The Value of Your Eyes

Digital advertisers are focusing on one common goal: get your eyes on their content. Even if it’s only for a second, that attention is valuable. It’s so valuable that the US alone spent over $57.9 billion on internet ads in the first half of 2019. So how are companies trying to catch your attention online?

A price tag pointed to a person's eye reads $1.57

Free Impressions

Let’s start with something that isn’t even accounted for in that huge number above: free impressions. These are views that occur naturally, without paying for ads. Almost every business you know has a social media presence. They have a dedicated person or team whose responsibility is managing those accounts. Creating posts, answering questions, and encouraging engagement all lead to a bigger audience. But why invest so much money into a free platform? It’s simple. Social media has become a primary source for reaching potential customers. Facebook alone has about two-thirds of the adult population using their platform. With access to such a wide audience on free platforms, businesses have to get creative to compete for attention.

Impressions are so valuable that businesses are giving professional advice for free. This idea would seem foolish not too long ago, but it’s a contemporary strategy called content marketing. Brands use this strategy to build a strong following that leads to customers. By sharing relevant information consistently, they can stand out from the competition. Once they build trust with their audience, they’re more likely to become customers.

Paid Advertising

How are businesses spending almost $60 billion on digital advertising in only half a year? On just about everything online, advertisers are vying for your attention. Ads are integrated into websites, apps, search engines, and social media feeds. While you’re searching for tonight’s dinner, an ad will appear alongside the non-paid results in an attempt to catch your eye. These ads are relevant to what the user is already looking for, in turn making the ad more successful. Advertisers target your location, demographics, and even behaviors to deliver more tailored results.


Businesses are even investing in influencer marketing as another method to get eyes on their product. Brands can pay influencers to promote a product to their audience. The benefit of this method is that these ads blend in better to a user’s feed. Someone may be more likely to consider a product if they don’t know it’s an ad or they trust the influencer’s opinions. (If you’re interested in influencer marketing, watch out for these three potential dangers!)

Now you know the key methods advertisers use to catch your attention! Isn’t it about time that you invest in getting your customers’ eyes on your content?