Online Advertising

According to the International Association of Bookkeepers (IAB), UK consumers spend on average 43 hours a month on the internet - this equates to one in every twelve waking minutes. UKOM/comScore states that more than 46.1 million people are actively on the internet. For many consumers, this figure may be much higher, especially when things such as smartphones and tablets are included. Of this time, most consumers spend one third of it on entertainment sites and social networking sites or blogs. As such, these sites are hugely important for businesses wishing to target particular populations.

In deference to this, 2013 saw a massive increase in online advertising budgets in the UK: from £5.45 billion in 2012 to £6.30 billion. 18% of all online advertising is done by video, with a huge increase in this platform of advertising as 4G begins to be rolled out - up by 1,260% in 2013 compared to 2012. It has been found that 35% of total social media advertising is done by mobile-dedicated advertising. With the rise in popularity of smartphones and tablets as well as the increased usage of the internet by the UK population come the increased ability of companies and businesses to increase awareness of their products and services. Nearly every individual has a smartphone and/or tablet/personal computer. Many have all three. These platforms allow consumers to have advertisements with them at all times, and many will constantly be checking social media, emails, messages etc. - all prime for advertisement. Advertising through the internet and on mobile phones increased within the first half of 2013 by 17.5%, accounting in total for 20.4% of digital display advertising.

Specific websites may advertise specific goods or services which will be of interest to those visiting the sites. The use of 'likes' on social media sites and third party tracking 'cookies' allows servers to record individual's browsing histories and preferences, and therefore often allows targeted advertising dependent on the individual's browsing preferences.

2013 saw 44% of digital advertising display total spent on website banner ads. These banner ads are quickly being overtaken by specific advertising methodologies such as social media banner ads, digital video ads and dedicated tablet/mobile advertisement. Video ads have increased over the past three years by 487%. Similarly, social media advertising has grown by 285% in the same time period. Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are growing markets for online advertising. These types of social media sites saw over £250 million invested in advertising via them in 2013 in the UK alone.

Since 2011, IAB has recorded that £1 in every £4 spent on advertising is spent on online digital advertisements such as banner ads and videos. However, this means that £3 of every £4 is spent still on more traditional methods of advertising such as television ads and print media. The future of advertising and marketing lies in the integration of these traditional advertising methods with online advertising.

As well as display advertising (such as the banner ads mentioned previously) paid-search advertising is highly popular for businesses, with 55% of digital advertising being carried out by sponsored search listings such as Google's AdWords. This percentage equals to roughly £1.8 million spent in the UK on search advertising. Despite search advertising having the largest percentage of advertising budgets, display adverts are the fastest growing method of online advertising, with an increase of 23% in 2013. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and careful content marketing are also popular methods of advertising across the internet. The final type of online advertising which has been growing in popularity over the past year is classified adverts - those used for searching for new employees on recruitment sites, property listings and automotive sales on sites such as This type of online advertising accounts for 15% of total online ad sales.

Online advertising is quick becoming the way forward in the promotion of all business types, be the selling products, services or ideas.