Online advertising (also called Internet advertising) is the targeted publication of advertising content over the Internet. There are different advertising methods: among them the email advertising and banner advertising. Mobile advertising is also becoming more and more important due to the steadily increasing number of mobile devices.
As a medium, the Internet offers numerous technical options that enable online companies to address people through advertisements. Banner advertising, targeting, search engine advertising, search engine optimization, pixels, layer-ad, interstitials, prestitials, in-text advertising (e.g., native advertising), site branding, web sponsoring, advertorials, commercial video clips, and Internet radio advertising are the most common online advertising methods. In the best case, an advertising campaign develops further as viral marketing. In order to make the advertising more effective, QR codes can be integrated both in online and offline advertising campaigns. Testimonials can also be integrated in the advertisement in order to ideally address the target group and build trust.
Email advertising is one of the most commonly used forms of advertising. Newsletters, flyers, and other advertising material can be sent over the Internet through the exchange of emails. Potential customers of the respective company can be addressed this way and existing customers informed of the latest offers and news. According to § 7 paragraph 3 of the Unfair Competition Act, unwanted advertisement to potential customers is not permitted.
Banner ads are the most frequently encountered form of graphic or flash files. Banner advertising is one of the most cost-friendly forms of Internet advertising and is mostly done through partner programs that are offered by affiliate networks. Advertising in computer games, also called in-game advertising, is also done using different forms of banners.
Targeting is the target-oriented advertising that is directed to selected target groups. The main challenge in this case is precise definition of the target groups to which the advertisement should be directed.
Once the target group has been identified and analyzed, the sales process of a suitable marketing campaign can be optimized e.g., with the original or modified AIDA model.
Compared to offline advertising, Internet advertising has the advantage that the reactions of the targeted persons can be measured directly. Another advantage of online advertising is its large scope. An online magazine can basically be found and read by every user in the world. The forms of online advertising are inexpensive thus making it possible for various companies to save significantly in advertising.
The networking of people with common interests (theater, music, sport, etc.) on the Internet is beneficial to the company. Thanks to the social networks (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), where people can share their interests and personal information, it is possible to personalize advertisements, define target groups, and thus address people with targeted advertisements.
In order to directly entice the target group to call, a click-to-call option can be used. This enables users to have a conversation with the company with just one click. Google AdWords and others support this function.
Online advertising only reaches people who use the Internet. Another disadvantage is the so-called banner blindness. According to this phenomenon, Internet users can see web banners and ignore the advert after a certain time. Furthermore, users should also ensure that they only click on banners from trustworthy brands since malware can also be placed behind the banners (Malvertising).
According to a survey conducted on Internet users in Germany, good online advertising should, among other things, be informative. Respondents chose between the three criteria: “interesting information”, “creative”, and “entertaining”.
Experts are convinced of an increase in the expenditure for Internet advertising in the USA. According to the study, the amount spent on online advertisements rose by 7 billion Euros in 2012. That is a bigger increase compared to 2011. In 2010, the spending in Germany increased just as much – to approximately 5 billion Euros.