The success of online advertising can be attributed to the rapid growth of the number of internet users around the world. To date, over 1 billion people use the internet. Thus, online advertising will continue to grow. The United States alone expects 18% growth while European growth is predicted to be 25%. By 2011, US online sales are expected to reach $1 trillion. This is the summary of an article by Gloria Boone, et al., discussing the importance of some forms of online advertising and its trends. You can get the PDF of the behavioral targeting article here: Emerging trends in online advertising
Online advertising through the years
In 1994, two immigration lawyers promoted their law firm through massive email advertising. Thousands of people were reached by this advertising campain, but critics were not happy about receiving unsolicited junk mail and attempted prohibition of online advertising. But now, e-mail is still a major commercial tool. Then, banner ads started in Hotwire during 1994. Users who clicked on that ad were directed to AT&T website. Banner ads follow a standard regulated by the interactive advertising bureau (IAB). Eventually banner ads were made with regard to web page metatags to increase their relevance. Then, the late 1990s saw the emergence of pop-ups; ads in a separate window, and are shown to be 13x more effective than banners.
By 1998, $1 billion was spent in online advertising. That time, banner ads were still the major ad formats. 1998 also saw the first year of sponsored searches and search marketing. Keywords are bidded to advertisers, who pay through pay-per-click (PPC) method. Rich media is another form of advertising. It uses multimedia (e.g. video, animation) for a branding experience supported by technologies such as Flash and Unicast. Rich media makes interactive and more audience-engaging ads. 2002 showcased the Dot.com bust had a 2 year shock on internet marketing. It fell from a 2001 $7.1 billion to $6 billion. But it recovered well in 2003, and online users still continued to increase, so does traffic and other related measures.
Then, Google arrived with basic keyword advertising. The consumers flocked to Google, and so the ads followed. By 2003, Google used AdSense advertising, which uses contextual targeted ads. This means that if a user read an online article about babies, one would see ads about baby products, etc. Google then added other advertising opportunities, such as Google Base.
Another online advertising method used by companies like Tacoda and Microsoft is behavioral targeting. This method lets companies know what services or products users are looking for, and surprises them by putting up relevant targeted ads at a later date and discrete website. This method claims 17% product lift.
Other popular advertising methods
Other advertising methods include in-game advertising, which is predicted to be a billion dollar industry, and social advertising, which emerged due to the popularity of social networking sites such as Facebook. The popularity of blogs are also exploited, and companies such as Google AdSense and Reviewme are capitalizing. YouTube is a popular website bought by Google in 2006. In 2007 it was showing 70 million videos a day. This includes ads of popular products, which have the potential to be caught in viral advertising.
Online advertising issues
However, the emergence of online advertising is not without its issues. This includes corporate reputation. Print ads are quality controlled, whereas online ads are very susceptible to distortion and false information that is hard to counteract. Other issues included unauthorized product promotion or use and imitative sites. Web monitoring is taking care of these, partnered with legal recourse. Issues in e-mail advertising, including spam, unfortunately still continues to grow and evolve to trick spam detectors. Pop-up ads still exist despite the popularity of pop-up blockers. In-line advertising, which allows text in a website to be engaged by users, is problematic, as critics refute its crossing of the journalism-advertising divide. Mobile advertising is also disputed for being too intrusive; a threat to privacy.
Indeed, online advertising has grown from banner ads to rich media formats and other methods. Customers once resisted the old forms of online advertising, but advertisers lived on to use advanced technology to improve this medium. If you are looking for a good webhoster check out web hosting choice.