5 myths about online advertising

Last week,  the IAB released a report  showing that online ad revenues increased 22% in 2011 reaching $31 billion, a record-breaking figure. Mobile saw the fastest growth with a 149% increase to $1.6 billion, while digital video increased 29% year-over-year and search was up 27%.

So if you haven’t dabbled in digital media planning yet, what’s holding you back? We’ve just released a white paper on the 10 best practices of digital media planning. And before you start reading that, let us dispel a few of the most common fallacies we hear aboutonline advertising.

  1. It’s expensive. Like all forms of advertising, there are cut-rate and costly ways to achieve your goals, reach the right audience and get your message across. The benefit of digital is that you can reach thousands of highly-targeted people at the same time, meaning it might actually cost a lot less to run an online ad campaign versus other mediums. Plus, targeting can make your campaigns more effective without a gigantic uptick in price. 
  1. It’s obnoxious and scam-like. It doesn’t have to be if you use behavioral targeting and think about your target audience. Are you using the right message, is the creative clean and crisp? Your online ads shouldn’t look junk mail. A poll commissioned by the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) found that 75 percent of consumers surveyed prefer the current Internet model where majority of content is free, but includes ads. Further, more than 75 percent said they should be able to choose the types of ads they see and how they are generated. Consumers want some control over their ads. Marketers and agencies need to ensure they can deliver relevant, valuable and engaging advertising.
  1. It’s complicated. You don’t have to be an expert to plan and execute a digital campaign. As with other forms of advertising, objective dictates strategy. Good planning is the key to a successful ad campaign, along with audience development and research. Do your homework and start small. Make realistic and specific goals that can be measured. Google Adwords and social media advertising are often among the first online ad mediums marketers begin with.
  1. Banners are dying. While it’s hard to argue that banners are exceptionally effective, marketers should still consider using them in the right context. Banners can be successful as part of an overall digital campaign, but creativity and media placement are critical. Remember that conversions are tough to achieve with any display ad, but banners do offer an easy and cheap way to introduce your brand to prospects. Plus, do you think billboards are going away any time soon? Probably not.
  1. It’s unnecessary if I’m a local business. False! Digital offers a unique proposition for local advertisers and marketers, especially because smartphones and location-based apps offer enhanced ways to target the right consumers. BIA/Kelsey’s March 2013 forecast of U.S. local media ad spending reports that digital’s place in local advertising will continue to expand. They expect traditional spending to drop from $109.4 billion to $107 billion in 2013 and digital spending to increase from $23 billion to $25.7 billion.

In the SRDS.com database, we offer media planning data on more than 22,000 local and national websites. The right digital sites are out there. It’s up to you to explore the possibilities.

Hopefully this makes the world of online advertising a little bit more approachable. Just like other media types, every campaign should be backed by a well-thought plan, including objectives and specific metrics to determine if your digital effort is successful.

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