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What is Digital Advertising? Types, Benefits, & Budgeting

Shae Henrie

Content Strategist @ AdRoll

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Welcome to AdRoll’s guide on digital advertising! Knowing the different types of digital ads is the crucial first step in deciding which type of ad is right for you and is the secret to maximizing the impact of your brand’s marketing initiatives. In this blog, we will break down the varying types of digital media advertising and explain how and when to use them. We’ll also stress the importance of digital advertising and the advantages of knowing the diverse options at your disposal. This blog is your go-to source for guidance in the ever-evolving world of digital advertising, regardless of experience level in marketing. 

What is Digital Advertising? 

Digital advertising is a form of marketing that brands use to advertise their products and services online. This involves brands paying to appear on well-known online channels, such as search engines, social media platforms, websites, apps, and more.

What Type of Digital Ads Are Most Effective?

Determining the most effective types of digital advertising can be a difficult task. It involves a mix of display advertising, search engine advertising, social media ads, video campaigns, native content, programmatic approaches, and affiliate marketing, among others. Let’s explore the various types of digital ads and delve into their unique benefits and applications.

Budgeting for Digital Advertising: Navigating Costs Effectively

The amount of channels you’re using will determine how much you’ll need to pay each month. It’s important to invest in the marketing channels where your customers are looking for your brand.

Before setting a budget, spend time researching ad platforms and their various features. This step is crucial for determining an adequate and reasonable budget. To make the most of your advertising budget, it’s necessary to establish clear goals before launching your campaign, and ensure they align with the overall campaign objective. This influences the types of ads in digital marketing you will run, their frequency, and their cost. Monitor your ROI and make necessary adjustments. You’ll eventually find an ad strategy that’s the right fit and then you’re off to the races.

Creating and budgeting for digital ad campaigns is often complicated, but you’re not alone. Many questions arise when calculating costs for your brand’s digital advertising efforts. For this reason, AdRoll is available to help you determine which digital advertising tactics result in a positive return on ad spend (ROAS).

Why is Digital Advertising Important?

Digital advertising is essential because a far bigger pool of potential customers is available online than you could possibly draw in through local marketing. With the help of scalable, affordable, and quantifiable digital marketing strategies, you have the incredible ability to reach an international audience. 

Through the utilization of digital advertising, you can interact with potential customers and find out precisely what they’re looking for, ultimately helping your brand familiarize itself with its customer base. Through digital marketing, you can connect with individuals worldwide without any geographical constraints, reaching them anytime, anywhere.

With the use of digital ads, you can accurately target the correct audience at the right point in their buying journey by incorporating personalization into your plans. By obtaining a better grasp of your audience, this strategy not only helps you reach a wider audience and save money, but it also helps you build strong customer relationships and encourage brand loyalty. 

So, what are the different types of digital advertising? Let’s dive in!

Display Advertising

Display advertising is the creation and launch of an ad that appears on a website or app, typically as a static image, animated slideshow, or video banner. These ads bring shoppers to a dedicated landing page or a brand’s site when clicked. It is one of the most cost-effective types of advertising available today; with it, brands can quickly and inexpensively reach an enormous audience across many online channels.

Below are several examples of what display advertising looks like. Some of the most commonly seen display ads include web page banners and social media ads.

Illustrated example of display ads on a computer screen.

Marketers opt for display advertising due to its remarkable effectiveness and numerous advantages. Display advertising helps establish a visual identity for your brand, sparking initial interest and boosting brand awareness. It enables precise audience targeting and effective customer retargeting. Plus, the performance of display ads can be easily measured through continuous tracking of key metrics. Moreover, it’s a cost-effective choice compared to other formats like native advertising and video.

Screenshoot of an AdRoll display ad on a website.

Search Engine Advertising

Search engine advertising stands among the various types of paid digital advertising. It’s when advertisers bid on keywords that users might search for on sites like Google and Bing. You could bid on keywords related to your business’s services or products so that your ads would pop up for those search queries. These ads are called pay-per-click (PPC) ads and come in many forms. 

Search engine advertising is extremely powerful and unique from other marketing methods because it lets you put your ads out in front of already-interested customers who are actively looking to purchase. 

Here is an example of search engine advertising:

Screenshot highlighting the first result in a Search Engine Results page, which is an ad.

Search Engine Advertising plays a pivotal role in elevating brand awareness by promptly positioning your ad in front of potential customers as they search for your offerings. This makes it an ideal short-term strategy for rapidly enhancing your brand’s visibility.

Moreover, Search Engine Advertising enables precise geographic targeting, ensuring that your ads reach consumers within close proximity to your brand. This advertising method is user-friendly and supported by various platforms that simplify ad creation and management.

