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Big Spending and the Future of Digital Advertising

If video killed the radio star, then the computer-on-desk-google.jpginternet is killing the television star. According to her 2017 report on Internet Trends, Mary Meeker found internet ad spend will exceed television ads for the first time this year. If you consider the speed at which internet has overtaken TV--less than 25 years--it's time to take a look at where advertisers are spending money online and what the future of digital advertising will look like.

Big Spending Online

The first internet ads were essentially digital billboards placed where there was a heavy supply of traffic. As digital advertising evolved and advertisers learned how to not only optimize placement, but also optimize the content to meet people's needs, the formula was solidified and spending took off.

It shouldn't be surprising to find the bulk of online spending in 2016 was on Google and Facebook. As people turn to search engines to find answers and solve problems, it makes sense that advertisers want to make themselves visible to searchers. Similarly, the typical American spends almost an hour on Facebook every day.  An audience like that has proven irresistible to advertisers. 

The Future of Digital Advertising

In 2016, about half of all digital ad spending was for a mobile audience. With affordable smartphone technology and WiFi becoming a ubiquitous perk in public spaces, it should be no surprise that people are spending more and more time online while on the go. What's more, people's search activity while on the go is changing as they search for information and expect immediate results. For example, searching for "family friendly restaurant near me," after a day out with the kids is becoming more commonplace than planning the whole day in advance.

What does this mean for advertisers? The time is ripe for businesses that want to get inside of these search moments and get in front of consumers on the go. With local search optimization and geo-targeted optimization, businesses can catch users who are nearby right now instead of trying to plan ahead.

The future also includes a healthy dose of social media advertising. Meeker's report also found contextual ads are driving direct purchases on Facebook and Pinterest so highly targeted, shoppable ads will continue to provide a positive return on an advertiser's investment.

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