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Digital Marketing

What is Advertising? Exploring the Past, Present, and Future of the Industry

By January 26, 2023January 30th, 2023No Comments
a photo of a young newspaper boy yelling into a bullhorn to convey what is advertising? exploring the past, present, and future of the industry

Hey there! If you’re reading this, chances are you’re looking to learn more about the exciting world of advertising. Whether you’re a small business owner, a marketer, or just someone who’s curious about how companies get their products and services in front of potential customers, you’re in the right place. Let’s dive in and discover what advertising is, how it’s evolved over time, and how you can use it to take your business to the next level.

What is Advertising?

First things first, what is advertising? At its core, advertising is a form of communication that businesses use to promote their products or services. It can also target different audiences, such as consumers, businesses, or government agencies. Advertising is typically paid for by the advertiser, and the cost of advertising can vary greatly depending on the medium, audience, and length of the campaign. The goal of advertising is to reach a large number of people in a cost-effective way and generate interest in a product or service, encouraging them to make a purchase or take some other action.

At the end of the day, it’s all about getting people’s attention and persuading them to take some kind of action, whether that’s buying a product, visiting a website, or signing up for a newsletter. But advertising has come a long way since the days of the first newspaper ad in 1704.

A pile of old newspaper ad clips to help us answer the question what is advertising

Traditional Advertising

Advertising has a long and rich history that dates back to ancient civilizations. The first known form of advertising was in ancient Egypt, where merchants would place signs and symbols in front of their shops to attract customers. In ancient Greece and Rome, merchants would also use signs and symbols, as well as oral announcements, to advertise their goods and services. Fast forward to the 19th century, with the invention of the printing press, newspapers and magazines became the main medium for advertising. 

In the early 20th century, radio and television were invented, which led to the rise of these mediums as advertising channels. These forms of advertising were great for reaching a large audience all at once, but they could be pretty expensive and not very targeted. For example, a 30-second commercial during the Super Bowl can cost millions of dollars. And even if you could afford it, you couldn’t be sure that the people watching were actually interested in your product or service.

Then in the late 20th century, with the advent of the internet, digital advertising emerged and has since grown to become the dominant form of advertising today. Now businesses can choose from a huge variety of advertising avenues, from traditional methods such as print and television to newer forms of digital advertising like social media, search engine advertising, and content marketing. Advertising has come a long way since its early days, and it continues to evolve with new technologies and channels emerging all the time.

an image of someone holding a phone with various symbols floating around it to convey what is advertising in present day

Advertising in the 21st Century

In recent years, the rise of digital technology has led to the development of new forms of advertising, such as digital marketing, social media advertising, and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. Digital marketing is a broad term that refers to any form of advertising that takes place online. This can include search engine optimization (SEO), email marketing, and display advertising. Social media advertising allows businesses to place ads on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. PPC advertising allows businesses to place ads on search engines such as Google, and only pay when someone clicks on the ad.

Nowadays, people spend an average of 6 hours and 42 minutes per day on digital devices, and that number is only going up. So it makes sense that businesses are turning to digital forms of advertising to reach their target audiences where they’re spending most of their time. This includes things like:

Search Engine Advertising

Search engine advertising, also known as pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, is a form of digital advertising that allows businesses to place ads at the top of search engine results pages when someone searches for a specific keyword. This is a highly targeted form of advertising, as the ads are only shown to people who are actively searching for products or services related to your business. Some popular search engines for PPC advertising include Google Ads and Bing Ads. With search engine advertising, businesses can create ads that appear at the top of search engine results pages, making them more visible to potential customers. This can lead to increased website traffic, leads, and sales for the business.

Social Media Advertising

Social media advertising is a form of digital advertising that allows businesses to place ads on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. These platforms offer businesses the opportunity to place ads in front of a highly targeted audience. Social media advertising allows businesses to target specific demographics, interests, behaviors, and more. This makes it a powerful tool for reaching the right people at the right time. Social media advertising also allows businesses to create ads in a variety of formats, such as image, video, and carousel ads, making it easy to create engaging and visually appealing ads that stand out.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is a newer form of advertising that involves creating and distributing valuable content to attract and engage a specific target audience. This can include blog posts, videos, infographics, and more. The goal of content marketing is to provide valuable information to potential customers, rather than directly selling a product or service. By creating valuable content, businesses can establish themselves as experts in their field, and create trust and credibility with their target audience. This can lead to increased website traffic, leads, and sales for the business. Additionally, the content can be shared on various platforms, leading to more visibility and reach for the business. Some popular content marketing channels include social media, email marketing, and content syndication.

