Digital Marketing & Advertising: Where Are Advertisers and Audiences?

Last Updated May 4, 2021

📖 This post is part of a blog series overview of The Digital Marketer's Almanac 2021, an essential guide for every marketing professional. 

There was a time not so long ago that digital marketing trailed behind “conventional” and “traditional” marketing in all its glory. 

Today the term “marketing” is pretty much synonymous with digital marketing, and “digital marketing” can encompass so many advertising types and platforms. With so many moving parts to digital marketing, it can be hard enough just to keep up with the day-to-day tasks as a marketer. It’s even harder to take a moment to look at trends from a bird’s eye view. 

So what exactly has been happening in the digital marketing sector? Turns out...kind of a lot. Let’s check it out!

Mobile Advertising Spending Is on the Rise

In the USA alone, the number of adults who began using mobile devices for the internet almost doubled, prompting advertisers to throw more of their moolah towards the small screen. Currently, mobile ad spend is approximately around $199 million. By next year it is expected to grow by 24%. 

Mobile browsing is more popular

Source: Statista

Actionable tips for marketers:

  • Don't skimp on mobile-friendly and mobile-first user experiences.
  • Your organic and paid social content should be created with mobile users in mind. 
  • Try testing out SMS marketing. You know that browsers are on their phones already—catch their attention in a different way. 

Distribution of Digital Advertising Spending

Digital ad spend in the U.S. is projected to increase by >13% by the end of 2021 and by >33% by the end of 2023. From a short term analysis of this projection, we can predict that ad buying will become more competitive and more expensive on the top platforms. However, with more social media platforms, features, and competition cropping up every month, we can also infer that options for digital advertising will continue to increase as companies try to reach buyers where they hang out online. 

Source: DataReportal

However, this is not a surprising surge that will calm down once the rounds of quarantines are lifted for good. Digital advertising spend exceeded the likes of TV and print 3 years ago. Even in 2018 where marketers could not predict a pandemic, they were sure about the upward pattern of digital spending. If anything the pandemic has only accelerated the predicted growth patterns. 


Almanac Cover

FREE RESOURCE: Digital Marketer's Almanac 2021

The essential resource for SaaS, eCommerce, and Lead Generation marketers to think strategically about the year ahead.

Top 5 Digital Advertising Spenders in the US

Currently, the top five spenders in the United States are led by the retail businesses, followed by automotive businesses, financial services, telecommunications, and consumer packaged goods. 

Source: eMarketer

Retail stores are far and away the top digital advertising spenders, encompassing both brick-and-mortar and eCommerce businesses. 

Projected Digital Ad Spend Increases

Mobile spending will grow by an impressive $50 billion by the end of 2022, and in that time digital ad spending is set to increase by a whopping $188 billion. And there’s a good reason for this increase.

Source: eMarketer

There's a difference in the way marketers are reaping the return on their digital ad spend. Unlike conventional ads where you would cast a wider net in every possible place to attract your target market for awareness campaigns, digital ad spending is directed towards targeted marketing, and personalized campaigns. On top of that, before and after every campaign marketers have access to valuable insights and digital analytics that contribute to improving their strategy. 

Source: NextTv

Where the Buyers are: Social Media 

Knowing the traffic of social media platforms and the sort of campaigns you can run on them can help you make a killer digital ad strategy. Let’s check out the breakdown of where the users are by platform, and how advertisers can find them.

Source: Search Engine Journal


Instagram boasts a billion active monthly users. Its monthly advertisers are tallied to amount to 2 million. Where Instagram is becoming diverse in the sort of content you can upload like Instagram reels, the type of ads you can run on the social media platform offer freedom to a digital ad man’s creative process with video ads, carousel ads, stories, photo ads, collection ads, IGTV ads, shopping ads, and explore ads.  


In the United States and Canada ,the number of active Facebook users has risen to 255 million active users every month. 😮 Depending on the objective of your campaign you can choose between image ads, video ads, carousel ads, carousel ads, and collection ads. Basically, you have serious options with this ads platform.


Snapchat enjoys 90 million active users on a daily basis in North America. The platform is dominated by 15 to 25-year-old users that make up almost half of the user base. 


TikTok allows you to present your business in in-feed video ads, top view ads, branded effects such as filters and stickers. You can even do a hashtag challenge for your brand (pretty cool!). 

However for all its hype amidst the pandemic, TikTok has yet to catch up. It has 800 million active users worldwide.  


LinkedIn, the platform that most of us did not see making it in the big leagues of ‘social media’ sites has actually managed to garner more than 50 million users. 


Pinterest has 343 million active users all over the globe. Pinterest thrives on its users creating boards and pinning images they like, helping the platform understand their preferences and being able to promote your brand’s aesthetic in the midst of images.

Jump on a call with one of our growth experts. We'll talk about your goals and create a strategy to get results. 


Subscribe and get our weekly emails on how to grow your store to $10k months and beyond

No Comments Yet

Let us know what you think