By David Tomas, on 27 August 2020
Digital advertising has expanded over the years to include many different formants, styles, and platforms. Most people are familiar with the different ads they encounter on a daily basis, but they might not immediately see the difference between them. In fact, a company can use multiple types of digital advertising as part of their broader marketing strategy.
But what exactly is digital advertising? What are the most profitable types of ads? Which formats can give me the best results? Which ones exist?
To shed some light on the matter, I'm going to explain what digital advertising is and the major 8 types of digital advertising available.
What is Digital Advertising?
Digital advertising is all of the diffusion, promotion, and communication techniques a company or brand uses in the digital environment. The Internet offers many different channels and platforms that help to reach a potential audience. Moreover, one of the differential factors of digital advertising versus offline advertising is the ability to create highly segmented audiences to truly reach the people who may be interested in your service or product.
Examples of digital ads are the banners that you find on different pages or applications, this being the oldest format of digital advertising. Social media ads are seen by millions of users everyday. Or the audio and visual ads that you find among videos on YouTube or your favorite podcasts episode.
The 8 Types of Digital Advertising
There are many different types of digital advertising that exist, but we can mostly categorize these formats into 8 major categories:
- Native Advertising
- Email Marketing
- Social Media Ads
- Display Advertising
- Mobile Ads
- Video Ads
1. Native Advertising
Native advertising is integrated into the content or platform where it is published, without causing any interruption in navigation. This digital advertising format provides free rein to all your creativity; these ads can entertain, surprise and bring value to your target audience, all as part of a seamless user experience. In fact, native ads are often called the “anti-ad.”
In the face of the growing use of ad blockers, the answer is not to try to limit their use by forcing users to consume our ads: it is to respect their freedom of choice and use native advertising to give them content they really want to consume.
2. Email Marketing
The market offers many quality databases with different segmentations as a first step to create email marketing campaigns. But the possibilities of this format go even further the more segmented an audience is. Strong email marketing campaigns use content to entice users to download an ebook or whitepaper, creating a database of interested leads. As your database grows, you can subdivide it into increasingly specialized groups and direct retargeted email campaigns to them. The goal is to arrive in their inbox at just the right time and with just the right message to achieve maximum impact.
3. Social Ads
Social media ads are one of the most interesting formats of digital advertising, since they have millions of users and allow you to segment 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 are a tool with many possibilities. To take advantage of its full potential, think about what you want to achieve with your campaign: Increase the audience of your publications? Improve 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 with new options. Recently they have launched the Conversion Lift tool, which allows you to configure your campaigns to test multiple variables and thus focus the budget on the techniques that give the best results.
- Instagram Ads: The most visual social network also bets strongly on advertising. In the last year they have strengthened their sponsored content and continue to innovate.
- TikTok Ads: TikTok is the new kid on the block in the world of social media advertising. Advertising on this app is especially beneficial if you are targeting Gen Z or a younger audience than on other social platforms. We’ve created a complete guide to advertising and marketing on TikTok.
4. Display Advertising
We call display advertising any visual advertising element that we can place on a website, portal, blog, etc. as a banner, the pop-up and the interstitial. Although this format has been affected by the growth of ad blockers, I think it still has a lot of potential, especially with remarketing options. But the answer is not in trying to bypass the blockers to invade the user, but in creating ads that are really worth seeing.
This advertising type goes one step further with an online display that uses web page data intelligently to show personalized ads to users. Remarketing uses information about users collected through cookies to show them ads that are more appropriate to their latest actions. For example, if a user added a product to an online shopping cart, but didn’t purchase, remarketing can be used to remind them of the product and encourage them to purchase. In this way we can create truly relevant and timely advertising and therefore be more likely to succeed.
SEM is the creation of search engine advertising campaigns by clicking on text ads found on search engines such as Google or Bing. It is one of the most widespread digital advertising types when it comes to creating written ads. The key to its success is that it responds in a real way to the needs of users, since it is based on the keywords that they search for (for example, "car rental in Madrid city center").
To maximize the effectiveness of SEM campaigns, Google Ads offers the option of creating search engine ad campaigns combined with retargeting lists. For example, we can show the ads only to those people who have visited a particular page on our website during the last 30 days. Can you imagine all the possibilities to get conversions?
7. Mobile Ads
All advertising formats should be thought of for mobile devices. Most consumers have one and it's the device they spend the most hours surfing with. In fact, according to Google, mobile searches are much higher than those on computers. So instead of adapting your web campaigns to the mobile, it is time to put mobile first.
If a page does not have a mobile website, Google does not index that page. This should show you just how important mobile is.
8. Online Video
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 becoming increasingly popular and, thanks to the speed of connections and the increasing size of mobile screens, it no longer has to be limited to desktop campaigns. The biggest obstacle to video is the rejection by users of pre-roll formats (another of the ads commonly eliminated by ad blockers). To overcome it, bet instead on YouTubers and native video advertising and you will see how your marketing plan succeeds.
Although some of the concepts I propose are not an advertising type in themselves, but a compendium of them, I have wanted to highlight those that are standing out above the rest. Advertising on social networks, making video ads or betting on all your advertising content to be responsive, to suit mobile devices, are a must in any marketing strategy and digital advertising.