Targeting, in terms of advertising, refers to an advertiser’s attempt to reach a desired audience. Re-targeting, also called re-marketing, is the process of targeting those visitors who have been to your site but left without completing the desired conversion.
Re-targeting works by observing your Web visitors’ behavior while they are on your site. If the Web site visitor leaves your site without completing the desired conversion, purchasing one of your products, or signing up for your newsletter, then targeted messages are delivered to these visitors when they visit other areas of your site or when they visit any other site in the advertising network.
The possibilities of re-targeting can be enormous. Re-targeting can also be done with Web site visitors who have been to your site and completed the desired conversion. These customers can be re-targeted with ads for products or services that complement their previous purchase or they can be re-targeted with new related products and services.
Advertising through Content Integration
Today’s online consumer does not want to be advertised to. A new trend for advertisers now is content integration. Content integration takes product placement one step farther than ever before.
With content integration, your products and services become part of an article or part of the topic of discussion in an e-magazine (an e-zine), newsletter, or other online publication. For example, if Popular Woodworking’s online magazine was running an article on the best wood-finishing products, the article would incorporate links to various Web sites such as Minwax (http://www.minwax.com). The article would either recommend or simply inform the reader of Minwax and the link out would allow the visitor to link to its Web site for more information.
Another growing advertising vehicle is video. Online video advertising is generating quite a bit of excitement as more and more businesses are recognizing the combined branding and direct response value.
Social Media Advertising
There is a lot of discussion among Internet marketers about the pros and cons of advertising in social media and social networking sites. For every person who says people don’t look at ads when they are participating in their social sites, there is a great story of someone who has had phenomenal success.
The opportunities abound in social media and social networking sites. The targeted advertising provided through Facebook enables you to get your ad to your target market on a granular level. You can advertise your wedding planning services and have your ad appear ONLY to the female, age 20–25, within 15 miles of Witchita, Kansas, who is engaged using the keyword wedding. And you only pay when the ad is clicked on and that person is delivered directly to the landing page of your choice. See the social media chapters in this book to learn more about social media and social networking opportunities.