Lastly, when paired with compelling ad copy, search engine advertising effectively drives traffic to your brand’s website, solidifying its position as an indispensable marketing tool.

Social Media Advertising

The term social media advertising describes advertisements on well-known websites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, and others. Similar to display advertising, they offer a variety of content, including photos, videos, and immersive mobile experiences, and are available in various formats. 

Below is an example of social media advertising:

Screenshot of an Instagram ad by Wendy's.

Social media advertising has several benefits over traditional methods of reaching customers. In addition to its broad reach, social media ads are cost-effective ways to target specific audiences. Finally, using social media to advertise allows you to track and measure your results with clear KPIs accurately.

Video Advertising

Video advertising allows your brand to communicate a large volume of information in a short amount of time. Video ads drive interest, showcase product features, and enable you to connect with your audience in a more exciting or meaningful way. Popular forms include in-stream (your ad plays two minutes into a video view) and out-stream (your ad plays before the video view) video ad placements on websites and mobile apps. 

The following is an example of video advertising:

Video ads are a great way to get consumers involved with your brand. Many of these ads even let viewers review your brand and purchase products with voice activation or using their remote. Video ads not only boost your brand’s presence, but also give marketers insights into what gets the best response from the audience.

Native Advertising

Designed to blend into the editorial content on your website or app, native ads have higher click-through rates than their static image display counterparts. Native ads rely on AI to continuously optimize by cycling through different image, title, and description combinations to find the highest-performing ad sets.

Here is an example of native advertising:

Screenshot of a native ad on the Entrepreneur website.

Because native advertising uses ads that “blend in” to the platform they’re on, users are more likely to click on the ad to learn more because they trust the website they’re visiting. In fact, previous studies have shown that native ads receive a 5-10x higher click-through rate (CTR) than traditional ads. 

The higher click-through rates are likely because users find native ads 62% easier to understand than other types of display ads and 31% easier to understand than social ads. Additionally, ad blockers don’t impact native ads. So, even if an internet user has one activated, your content will still appear on your chosen websites. 

Native advertising works on desktops and mobile devices, so marketers can reach their target audience wherever they spend their time online. 

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing that lets you reward and incentivize a third-party affiliate (whether it’s a brand partner, publication, or influencer) to bring in customers. This type of marketing includes blog posts or listicles that round up trending or relevant products. Another form of affiliate marketing is an influencer who promotes a product and encourages their followers to click on a dedicated link to unlock a special deal, such as 20% off and free shipping. 

Here is an example:

Screenshot of a Buzzfeed article.

Affiliate marketing is a great tactic that leverages social influence to drive brand awareness and sales. In fact, one study found that 37% of shoppers find new brands via an affiliate link. The best part of affiliate marketing is how it’s performance-based. In other words, unlike pay-per-click ads, you only pay for performance and don’t have to invest upfront. Because of this, the strategy is low-risk and cost-effective, making it ideal for startups and small businesses.

Increased brand recognition, more customers, and higher sales are all achievable with affiliate marketing!

Programmatic Advertising

The term programmatic advertising describes purchasing digital ad space through algorithmic software or a data-driven platform. If you’re wondering why this phrase is still in use when digital ad buying is now considered the industry standard, it’s because traditional media buying requires more labor-intensive duties.

To begin with, you must contact a publisher (owner of a newspaper, magazine, or website owner), request a media kit, negotiate a contract, and prepare insertion orders for every placement of your campaign. However, programmatic advertising automates each of these tasks. Find a programmatic ad platform, upload your creative, select your target audience, and boom! You’re prepared to launch your advertisement across an entire ad network.

Here is an example of a programmatic advertisement:

Screenshot of a programmatic ad on the Telegraph website.

Programmatic advertising is great for your brand’s bottom line and overall efficiency, allowing you to reach your target audience with precision and scale — both of which are critical in today’s competitive marketing landscape. Since the marketing method uses data to determine the best way to reach the right audience at the right time, you will most likely experience a better return on investment (ROI) compared to traditional media buying. Programmatic advertising reduces the manual labor required for media buying, freeing up marketers’ time to better focus on strategy and creativity. The ability to instantly view the results simplifies the optimization of your campaigns.

Hit the Ground Running With Your Campaign Today

Appreciating the intricacies of digital advertising in today’s connected world is crucial to maximizing the impact of your brand’s marketing efforts. Reference this blog when your brand is ready to navigate the different types of digital advertising, regardless of experience level in the field.

Are you prepared to get started and enhance your marketing tactics? Get started with AdRoll today!

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