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The placement of a company’s web marketing is often handled by algorithms. You’re probably well aware of the basic formula: You play the Google or Amazon ad platform, or maybe a local web marketing company, for the privilege of running your ads, but the question of where those ads appears is left up to the algorithms, based on search history and other features of the person visiting a site.

But this isn’t the only way of doing things, and there are situations in which the impersonal, algorithm-mediated approach might not be the best. For many advertisers, part of an effective web marketing strategy may include practices that seem very traditional. These often involve building partnerships and specifically integrating ads into a certain type of content, rather than targeting individual consumers on a case-by-case basis.

You see this with podcasts, where there’s really no place for an automatically-chosen ad to be injected into the user experience. In these cases, a web marketing company might determine that there’s strong overlap between a podcast’s audience and an advertiser’s customer base. Sponsorship money changes hands and ads are built right into the recording, with the advantage that they cannot easily be skipped or ignored.

Podcasts are not alone in this, and as web marketing continues to evolve, it’s entirely possible that other forms of media will continue to adopt such traditional partnership arrangements. Some YouTube content creators already done so, especially after changes to Google’s algorithms resulted in a loss in the value of monetization for certain channels.

The effectiveness of personal versus impersonal marketing tactics may be different from one client to another, and from one web marketing company to another. Very often, a mix of both is advisable. The differences between them represent just another area of expertise that a good web marketing company must have if it is to reach the widest and most appropriate audience possible.

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