With the rising popularity of social media marketing, the buzz about online advertising seemed to have died down. But has it really lost its value?

Online AdvertisingLet’s take a look at some key statistics compiled by CMO.com and Digiday:

  • 77% of web display ads are never seen
  • 54% of web ads are technically impossible to see
  • 23% of the ads are viewable but not seen
  • Average time spent viewing an ad is just 1.7 seconds
  • The average person is served more than 1700 banner ads per month
  • Only about 12% of consumers trust search engine ads
  • Click through rates are as low as 0.1% in some cases

But some organisations have seen results from online ads. For instance, 60% of LinkedIn users have clicked on an ad on the site. And a recent research by Nielsen discovered that internet display advertising grew by more than 32% in the first three quarters of 2013, and yet it is the smallest advertising media with just 4.5% market share.

Despite this, online advertising still has room for growth.

HubSpot online believes that advertising spend is being allocated to the wrong places. There’s a significant gap between the amount of time people spend on mobile devices and the amount of advertising spend directed at mobile. People spend 12% of their time on mobile, but online advertising on mobile is only at 3% market share.

Business Insider believes that this will change in 2014, since Google and Facebook are busy making tools that go above and beyond delivering targeted ads, and towards targeting users when they are using a specific device at a specific time. Since people are on their tablets in the morning, desktop computers in the day and smartphones at night, these tools will allow advertisers to target consumers when they are in the right frame of mind.

Additionally, ads that are located within the main sections of a site, such as those ads on social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn, will become more prevalent. JP Morgan Analyst Douglas Anmuth believes that “Native Ads” will become the primary ad unit for most companies, given that these ads have significantly higher click through rates than traditional display ads.

So what does this mean? Is online advertising a waste of resources?

Unfortunately, there is no real answer. Every organisation is different, from the product / service offered to the audience targeted.

But here are seven tips to maximise the results of your online advertising campaigns:

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  1. Give it a try – Dip your toes in online advertising instead of diving straight into it. Set aside a small portion of your online budget towards advertising.
  2. Make sure it is part of a greater lead generation strategy – Never put all your eggs in a single basket when it comes to online reach. Leverage owned and earned media to support your paid media.
  3. Understand your audience – Determine the social networks they use and the websites they frequent.
  4. Use available technology – Take advantage of upcoming technologies and place your ads smack bang in the middle of the page – make sure it’s relevant of course
  5. Always measure your inputs and outputs – Consistently measure your ad results to know what works and what doesn’t
  6. Stay up-to-date – Keep up with new research and new ways to command attention online. Video advertising is garnering positive responses – pre-roll video is the most tolerable ad format.
  7. A/B testing – Google, LinkedIn and Facebook all allow A/B testing. Determine two ways to communicate a message and measure which one does better. You will consistently improve and enjoy better results slowly but steadily.

Ultimately, just like any other campaign, the success of your online advertising campaign will be based on your buyers’ preferences and tendencies. To learn more about what makes for successful marketing, read our blog on the five must-haves.

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Read more: The Facebook Dilemma Has Businesses Between A Rock And A Hard Place