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It’s official, online advertising has overtaken television in terms of financial investment. It has been announced that Internet ads now account for 23.5% of the UK’s entire advertising spend, leapfrogging TV which slips to 21.9%.
Whilst advertising revenue in general has seen a marked drop in the past year or so, up to 16.6% it has been suggested, the Internet has remained steadfast, even making small gains. This year in fact online advertising spend has grown to £1.75bn, which represents a 4.6% upward shift in the first six months. So what does this all mean? Is the Internet now the best place to advertise?
Well, to a certain degree yes; the Internet is a fantastic way for many businesses to advertise their services. The immediacy of following a paid link or sponsored advertisement is unparalleled. Rather than seeing an ad on TV and taking a secondary action, such as visiting a store or going to a website, you simply need to click through to a site and you get exactly what you’re looking for in an instant. This is something that clearly appeals to consumers and website’s alike.
Of course larger companies will always use television and other forms of media to advertise their products, or at least they will for as long as there are positive gains to be made. However, the wider world is slowly turning towards the Internet more and more. We now communicate through social media, email and online VoIP, we get our news from online newspapers and blogs and we also get the bulk of our information through search engines. All this Internet activity makes it a fantastic resource for advertisers.
Another major benefit of advertising online is the ability to target your preferred audience. No other medium affords this kind of focused flexibility. Likewise, results are shown in unequivocal statistical form. Analytics packages will report back on the successes and failing of all your online campaigns, so you know exactly what’s happening all of the time.
The Internet is also something of a level playing field too. Whilst a television advert may cost thousands of pounds for each primetime slot, online you pay either for the space or by the number of clicks you receive. This means that companies with a restricted advertising budget can still successfully promote themselves without going beyond their means.
Traditional media still has a significant role to play when it comes to marketing; however, this represents yet another milestone in the development of the Internet as an advertising platform. The report produced in conjunction between the IAB, PWC and WARC, shows the first steps towards Internet dominance in the UK; however it is far from confirming it as the top advertising choice for the future. Television will undoubtedly bounce back once the recession has slipped its grip of international finances, but will the Internet be caught when it does? Who knows, although on current trends you would certainly think it unlikely?
Search engine technology is evolving, and so is the digital marketing industry. The more experienced professionals amongst you may remember the days of gleefully stuffing keywords into your copy to boost your rankings, blindly spamming strangers to join your email lists and easily securing media coverage for your thinly veiled advertisements.
Site speed is an important area of website optimisation that people working in the world of Search Engine Optimisation are becoming increasingly concerned about.