Maximized reach + elevate brand awareness + increase top-line. This is a simple three-step process for search engine marketing (SEM) – one of the most popular and suggested ways of new era paid digital marketing. With the intention of reaching millions of users at once coupled with the development of technology (such as mobile phone capabilities), companies have increasingly found paid digital advertising to be an effective way of maximizing their reach.
The Evolution of Paid Digital Advertising
Digital advertising can be both paid and free. When we spot an ad on one of the websites we browse, that’s as simple as digital advertising can get. While the concept at its basic level is retained, many layers have been added recently. Digital advertising spending over the last three years has grown around 15 percent – to now a $240 billion annual spend just in the U.S. and is expected to grow to almost $340 billion by the end of 2020, as shown by Statista in the graph below. A big piece of this spend includes procuring software in the form of marketing analytics tools to help generate consumer-specific data to determine and further refine the target market.
Over the years, digital advertising has become vast as big data is shaping up to play a major role in determining target audience, consumer preferences, website content matching and so on. A large part of this effort is put into developing methods of advertising on mobile phones without disrupting the flow of information and thus disrupting user experience.
Paid Digital Advertising Strategies
Word-of-mouth strategy can comfortably be deemed “old school” in the current market. However, the notion that a business can attract customers through its affiliates and can design it into a paid digital advertising strategy is more cutting edge. Studies show affiliate marketing is a strategy used by many companies to benefit from the knowledge bank of their affiliates and vendors through their industry presence and customer database. This can be beneficial for affiliates as well since it can become a cyclical revenue stream for them.
The automation of sponsored ads are the reason you have likely asked yourself the question, “How do Google and Facebook know what I am browsing?” This technology uses specific contextual ads – showing text or image ads relevant to the data being searched for at that moment. Similarly, floating ads – ones that disappear after a preset time (normally five seconds) are also developed and shaped through the use of analytics tools. Such strategies and many new ideas are being generated and perfected at the moment based on constant data input from data analytics.
Now, moving on to platforms, companies and paid advertisers have realized that the most effective way of generating revenue through ads is by assessing its reach and monetizing the flow of information to the intended target market. To enable this widespread reach, paid advertisers have realized that Google and Facebook are two websites that receive huge amounts of traffic globally. Hence, they are the biggest platforms for digital advertising, according to data from Business Insider. But as other global marketplaces take shape and increase reliability, they also start becoming platforms that paid advertisers can’t ignore.
Growing Paid Digital Advertising Trends
Google tops the online advertising revenue generators in the U.S. with around $35 billion in revenue for 2017, followed by Facebook ($17 billion). Other platforms worth a mention are Twitter and Snapchat. However, eMarketer forecasts a nearly 50% increase in revenue for global retail giant Amazon. In 2019, Amazon is expected to grow its digital ad revenue by over $3 billion. This growth forecast is off the charts but some would argue it’s reasonable, given that Amazon is becoming the place for product searches over the last few years and that should remain.
A report by GroupM Catalyst showed nearly two-thirds of the 250 (B2C) marketers surveyed said they would increase their spend on Amazon advertising. Compare this to an expected 54% increase in Google-related advertising budget and 53% for Facebook. Even paid advertising agencies and analytics companies are not bucking the trend, suggesting increased spending on Amazon factored into their budgets in the coming years.
Get to the Frontline of Innovation
Paid digital advertising is a competition-intense market space where advertisers and marketers compete for clicks. This has given rise to various innovative business models and revenue channels such as PPC (pay-per-click) and PPC (pay-per-call). Marketers are often talking about CPC (cost-per-click) and CPM (cost-per-thousand impressions) and can sometimes sound as though they’re speaking a different language all together. But, the lingo will become more commonplace and this trend will continue given the constant development of technologies and the increased use of mobile phones that reach and connect more people.
At Suncity Advising, we understand the evolving digital ad market and the need for a sophisticated paid ads strategy. If you need insight about the platforms, technologies, or analytics – please feel free to reach out. Our experts are available to bring your advertising into the technology era!
Author: Ivan Reed
Ivan Reed is the CEO of SunCity Advising. His background includes SEO, Web Design, Branding & Technical Marketing. His client portfolio includes successful partnerships with startups, small businesses, medium-sized firms & large corporations.
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