Influencer Marketing

Another newer form of advertising is influencer marketing. Influencer marketing involves partnering with social media influencers to promote a product or service. The influencer’s followers are exposed to the product or service through sponsored posts or product mentions. Influencer marketing has become popular because it allows businesses to reach a large, engaged audience at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising. Additionally, influencer marketing can also help to increase brand trust and credibility.

Not only are these forms of advertising more cost-effective than traditional methods, but they also allow for much more targeting and personalization. For example, with search engine advertising, you can target people who are searching for specific keywords related to your business. With social media advertising, you can target people based on demographics, interests, and behaviors. And with display advertising, you can target people based on the websites they visit.

Small businesses often have tight budgets, so it can be tough to justify spending a lot of money on advertising. But that’s where digital advertising really shines. Social media advertising, for example, can be extremely affordable, and you can reach a huge audience for pennies on the dollar. And with tools like Google Ads and Facebook Ads, you can set a budget and only pay when someone clicks on your ad.

a long hallway of servers and circuits that conveys the feeling of moving into the future of what is advertising

The Future of Advertising

Advertising is an exciting and ever-evolving landscape, with new technologies and channels emerging all the time. One of the major trends in the future of advertising is the continued growth and dominance of digital advertising. As more and more people spend their time online, businesses are shifting their advertising budgets to digital channels to reach their target audiences where they are spending their time.

Another trend in the future of advertising is the increased use of artificial intelligence and machine learning. These technologies will allow businesses to better target and personalize their ads to individual users, resulting in more effective and efficient advertising campaigns.

Virtual and augmented reality are also expected to play a bigger role in advertising in the future. These technologies will allow businesses to create immersive and interactive advertising experiences for consumers, making them more memorable and impactful.

In addition to these technological advancements, the future of advertising will also be shaped by changes in consumer behavior and attitudes. With the rise of ad-blocking software and an increasing number of people using ad-free streaming services, businesses will need to find new and innovative ways to reach and engage their target audiences.

Another important trend that is expected to shape the future of advertising is the increasing focus on transparency, accountability and privacy. Consumers are increasingly demanding more transparency and control over their data, so advertisers will have to adapt to these changing attitudes.

Overall, the future of advertising is an exciting and ever-changing landscape, with new technologies and channels emerging all the time. Businesses that are able to adapt and take advantage of these changes will be the ones that thrive in the years to come.

How to Get Started with Advertising

Now that you know more about the different forms of advertising available to businesses, it’s time to start thinking about how you can use them to promote your own products or services. The first step is to define your target audience. Who are the people you want to reach with your advertising? Once you know that, you can start researching the different forms of advertising and platforms that are most likely to reach them.

Next, set a budget and goals for your advertising campaign. Decide how much you’re willing to spend, and what you want to achieve with your advertising. This will help you narrow down your options and choose the right platforms and strategies for your business.

Once you have a plan in place, it’s time to start creating your ads. Whether you’re creating a social media campaign, a Google Ads campaign, or a content marketing strategy, the key is to create ads that are engaging and relevant to your target audience. Use attention-grabbing headlines, high-quality images, and clear calls to action to make sure your ads stand out and get results.

Finally, track your results and adjust your strategy as needed. Use tools like Google Analytics to see how your ads are performing and make changes based on the data. This could include tweaking your ad copy, targeting different audiences, or trying different platforms.

Overall, advertising can be a powerful tool for businesses of all sizes to reach and engage with their target audiences. By understanding the different forms of advertising available, and how to use them effectively, you can create a strategy that gets results and helps your business grow.

Advertising has changed a lot over the years and now with the rise of digital media, it has become more cost-effective and targeted than ever before. Small businesses can reach a huge audience with affordable and targeted digital advertising campaigns like Social media, PPC, Content Marketing and Influencer Marketing. To get started with advertising, define your target audience, set a budget and goals, create engaging and relevant ads, and track your results. And always remember that advertising is all about getting people’s attention and persuading them to take some kind of action, like buying a product or visiting a website.

Interested in advertising for your business? Contact Lazarus Design Team and we will help you out.

Lazarus Design Team

We create incredibly designed and remarkably effective websites for growing startups, non-profits, and small-midsize businesses.