Online advertising is publicizing a product or service electronically using the internet. It is a non personal communication of information, usually persuasive in nature about products (goods and services) and ideas.
Online advertising is in some ways different from traditional methods as it uses a new kind of technology, the internet, something that never exist before. Traditional advertising uses old methods such as publishing in newspaper and magazines, whereas e-advertising uses the internet which is a very interactive medium for communicating.
There are many forms of advertising on the web, and the most noticeable are banners ads and buttons. E-advertising is very beneficial because it is very cost efficient and is easily accessible to thousands of people throughout the world.
Business can be more efficient by using the internet to promote their products as it offers more number of advantages over the traditional media such as brochures, magazines and newspapers.
Online advertising plays a major role in effecting the economy of a country, as it is needed to create a demand in the market. Without advertising, people are not aware of the goods available and if there is no demand, people do not buy the goods, which is a direct effect to the economy of the country.
The electronic age faced by this generation has caused a great change in many areas of the daily activities of life. Innovation of the internet is one of the causes of this great change. Internet is a network of computers reaching thousands of people all over the world. The rapid growth of the internet has opened dramatic new opportunities for many people to do things, including, communicating and collaborating, accessing unlimited information, participating in discussions, entertainment in a very efficient way. It has also created opportunities for businesses in many areas such as selling, exchanging transactions online and advertising.
Advertising is communicating about goods and services to public to provide information about the nature of products, create awareness and positive attitudes and remind users about the products. Nowadays, when the use of conventional advertising, direct, person-to-person selling is impractical, impossible, or simply inefficient, we employ online advertising or internet advertising. Online advertising is one of the best means of communicating to the customers about the goods and services. It is because it uses the latest technology that is the internet to promote goods and services. And with this advantage, the advertisement in not available only locally but also is international in scope.
Internet advertising vs. conventional advertising
Web advertising offers a number of advantages over advertising with traditional media such as magazines, brochures, and newspapers. Some factors are listed below:
Firstly, traditional forms of advertising such as print, television, or radio can cost hundreds of thousand of dollars. With online advertising, it saves companies thousands of dollars in things like for example, a website gives you more advertising space than print advertising. In addition, you don’t have printing and postage costs.
Internet advertising is readily available to all types of businesses ranging from corporate giants, medium sized business to small companies. Whereas conventional advertising such as television or print are sometimes very costly ; small companies cannot afford to put advertisements on television or billboards.
Secondly, since there is very little room for error in conducting a direct response campaign, it helps to have a thorough understanding of the process so that you can conduct an effective and successful banner ad campaign.
The major difference between the Internet and traditional advertising mediums is that the Internet allows businesses to interact with their potential customers. It is now completely feasible to construct an online community that falls within the boundaries of your potential market and then become the focal point of this community.
With online advertising, Your Company’s product or services are available 24 hours a day on the Internet! Whereas, in conventional advertising such as print like newspaper, magazine or even television, the advertisement is available to you only when you buy the newspaper or magazine. In the case of television, you can see the ad only when the television is turned on.
Another point is a large segment of the Internet user community looks at the Net as an information source. Almost all users look to the Net for some form of entertainment and/or a unique Homepage that creatively utilizes this new technology.
Internet Advertising Models
There are two models for internet advertising. They are the text-based and multimedia-based advertising. Both models have useful applications. Text-based advertising operates through e-mail and bulletin boards. Multimedia advertising uses banners, buttons, interstitials and sponsorships.
Text-Based Advertising Online
E-mail is the online version of direct-mail advertising. However, e-mail has at least two advantages over direct mail.
- There are no postage charges (normally you should have postage stamps to send mails traditionally).
- Direct responses through email have greater chances than direct mail. (E-mail ads often direct users to websites using hyperlinks. And at the website, the user can obtain more information about the product or service or even complete a transaction).
E-mail distribution lists can be either generated or purchased. Lists are generated through website registrations, subscriptions registrations. This is when you can register by giving your e-mail address and get access to free information. Lists that are purchased are similar to those that are generated, except that you have to pay for some subscription fee.
A bulletin board (or newsgroup) is an area where users can post messages on selected topics for other users to read. Normally, people participate in newsgroup to obtain information and otherwise to interact with other users. This is generally not a good place to advertise. But this can serve as an advantage to a company because they can provide information to the users, which can be customers. Eg. Amazon has a private bulletin board of their own on their website. They maintain a book review postings from customers. Bulletin board ads are a good idea when users understand and accept that commercial firms sponsor the place.
Another type of text-based advertising is text-links. Its is also similar to email only that this is not linked by e-mail written, but by text.
Multimedia-Based Advertising Online
Multimedia-based advertising is the primary model on the web. Mostly advertising on the web is spent on multimedia advertising like, banners, interstitials, buttons, sponsorships and many more that are emerging like, skyscrapers and spotlights.
