A little Tour On The Digital Marketing Landscape

As you explore the opportunities provided by online marketing, it would be helpful to first take a look at the history of digital advertising and review the current landscape. The first widespread digital advertising started in the early 1990s. Display banners for Sears’s products started appearing on the bottom of the screen for customers of an online service provider. At that time, they were much like magazine ads, visual but not interactive. In 1993, the first clickable ad was created by a law firm in Silicon Valley, and from there, things took off. In 1994, web banner advertising was mainstreamed and stayed so until 1998 when the first search advertising keywords became available through a company that was eventually acquired by Yahoo. Google followed by launching Adwords in 2000 and the rest of digital marketing fell into place. From 2000 until now, we’ve watched the landscape shift to include social media, video advertisements, interstitial advertising, and an entirely new marketing methodology surrounding the idea of promoting content and not just ads. We’ve also seen entirely new platforms catered to improving ads, tracking ads, and serving ads, and gain massive market share. Since 2010, mobile advertising spending has been increasing 90% each year. As the adoption of digital media continues to climb, we’re seeing people spend longer periods of time online, and this means that the digital channels are growing rapidly, and with it, the allure of digital marketing.

In 2000, it would have been extremely difficult to decide to promote yourself online, but now, it’s just crazy not to. So throughout these years, we’ve really seen some incredible shifts in how people respond to online marketing, and as for today, we have a pretty good picture of the current landscape as well. First of all, search is the number one source currently used when making a decision to purchase something. This comes from consumers all the way up to high-level business decision makers. Your website’s visibility and search is likely the most valuable real estate online because searchers are expressing intent, and are of a niche, they’re an ideal target. Paid search is a key piece of today’s digital landscape, and the current leader to buy ads from is Google Adwords. Emails were once the marketer’s dream, a quality email list was extremely valuable in the early 2000s. Now, it’s still effective, but it has to be mobile, almost 50% of all emails are open on a mobile device, so the landscape has definitely shifted. With mobile email, the digital marketplace demands a mobile website. We’re seeing a huge trend in marketing automation as well. These concepts involve automated bidding based on results, automatically remarketing to people who visited your site, and even creating custom advertisements specific to what a user was searching for. Automation will continue to evolve over the next couple of years, and it’s likely going to stay a key component to the marketer’s toolkit. Social media is still proving to be valuable for many brands.

There’s been some pushback from the consumer as it relates to advertisements and social, but this marketing style is still relatively young and has room for improvement. We will likely see social advertising remain very popular in today’s landscape, and finally, we’re in a mature stage of content marketing. Building high-value content for audiences is proving to generate significant auto eyes for those doing it well. Users report interesting content as being one of the top three reasons they follow a brand. Now content marketing might actually be in the early stages of reforming as more and more consumers are becoming wary of sensational headlines and may be responding less effectively to previously common techniques such as top-ten lists and weird tricks to solve a certain problem. It’s important to stay in tune with the online marketing landscape. We recommend that as new trends emerge, simply test them out and see how they perform for your brand.

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