What is Digital Advertising? Which Method is the Most Effective?

By Lindsey Gruden No comments

Hello Readers! As many of you know, I am working towards an MFA in Creative Writing at Concordia St. Paul and a MA in Communication at Southern New Hampshire University. This is an assignment for one of those classes. From Cursive to Curses will return later this week! In the meantime, please enjoy a little history of digital advertising!

A Brief History of Digital Advertising

Digital Advertising can be an amazing tool to help promote your business, project, or craft to potential buyers. However, it is also can be confusing which method of digital advertising is the most effective. When the rubber hits the road, it all comes down to the simple answer: it depends. You may be wondering how is this helpful? What kind of answer is that? It is everything! Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s back up to the beginning.

According to Amazon ‘Digital advertising refers to marketing through online channels, such as websites, streaming content, and more. Digital ads span media formats, including text, image, audio, and video.’ How is this something that you can utilize? It is a method and tool to promote your business and products online. 

October 27, 1994, was the day that changed advertising. According to Hubspot, “AT&T paid HotWired $30,000 to place the banner ad above on their site for three months.” It was the first of its kind and started the trend. It had a 44% click rate! Overall, it was viewed as a huge success. They may start a new wave of advertising but soon, they had competition. 

Doubleclick grew from the emergence of the new digital advertising age. They promised a return on investment (ROI) through their D.A.R.T method. This method was dynamic advertising reporting and targeting. The Doubleclick agency and its tools allowed companies to judge how well their advertising was doing. If was not getting the right traction, the ad was pulled and the focus was moved to another digital advertisement. Over the next year, companies started to get creative in their digital advertising. Netscape and Infoseek created a new method called Cost Per Impression (CPM). 

Digital Advertising took another turn in 1997 with the development of pop-up ads. This method is by far the most hated form of digital advertising. In the early 2000s, web browsers started coming up with pop-up blocking systems. So, companies started to develop another method of digital advertising, pay per click

Pay per click and pay per placement came down to the search engine. Yahoo was starting to come out as a real tool in the search engine tool, later to be replaced by Google. The companies would pay to have their websites on the top of the list when a search was conducted. Pay per placement involved pay per click. If their website was at the top and a user clicked on it, the company would pay a small amount to the search engine. This small amount adds up over time.

As the 2000s progressed, so did digital advertising. Social media soon offered a new array of opportunities. Social media uses targeted ads and links based on what you put into their systems. It creates algorithms and shows companies and products that fit the user’s tastes. 

Types of Digital Advertising

Social Media

Social Media marketing is when a company or business pays to have their ad run on any social media site. You’ll usually see these on Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Snapchat.

Why would this be a good form of digital advertising? Once the ad is out there, it will gain traction and allow the consumers to do the marketing for you. A consumer or a user of a social media site may see your product or business and if they have no use for it, they will know someone who does. I have been guilty of sending ads to my friends and family because I know they would be interested in the product!

Banner Ads

A banner ad is essentially a digital billboard for your product or business. In the picture above, you are looking at the banner ad for SurveyMonkey. This company paid Yahoo to place their banner on their main page.

Why would this be a good form of digital advertising? Yahoo is a website that focuses on email and therefore has a volume of users that use their site every day. By placing a banner on the homepage of the site, SurveyMonkey is potentially bringing in consumers to their business.

Want to learn more about Digital Advertising? Check out these sources!

Hesterberg, Karla. “A Brief History of Online Advertising.” HubSpot Blog, 29 Nov. 2021, https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/history-of-online-advertising.

Hassan, Mohamed. “Online Advertising Digital – Free Vector Graphic on Pixabay.” Pixabay, 12 Oct. 2021, https://pixabay.com/vectors/online-advertising-6693945/.

Rodríguez, Ashley, and David Reis. “What Is Digital Advertising and 4 Examples to Use in Your Strategy.” Rock Content, 9 Dec. 2021, https://rockcontent.com/blog/what-is-digital-advertising/.

Amazon, Staff. “What Is Digital Advertising? A Beginner’s Guide.” Amazon, Harvard University Press, 2015, https://advertising.amazon.com/library/guides/what-is-digital-advertising.

Leave a Reply