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Marketers to Spend More on Online Advertising than Print in 2012

A recent study from eMarketer has found a pivotal shift in the way marketers spend their advertising dollars. For the first time ever, marketers are projected to spend more money advertising online than on print magazines and newspapers in 2012. Revenue from online spending is expected to be over $39 billion, compared to just under $34 billion for print spending. In fact, double-digit growth percentages are projected in online spending through 2014, as more marketers become comfortable advertising online. Online ad investment is expected to hit $62 billion in 2016.

To those who haven’t yet dipped their marketing toes into online advertising waters, it may be time to start boning up on the basics of online advertising. You don’t have to know HTML or any programming language to start, and there are plenty of how-to guides and articles about Internet advertising to get you going. However, you DO need to do four things:

1. Develop an online marketing plan that details your goals for marketing online. Do you want to increase brand awareness, increase web traffic, or increase actual purchase of products and services? Do you have another goal entirely? Defining your goal will help you figure out the best advertisement to acheive your goal.

2. Determine your target. Online advertising allows you to zero in on exactly who you want to target, so it helps to know who is mostly likely to to be interested in your product or service and create an ad specificially for them.

3. Determine your online channel. Do you want to do a Google Ad for search? A banner ad for a national or local online news source, or a Facebook ad or ad on a blogger’s page? There are many different online channels you can pick from. Your budget will determine some of what you can do, as it will be much more expensive to have an online ad on the New York Times website than on a local news station, but this should be decided mostly based upon where the demographic you want to reach hangs out online.

4. Measure the Return on Investment (ROI) of your online advertising and adjust your ads/placement accordingly. One great thing about online advertising is that it comes with wonderful analytics we really never had with print advertising. We can see how many people were exposed to the ad and how many of those actually clicked on the ad to learn more. It’s also easy to tweak ads based upon their click-thru rate.

It just takes a little studying, planning, and tweaking to see success with advertising online.

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