Banners and Buttons
Banners and buttons occupy designated space for rent on web pages. Banners and buttons are the most widely used advertising product. Through careful targeting, banners can keep a relevant message in the mind of the user. This is similar to the print advertising model used by magazines and newspaper, except on the net there are video and audio capabilities in that few square inches of space. Buttons are square or round and banners are rectangular is shape. The dimensions of buttons and banners are measured in pixels. There are normally three stages of banners:
- Banners that have words like “click here”, “free” and “download” written in bright colors. This was to tell users that banners are indeed interactive and that by clicking on them, the user would be transported to another Web site. Most banners are hyperlinked to the advertiser’s site. The message written in the banner should be effective. It should be able to distract user from the site it is in and therefore the massage in the banner must appeal to his needs.
- The banner advertising featured banners with animation. Movement are said to capture attention, especially on a static page. Most banner ads today feature animation and an animated GIF (Graphic Interchange Format) usually provides the animation.
- The third stage of banner advertising features the interactive banner. There are many varieties of interaction. Some banner sense the animation of the mouse on the web page and begin to animate faster and faster as the user approaches. Other banners have built-in games such as pong, and others have drop-down menus, check boxes, and search boxes to engage the user to their site.
Sponsorships are normally a combination of content and advertising. eg. Food advertisers usually have recipes that include their product. When one charges the other for content space on the website, it is an advertising sponsorship.
This is something like pop-up messages. They are java-based ads which appear when the publisher’s content is loading.
The advantages and disadvantages of E-advertising
Advantages of Online advertising
Though advertising on the Web is still a relatively new and untested medium, but compared with the more traditional advertising mediums, such as print and television, it offers a number of advantages such as:
- It reaches more than two fifths of the population. There are 19 million regular adult Internet users, 41% of the adult population. High traffic web sites such as Ask Jeeves can reach similar numbers of consumers to offline media. By advertising online you will be able to reach a potentially unlimited international audience with no physical and time boundaries.
- Cost effectiveness. A website gives you more advertising space than print advertising. In addition, you don’t have printing and postage costs.
- Measurable response – The number of times your information is seen by potential customers can be accurately measured. We can also tell you something about where your interest is coming from and what parts of your Web site are being visited most frequently.
- Always current – A Web site can be updated at any time (perhaps to reflect new prices or a current special), and you don’t pay for reprinting a brochure.
- It uses many different creative formats. – There are many ways to use the Internet for advertising. Ad products and formats can be packaged and customized to most effectively address advertising objectives. Furthermore, new ad executions and technologies are constantly being developed, allowing advertisers to engage consumers in ever more imaginative ways.
- Targeting – Internet advertising is one of the best ways to reach a targeted audience and gain valuable customer feedback. Numerous options are available for attracting clients from very specific areas of interest thus ensuring an extremely targeted audience.
- Increased Recognition – Online advertising not only works to increase company name recognition, it also increases visibility, brand favorability and purchase intent. Moreover, organizations advertising online are perceived as being forward thinking and innovative.
- Direct Access & Interaction – Unlike traditional print ads, your ad banner is only the beginning of the ad process. Your ad banner not only provides unlimited access to your message, it also allows interested prospects to visit your website immediately and access as much material about your company as you care to present.
- Increased Exposure – The amount of time that your audience will be viewing your ad increases dramatically online. A magazine ad is gone once the page is turned whilst an online ad can be shown repeatedly (every time someone visits the site) and for several minutes at a time thus greatly increasing the effectiveness of the ad and name recognition. Furthermore, your ad is delivered in real time 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
- Improve Sales – Many Internet users have bought products on line as a result of seeing Internet advertising, but even more have bought products off line as a result of seeing internet advertising, hence the need to recognize interactivity as part of the total marketing mix.
Disadvantages of Online Advertising
Though online advertising is proved to be effective in promoting goods and services, there are some disadvantages which should be concerned by us:
- Firstly, e-advertising uses the internet as its medium & hence, the advertisements are only available to people that have a computer with an internet access. This is one of the major problems in developing countries as not a lot of people owns a computer or have access to the internet.
- Secondly, unlike these traditional mediums, web advertising is based upon a direct and immediate response from its audience rather than a delayed response. So, since the web is such a new medium, advertisement executives and company leaders are less willing to take long-term risks and thus, they demand a direct response from their web ad campaigns.
- Thirdly, there are hundreds of thousands of Web sites on the net, but the average user “visits” only a few – and “re-visits” only a fraction of those. And so not all advertisements are seen by all the users.
- Consumer Concerns: In theory, e-commerce is safe, simple, and easy. However, despite evidence of the security of online transactions, publicized reports of credit-card theft on the internet have made many consumers hesitant to use their credit card numbers online. This proves that even if there is advertisement, users are less willing to buy the goods online because of this problem.
- Many of the web sites takes time to download graphics and also advertisements. Many users are usually turned off by the time it takes to download them and so they move on quickly if they don’t think the advertisement is worth the wait. This problem causes the advertisement to be ignored by internet users and causes it to be ineffective.
Ways in which a Business can be more Efficient and Effective by Advertising Online
In a business world, online advertising have proved to be very useful in many ways. Internet helps to minimize cost because graphic capabilities such as pictures can be made far better using the internet. Advertisements can be made more attractive with different colors, animation, etc. Through advertising online, you can reach out to international customers easier and in a more friendly way. It makes a business more efficient in terms of cost ; time. And if the business becomes more efficient because of the internet, than they will be able to improve their competitive position with another company and lower down prices for the consumers. This gives an advantage to both sides that is the customers and the company.