The days of newspapers and magazines might be limited, as online publishing has become the new norm. From news agencies to magazines, all publishers have migrated online to cater to a larger audience.

This disruption in the publishing industry has affected advertisers. As publishing moved online, advertising also had no choice but to follow the same path.

If you’re having a hard time adjusting to this change, here’s a quick guide to succeeding with online advertising.

The Rise of Online Publishing

As people continue to go online, the digital publishing industry is booming. In the US, digital publishing revenue grew to around $18 billion in 2018. When divided by the total users, $78.79 was found to be the average revenue per user for digital publishing.

But, why is online publishing skyrocketing?

Well, before the modern-day digital era, people relied on newspapers, books, and magazines for consuming information. But now, news sites and apps have replaced newspapers, e-books have replaced books, and e-mags and replaced magazines. Hence, 266 million e-books were sold in 2017 in the US alone.

The number of e-magazine readers also increased to 20 million. The New York Times, a popular US-based media company, has more than 2.5 million digital-only subscribers. The total number of digital publishing users in the US, as of 2017-2018, was 100 million.

Online Publishing Requires Online Advertising

Online publishing has changed a lot of things. Advertising is one of them. Back in the day, people consumed traditional media – TV and newspapers – and hence, advertising techniques were also conventional. Advertisers stuck to newspapers, magazines, and TV ads to meet their advertising goals.

Then, publishing went online, encouraging advertisers to exploit online advertising. Thus, internet advertising revenues increased 15.9% over 2019 and are likely to grow steadily over the next few years.

But advertising has changed in ways more than just the medium. Traditional advertising is all about the visual, message, and placement. A visually appealing advertisement on the front page of the newspaper can get the job done.

Online advertising is different. In addition to the message, advertisers need to focus on keywords, bidding, segmentation, targeting, remarketing, and so on. While it has its benefits, online advertising enables laser-focused targeting and can generate a higher ROI. But advertisers who have traditionally relied on conventional advertising may have a hard time.

How Can Advertisers Master the Online Advertising Game?

Digital advertising can seem different to advertisers. But at the end of the day, it’s all about sending the right message to the right audience. Follow these tips to boost your ROI from digital advertising on online publishing platforms.

Use Creative Elements

Using visual elements can play a crucial role in making your ad stand out from your competition. You might have noticed that it’s easy for ads to get immersed in the website or e-magazine design. Hence, the chances are that a reader may not be able to see your advertisement, let alone clicking on it and engaging with your brand.

To overcome this hurdle, you can use compelling visual elements. These could be a logo, color scheme, image, font, or anything else that catches the audience’s eye.

Also, it’s essential to keep refreshing your creative weapons. The human attention span is reducing, especially when it comes to digital content consumption. So, ensure that you come up with unique, catchy, and relevant content quite often to keep the audience hooked in.

Keep An Eye On the Budget

The costs of digital advertising can vary depending on the channel. Social advertising could be less costly than search engine advertising. Get advertising space on The New York Times will certainly be more expensive than advertising on a newly-founded, less popular news website.

However, if you want to get more eyeballs, you’ll need to advertise on popular websites and magazines. Hence, you’ll need to plan your budget accordingly.

The good thing about online advertising is that it’s trackable. If you feel your ads aren’t generating results, you can discontinue the campaign immediately.

Conduct Thorough Research

In the realm of digital advertising and marketing, brands who know their customers well will certainly get better results. Therefore, the Holy Grail of digital advertising is customer research – in-depth customer research. You’ll need to turn your CIA mode on and accumulate as much information as possible about your customers.

And this goes beyond name, address, phone number, location, etc. You need to know what your customers eat, when they sleep, how much money they earn, how they go to work, which TV shows and movies they watch, etc. Yes, you need to know all these things if you want your online advertising campaigns to succeed.

Let’s say you’re selling a natural therapy that would help insomniacs sleep well. Would you go out and sell it to those who sleep like a baby every night? No, right? You’d want to find people who have trouble sleeping. And how would you find that? By conducting in-depth research.

Don’t Overlook Offline Channels

Here’s where most advertisers go wrong. When they embrace online advertising, they entirely overlook the importance of traditional channels like banners, newspapers, etc. While online advertising has its place, conventional marketing methods are also here to stay. So, advertisers need to find a way to integrate the two media.

QR codes do a great job in bridging this online-offline gap. You can use a QR code generator to create a QR code and link it to your product page. Then, you can include that code in your advertisement in the newspaper or magazine. This way, viewers will be able to scan the code and interact with your brand even if they’re consuming content offline.

Besides, QR codes are highly trackable. QR code API enables you to determine the device, location, and time when your code was scanned. This helps you understand your customers and streamline your advertising and marketing efforts.

Identify the Buyer Process

The buyer journey online is significantly different from what it’s offline. In offline advertising, a customer probably sees your advertisement, gives you a call, or walks into your store. This process can either be instant or take months and years. The drawback with offline advertising is that you can’t track your buyer’s journey.

The buyer’s journey online is slightly longer, but it’s structured and predictable. A customer comes across your advertisement, clicks on it, and finds about your brand. Then, she’ll do some research, read reviews, and compare other products before making a purchase. During this time, you can engage the customer with engaging content and information to align her towards your brand.

All in all, unlike offline advertising, where sales take place on their own, online advertising requires following up and pushing your customer until she makes a purchase.

Leverage Social Media

Social media has emerged as a popular channel for online content consumers. People are more active on social media than they are on e-magazines or websites. Online publishers leverage this behavior by sharing a snippet of the story on social media and linking it to their website.

Readers who want the complete story can click the link and visit the website. Those who don’t want the entire story can simply read the snippet on social media and scroll ahead.

Therefore, advertising on social media can help you boost brand awareness and acquire new customers. If you’re skeptical about the kind of attention you’ll get on social media, know that The New York Times has close to 18 million Facebook followers.

Integrate All Marketing Channels

Last but not least, integrate your marketing channels. This concept is called omnichannel marketing and has become significantly popular over the past few years. Customers now want to interact with their favorite brands on multiple channels, such as email, website, social media, etc.

You can integrate your marketing channels in many ways. One effective technique is to include your social media handles on your website and vice versa. When visitors come to your website, they should be able to know the platforms on which you are present. And if you want to integrate online and offline advertising, you can use QR codes, as discussed earlier.


Both publishing and advertising have now become online. While online advertising can be tricky, advertisers need to understand the benefits associated with it. Digital marketing and advertising offer myriad opportunities to reach and engage your customers. Besides, you can also integrate your online and offline advertising efforts by using tools like QR codes.