What is Digital Advertising and Why Does It Matter?

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Digital advertising is everywhere, but what exactly is it? Digital advertising is the process of using internet technology to deliver promotional advertising to consumers. This method of advertising includes promotional ads and messages that are delivered through social media, email, search engine ads, mobile banner ads, affiliate programs and website display ads.

Digital advertising has surpassed traditional advertising

In 2016, the advertising side of the internet ecosystem generated $1.121 trillion for the U.S. economy and is now responsible for over 10.4 million jobs in the U.S. alone. The increasing popularity of digital advertising and the shift away from traditional advertising techniques (billboards, newspapers, radio, commercials, etc.) makes sense in this era of connectivity.

Types of Digital Advertising

Here are some of the most common forms of digital advertising (there are many more):

Social Advertising

Ads that rely on social information, platforms or networks to generate, target and deliver advertising fall under social advertising. Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn are examples of social platforms with extensive networks where businesses can target and deliver advertising.

Display Ads / Banner Ads

Ads (full banners, squares, buttons, and skyscrapers) that are served to users on a page when they are not necessarily searching for your product or service are display or banner ads. These ads show up whenever users are surfing online.

Paid Search / Search Engine Advertising

These include advertising within the sponsored listings of a search engine site. You pay each time your ad is clicked or when your ad is displayed.

Email Advertising

This strategy includes using email to send advertisements to current contacts and prospective clients.

Some email networks now offer in-email advertising. Gmail, for instance, uses sponsored, in-line ads directly above the email inbox lines.

Affiliate Programs / Ad Networks

Businesses reward affiliates for bringing them visitors or customers as the result of the affiliates’ advertising and marketing efforts. The advertising and marketing efforts can include a mix of digital and/or traditional advertising methods.

Mobile Advertising

Mobile ads appear on mobile devices that have wireless connections. These ads can be delivered as text ads via SMS, banner ads embedded in a mobile site or ads that appear in mobile games or downloaded apps.

Native Advertising

Native advertising delivers relevant content from a third party’s site. Information is targeted and valuable. Essentially, you’re renting someone else’s content distribution platform and offering helpful content rather than just plugging your product or service.

Digital Advertising Cost Methods

There are many different types of digital advertising costing models available, and all stem from three main types:

  • CPA (Cost Per Action): The advertiser pays the ad publisher only if someone clicks AND completes a transaction. Here, all of the risk falls on the publisher of the ad.
  • PPC (Pay Per Click): The advertiser pays when the ad gets clicked, but the advertiser’s potential customer does not necessarily have to complete a purchase for the ad publisher to get paid. With PPC, target keywords are critical. This is the most common form of online advertising because it benefits both the advertiser and publisher.
  • CPM (Cost Per Mille): Also called CPT (Cost Per Thousand). The advertiser pays the publisher for exposure based on visitors to the website and the number of views on an ad.

Benefits of Digital Advertising for Campgrounds and RV Parks

Digital advertising for campgrounds has gained popularity for many reasons. Here are some of the main ones:

It is easier to prove ROI

  • Clicks and cost can be tracked and more easily measured than a billboard, so it’s easier to gauge the effectiveness of the ads.

It is easier to track performance

  • Because ads exist in a digital space, it’s easier to capture the data, track the performance and calculate metrics.

A campground or RV park can adjust the ad budget more readily

  • While specific ad methods like PPC involve a long-game method, in some aspects of digital advertising it is easy to shift and adapt bidding and budgets almost instantaneously.

It is more precise at reaching targeted audiences

  • Due to the nature of online information and how information about users is stored online, ads can be targeted on demographic information or based on user behavior.

Digital advertising can enhance or complement other ad channels in the mix

  • For campgrounds or RV parks using an omnichannel marketing approach, a digital ad can complement a billboard or radio commercial. The more places a customer is reminded of a campground or RV park, the more it is kept top of mind.

Increases brand recall

  • Similar to the point above, the more times a consumer sees a campground or RV park’s ads or branding, the more they are likely to remember it. With so many brands out there, it is essential to stand out from the clutter and be an establishment that people remember.

Increases brand interaction

  • A digital ad can lead users directly to your campground or RV park website, to interact with you on social media or to purchase a product online.

Digital ads can accompany users across the entire customer journey

  • Digital ad methods can be displayed to users at any stage in the customer journey, from the research stage to the purchase stage and even further.

It is where attention spans are

Last but not least, most people spend the majority of their time in the digital space. Display ads where people are looking, not where they aren’t.

Digital Advertising: The Main Sell

Why wouldn’t you move your campground’s or RV park’s ad spend to where more eyes and attention spans are concentrated? People rarely notice billboards anymore, because they are usually on their phones sending messages, checking emails or connecting with others on social media platforms. The world has changed, and so has the world of advertising. If you aren’t advertising online yet, you may want to consider starting soon. Start adding digital advertising to your campground or RV park’s marketing mix and begin reaping the benefits today.

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