As the lure of interactivity began bringing more brands to digital, new advertising models evolved. The number of people using the internet to search for information was growing, and the digital realm found ways to monetize the data generated by this behavior. When user engagement of display ads dipped, publishers developed ad units camouflaged to appear as part of the content consumption process. In recent days, digital’s interactivity has even come to redefine elements of its traditional predecessors. With digital TV comes new levels of engagement to the traditional television watching experience.
It is hard to imagine a time before clicking an ad, but the truth is that digital advertising has evolved significantly over the past two decades. Digital media now encompasses much more than simple static display ads. It can, therefore, be difficult to keep up with the constant evolution that continues to leverage the medium’s interactivity.
To that end, I offer a little clarity on a few of the core concepts related to today’s digital media advertising realm:
Perhaps the very essence of what makes digital media unique is the ability to collect data about those who view and engage advertiser messaging and take real-time strategic action based on their activity. This all begins with the pixel, a unique numerical identifier placed within an ad or on a website that sticks to the user’s browser and can be recognized as the user moves across the internet.
2. Behavioral Targeting
By placing their own pixels and by partnering with other pixel dropping entities, advertisers can target audiences by surfing habits, searches made, in-market activity, intent indicators, brand affinity, and more. Many websites and companies make money by selling their lists of pixeled users. Advertisers can then create variant messaging for users with specific pixels that indicate behaviors inclined to classify them as members of targeted audiences.
An advertiser may drop a pixel on visitors to their website, indicating some level of demonstrated interest. Users with this pixel who visit selected websites might then be retargeted with next-level messaging by the advertiser, designed to push the user further down the sales funnel.
4. Contextual Targeting
5. SEO vs. SEM
6. Native Advertising
7. Connected TV
Also called Over-The-Top (OTT) TV, streaming video services delivered through smart TVs and devices like Chromecast, Apple TV, ROKU, and Amazon’s Firestick are pushing a true revolution in the way that television is consumed and, therefore, the way advertisers can reach targeted entertainment consumers. Connected TV campaigns are powerful as stand alone strategies or as a supplement to a traditional TV buy.
There you have it. 7 terms to get you started on your next digital marketing campaign. Whether you’re trying out contextual targeting, SEO practices, or Native Advertising, it’s important to remember who your target audience is and how you can effectively reach them.