The Value of Your Eyes

Published January 27, 2020

Across the world, digital advertisers are focusing on one common goal — to have your eyes land on their content. Even if it’s just 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 getting your eyes on their content?

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

Free Impressions

First, let’s start with something that isn’t even accounted for in that giant number above: free impressions. These views are generated from free sources the digital world has to provide, with the most popular being social media. Almost every business you know has a social media presence, with a dedicated person or team whose primary 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 such a wide audience accessible through 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 an important strategy with its own term: content marketing. To stand out from the competition, you want your business to appear trustworthy and be the obvious choice for your product or service. To prove that you’re trustworthy, give pieces of valuable professional instructions, knowledge, or advice away for free. In other words, create content that’s informational (rather than a sales pitch) to more effectively market your company.

Paid Advertising

How are businesses spending almost sixty billion dollars 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. The benefit of those types of ads is that they’re 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 better results than traditional advertising methods.


Businesses are even investing in influencer marketing as another method to get eyes on their product. People with sizable followings on social media (referred to as influencers) can be paid by brands 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, be sure to watch out for these three potential dangers!)

Now that 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?

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