How Digital Ads Have Changed Over the Past 5 Years

Advertising has a long, storied history, with the first evidence of ads dating back to steel carvings found in ancient Egypt. As time went on and technology evolved, advertising evolved with it. First came print ads, followed by billboards, radio and TV ads, and eventually digital ads.

Online ads transformed the advertising industry. They gave businesses the ability to target a specific audience and learn more about their potential customers in the process.

Digital advertising has been around for more than 25 years, but it continues to evolve with advances in technology. Keep reading to learn more about how digital ads have changed over the past five years.

What is Digital Advertising?

Digital advertising uses targeted data to reach consumers and drive revenue. It promotes products and services using digital channels such as Google, Facebook, and Youtube.

Digital advertising uses large amounts of data. This data is used to track campaign performance. It’s also used to learn more about the demographics and habits of the people viewing your ads.

A Brief History of Digital Ads

The rise of the internet in the 1990s ushered in the shift to digital advertising. The earliest digital ads were banner ads displayed on websites. Pop-up ads came soon after as a new way to gain the attention of ad-blind users.

Google launched in 1998 and became a major player in digital advertising. Google launched Adwords in 2000, revolutionizing the industry. In 2002, Google launched the Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising model, still used by many businesses today.

By the mid-2000s, digital advertising began shifting towards social media. Facebook and Twitter became significant advertising platforms, followed later by Instagram and Snapchat. Along with these new tools came the rise of influencer marketing.

Over the past decade, digital marketing has continued to grow. The increasing use of mobile devices brought on the rise of in-app mobile advertising. Other recent developments include the use of augmented reality and voice technology.

Recent Changes in Digital Advertising

Digital advertising is a dynamic industry that grows and changes with new technology. Below are some significant changes to digital ads that rose to prominence over the past five years.

Programmatic Advertising

Programmatic advertising uses data analytics and artificial intelligence to automatically buy digital ads. This technology identifies the best opportunities for your business. It then automates the buying process so you don’t have to manually manage your campaigns.

Programmatic advertising creates targeted campaigns fast and effectively. This technology works with all types of digital ads. It is also used with traditional advertising platforms, such as TV and billboard ads.

With this type of advertising, ads are bought using real-time auctions. This means that ads are bought as a website is loading. 

When someone accesses a website, the visitor data is sent to an ad exchange. This information is matched to advertisers and a real-time auction takes place. The winner of the auction gets to display the ad on the website.

OTT Advertising

OTT (over-the-top) advertising uses streaming services to reach the target audience. This term comes from the ability to go “over-the-top” of traditional TV providers. This allows advertisers to reach a broader audience, including customers who have gotten rid of cable.

OTT advertising is much easier to track than traditional television ads. With OTT ads, you can target your ideal audience and track how they are interacting with your ads. OTT ads are also shorter, and viewers can skip them after a few seconds, making them less intrusive than traditional ads.

Geofencing Advertising

Geofencing is a type of advertising that allows you to target smartphone users in a designated area. Using location based-technologies, a geofence is set up around a designated area. When a user steps into that area, your ad displays to them.

This type of digital advertising is useful for local businesses, such as restaurants or service providers. Geofencing allows you to target a local audience who can use and benefit from your services.

Remarketing Advertising

Remarketing advertising targets consumers who have already visited your website. If someone visits your website and leaves without making a purchase, they will then be shown an ad featuring your product or service. This is an essential strategy for converting visitors to customers.

Remarketing works by adding code, known as a pixel or a tag, to the back end of your website. A visitor to your website activates this code, and then ads are displayed to them. These codes record the following information:

  • what a visitor was searching for
  • whether the visitor browsed your site or put items in their shopping cart
  • whether they made a purchase

This information is then sent back to Google or Facebook and determines the content of the remarketing ad. They may be shown the item that they viewed, offered a discount, or shown other products you offer.

Contextual Advertising

Much of today’s digital advertising uses behavior to target customers. These behaviors include clicking a link, watching a video, and visiting a website. But there are other ways to reach your target audience, such as contextual advertising.

Contextual advertising is the practice of placing ads based on the content of a website. For example, an ad for cookware might be placed on a food blog. This is done through contextual targeting using parameters such as topics or keywords.

Since contextual advertising doesn’t rely on large amounts of data, it’s easy to implement and affordable. You also don’t have to worry about privacy rules since you’re not targeting a specific user.

Get the Most from Your Digital Ads

Digital advertising is always evolving. Strategies that are popular today might fall out of favor in a few years. If you want to get the most out of your digital ads, consider working with a full-service ad agency.

Media Shark offers a wide range of digital advertising services. Get in touch today to learn more about our advertising solution or to schedule a consultation. 

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