The Future of Paid Advertising [Plus Free Guide]

Paid advertising is one-third of the media trifecta, along with earned media and owned media. I like to say “If you’re paying for something else to leverage it, it’s paid advertising.” You’ve probably seen some examples of paid media as a consumer (print ads, banner ads, and PPC), but where is this $180 billion industry headed?

Digital Advertising

Digital advertising is the fastest growing area of paid media, meaning advertisers are spending more money to target customers on their computers and mobile devices. This leads to an increasingly competitive market for companies to target their customers at the right time in the buying cycle.

There are traditional methods, such as banner ads or Google AdWords which have proved to be successful, but we’re talking about the future today. Here are some new tools to target customers that you will be hearing more about in the near future:

Retargeting. You may have heard of this approach, but what is it? Simply put, you put a piece of code (through a third-party platform) on your website and when a potential customer visits, their information is stored. Once they leave your site, display ads of your choosing follow them around the website. Retargeting is so effective because 1) you know the customer is interested because they visited your site and 2) You have the ability to target ads based on specific product pages they visit and 3) the ability to “follow” them around the internet keeps your brand at the top of mind. One statistic says the average click-through rate for retargeting is 10x that of display ads.

Contextual Advertising. Another one of the “newer” paid media practices, contextual advertising has every thing to do with the context (get it?) of the content on the page. Using a third-party platform, you can pay to have your ads displayed next to relevant content. For example, let’s say you’re looking to start running and do a Google Search for “Running for Beginners” and click on a relevant article. Once on that website, you see an ad for running shoes displayed next to the content. Spoiler alert: A running shoe company probably paid for that placement using keywords from the article matching the keywords in their contextual advertising campaign. Pretty cool, right?

But seriously, is print dead yet?

Is it just me or have we been talking about this for YEARS now? I’m willing to stand up against all the print haters and say that no, print is not dead…if you use it correctly. One print ad in a relevant journal isn’t going to provide much return on investment. BUT, a comprehensive print campaign can. Multiple ads in relevant journals, advertorials, tradeshow marketing, sponsorships––all relevant print opportunities. But when it’s paired together with paid digital marketing into a well-rounded, all-encompassing campaign? Well, now we’re talking.

Paid media comes down to having a cohesive campaign, and targeting the customer across multiple platforms is the most successful way to gain brand awareness, increase leads, and ultimately sell your product or service. The future is bright for digital advertising, but don’t forget about print just yet!

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