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The Changing Pace of Advertising

The Changing Pace of Advertising
Copyright © Craig Warren

Rapid advances in technology have changed everything from
health care to communication. Now, as the latest technology
becomes more accessible to a broader market, the advertising
field is changing, too. Years ago, you could plan your
advertising campaign around a few television commercials
and print advertisements. And most companies would never
have considered spending a sizeable portion of their
advertising budget on the Internet. But in 2006, online
ad expenditures are expected to reach over $16 billion.

Advertisers who want to reach their target audience and
remain competitive in this high-tech world have to change
with the times. You need to keep up with emerging
technologies, what media types are most popular, and how
consumers use what’s available to them.

If you want to stay current and advertise your products
and services in ways that reach your target audience on
their turf, consider the following forms of emerging

1. Blogs

Blog is short for “web log,” online journals that people
without any HTML knowledge can create easily from any
computer. They are frequently updated and usually include
the owner’s thoughts or musings on topics ranging from
what’s happening in the news to what they wear to work.

Companies or individuals can keep blogs. Company blogs
usually promote products in what is known as an “adverblog.”
However, those blogs started by individuals without a
commercial affiliation usually have more credibility.

About fifty million people keep blogs. And many different
categories exist, including travel, health, and business.
Blogs are popular because they provide a concise summary
of news and information and give users power by providing
information all in one place and on a timely basis. A blog
dedicated to heart health, for example, will likely pull
information from sources all over the Internet, so someone
surfing for heart health information doesn’t have to search
several sites for the most up-to-date research about the
topic; they can find everything they need on a heart health

As far as advertising on blogs, ads are generally related
to the blog topic. That heart health blog could be an
excellent place to advertise a health food or exercise
product. If you’re interested in advertising on blogs,
first look for help from marketing companies that measure
hot blog topics and provide market research based on blog

2. Podcasts

Podcasts deliver digital audio and video files to a user
via the Internet. The name comes from the iPod, but they
aren’t just for iPod users. A pod cast is an audio file
in MP3 format that a consumer can download to their iPod,
MP3 player, or computer. Then the person can listen to it
over and over again, share it with friends, and save it on
a computer’s hard drive.

Six million people have downloaded podcasts, according to
the Pew Internet and American Life Project. And of the
twenty-two-million iPod owners, twenty-nine percent have
downloaded podcasts.

Podcasts are an emerging media form that will continue to
grow, and as this media outlet increases in popularity,
the advertising possibilities will grow as well. Viacom,
Disney, and Clear Channel all have radio-type podcasts,
and even print media outlets use podcasts to broadcast
interviews and other audio supplements to their print
stories. For example, you can read an issue of a magazine
and listen to an interview in its entirety on the magazine’s

3. Gaming

Sixty-eight out of 108 million households currently play
video and computer games, according to the “Digital Gaming
in America” Ziff Davis report of August 2005. Advertisers
can reach this market, which is mostly composed of young
males, in two ways.

First, advertisers can use gaming technology to insert
their ads in popular games. For example, say you are
playing a football video game on your XBOX 360. You’ll
see ads placed on the sidelines and on the scoreboard
just like you would if you were in a real football stadium
or watching a real game on television. Video games are also
played online, allowing gamers to compete with opponents in
other parts of the world. These games offer many opportunities
to place logos and products that a huge audience will see.

Another way to advertise using games is literally to create
your own game that the consumer can play online. This is
commonly referred to as Advergaming. Many companies, such
as Lipton and Mountain Dew, have used this advertising
technique. The greatest benefit of these games is that they
get people involved in the brand. Game designers create these
games to interest a particular target audience, such as young
children. Be aware, though, if you’re marketing to kids, to
closely monitor the game’s content.

4. Mobile Advertising

Nearly 199 million people in the United States subscribe to
mobile phone services. And every phone produced in the last
year is capable of accessing the Internet. What does this mean
for advertisers? It’s another method for reaching the target
audience. People now use mobile phones to search the Internet,
play games, and instant message as well as to access sports
scores, learn breaking news, and even check out horoscopes.

Mobile advertising presents a great means to reach the high
school and college student markets with banner and video ads.
Currently, mobile ads are simple and usually text banners.
But down the road, as this technology continues to advance,
cell phones may be capable of displaying television ads.
However, this media outlet is not without limitations.
Everything in your ad has to be cleared by the phone company,
so you must consider the logistical aspects of placing mobile

The High-Tech Future of Advertising

If you want to remain competitive in the future, technology
will be key to your success. You should consider these four,
and other new types, of digital media when putting together
any advertising strategy, because traditional media outlets
just aren’t as effective as they once were. While it’s
difficult to predict exactly where the trends are headed,
when you keep an eye on new technology, you and your service
won’t be left behind.

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