Digital Marketing

Digital Ads: What They Are & 8 Basic Formats

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By Shanon Roberts, on 6 August 2021

Digital advertising is gaining more and more ground worldwide. There are sectors that are hardly possible outside the online environment, such as travel and hotel reservations or on demand streaming services. There is no doubt that understanding the different formats of digital advertising is crucial when it comes to your marketing strategies.

But what exactly is digital advertising? What are the most profitable types of ads? Which formats can give me the best results?

To shed some light on this, let's look at what digital advertising is and the 8 formats that you should focus on.

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Digital Ads: What They Are & 8 Basic Formats

What Is Digital Advertising?

Digital advertising includes all the techniques of dissemination, promotion, and paid communication that a company or brand carries out digitally. The Internet has many different types of channels and platforms that help you reach your potential audience. One of the differentiating factors of digital advertising is its capacity for segmentation, which allows you to reach people who are likely to be interested in your service or product.

A classic example is a banner ad. This is the type of ad that you find across the top or along the side of different pages or applications. Another common example is the audiovisual ads that you find on YouTube videos. Here, there is also a video advertising format that lasts only 5 to 6 seconds and is called a bumper ad.

8 Digital Advertising Formats You Can't Miss

So, what are the 8 most important formats in digital advertising?

1. Native Advertising

Native advertising is integrated into the content or platform where it is published, without causing interruption in navigation. In this format of digital advertising, it is possible to unleash your creativity to entertain, surprise, and provide value to your target audience, all as part of a seamless user experience. Faced with the growth of ad blockers such as AdBlock Plus, the answer is not to force users to consume your ads. Instead, it is to respect their freedom of choice and use native advertising to give them the content they really want to consume.

2. Email Marketing

The market offers many quality databases with different segmentations that you can utilize to create your email marketing campaign. The possibilities of email marketing go even further the more you segment your audience. To do this, launch content download campaigns in exchange for user emails and create a database of interested leads. As your database grows, you can subdivide it into increasingly specialized groups and target them with email retargeting campaigns. The goal is to arrive at the right time and with the right message in order to achieve the maximum impact with your emails.

3. Social Ads

Social ads are one of the most useful digital advertising formats, as they get viewed by the millions of and allow you to segment to reach your target audience. Use social media advertising to maximize your presence on these platforms by taking advantage of their different features and options.

  • Facebook Ads: Thanks to its Power Editor, Facebook Ads is a tool with a lot of possibilities. To take advantage of its full potential, think about what you want to achieve with your campaign. Do you want to increase the audience of your publications, improve brand branding, achieve conversions on your website? Choose the type of ad that best suits your objectives and don't forget to measure and optimize the results.

  • Twitter Ads: Twitter advertising never ceases to surprise us with new options. They have recently launched the Conversion Lift tool, which allows you to configure your campaigns to test multiple variables and thus focus your budget on the ones that give the best results. Learn more in this post about Twitter Ads.

  • Instagram Ads: the most visual social network is also a great place to advertise. In the last year they have expanded their offer of sponsored content with 30-second videos, horizontal format photographs, and the Marquee tool.

4. Display

Display refers to any visual advertising element on a website, portal, blog, etc. such as the well-known banner, pop-up and interstitial. Although this format has been affected by the growth of ad blockers, it still has a lot to offer. The answer lies not in trying to bypass ad blockers and bombard the user, but in creating ads that are really worth seeing.

5. Retargeting Online

Go one step further with an online display that uses the advertising formats of web pages in an intelligent way to show personalized ads. Retargeting takes advantage of information about users collected through cookies to show them ads that are related to their latest actions online. This way, you can create truly relevant, timely advertising and be more likely to succeed.

6. SEM

SEM is the creation of PPC advertising campaigns on search engines such as Google or Bing. It is one of the most widespread digital advertising formats. The key to its success is that it responds to the needs of users, since it is based on the keywords they are looking for (for example, "car rental in Boston").

To maximize the effectiveness of your SEM campaigns, Google Ads offers the option of creating search ad campaigns combined with retargeting lists. For example, you can show ads only to people who have visited a specific page on your website during the last 30 days.

7. Mobile Ads

All advertising formats should be designed for mobile devices. Most consumers have them spend the most hours on them every day. In fact, according to Google, 2015 was the year in which mobile searches surpassed desktop searches, and this trend has continued to grow. So instead of adapting your web campaigns to mobile, it's time to put mobile first because if a page does not have a mobile version, Google does not index that page.

8. Online Videos

Video is very effective, as it achieves better CTRs than traditional advertising and makes it easier to boost a campaign. It is a format that is increasingly popular and, thanks to the speed of connections and the ever-increasing size of mobile screens, no longer needs to be limited to desktop campaigns. The biggest hurdle for video is users' rejection of pre-roll formats (another ad commonly removed by ad blockers). To overcome this, bet instead on Youtubers and native video advertising and you'll see your marketing plan succeed.

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Shanon Roberts