Digital Advertising

8 Types of Digital Advertising for your Ad Campaign

By: Frank DePino | May 22, 2024

Digital advertising continues to gain momentum, with marketing resource Oberlo predicting that companies will spend $626.86 billion worldwide on digital ads in 2023. By 2026, that number is expected to creep up to $835.82 billion. 

What kinds of digital display advertising should your company focus on?

Here are 8 types of digital advertising a campaign must consider:

  • Display ads
  • Native ads
  • Paid search ads
  • Retargeting
  • Social media ads
  • Video ads
  • Audio ads
  • Mobile ads

This ultimate guide to digital advertising will explain everything you need to know before launching your own campaign, including what it is, how it differs from digital marketing, and more information on the types of digital ads above. We’ll also delve into how digital ads work and how to benefit from them.

What Is Digital Advertising?

Digital advertising can be inbound or outbound, much the same as digital marketing. Inbound methods largely encompass digital display advertising.

Inbound and outbound advertising makes it easy to measure success, such as who clicked on a PPC ad.

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Are Digital Marketing and Advertising the Same?

Speaking of digital marketing, is it the same as digital advertising?

The two are disparate but do work in tandem.

An advertising campaign is designed to drive and strengthen brand awareness, introduce a new product or service, and sell existing products and services.

It’s often part of a larger marketing strategy to generate new leads, convert them into customers, encourage their business, and keep them loyal.

Some examples of digital ads that we have yet to mention are:

  •  Podcast advertising
  • Radio advertising
  • Television advertising
  • Guerilla advertising (which can be inbound or outbound)

Marketing encompasses these tactics:

  • Content marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Social media marketing
  •  Video marketing
  • Influencer marketing
  • Search engine marketing
  •  Affiliate marketing

As you can see, between the types of digital advertising listed above and those from the intro, overlaps exist, but marketing and advertising are still separate elements of one campaign.

The marketing team is choosing which type of digital advertising to use for their agency.

The Types of Digital Advertising

Now that you understand the basics of digital ads, let’s delve into the 8 types from the intro.

1. Display Ads

The first type of ad that a digital advertising agency might use is a display ad. This online-based ad can appear on apps and websites.

Display ad media type varies between gifs, videos, and images. You might see one of these ads in a skyscraper, landscape, or square format depending on the type of display ad and the site or app it appears on.

Display ads are a critical part of a digital ad campaign and one of the most common ad types in your arsenal. They appear on third-party websites to generate clicks that redirect the user to your website, usually a landing page for the product or service in the advertisement.

2. Native Ads

The next type of digital ad is the native ad. This type of ad can take on all forms, from visual to text-based ads, promoted posts, social media in-feed content, sponsored content, and more. Native ads appear on apps and websites just like display ads.

However, the primary difference between native and display ads is their design. A native ad blends right into the website or app it appears on. HubSpot reported that people view native ads 53 percent more than banner ads.

3. Search Engine Marketing (Paid Search Advertising)

Although not a native ad, paid search advertising has gotten slick enough that you can easily confuse it for one.

Companies will pay for their ads to appear atop search engine results pages beside organic results. The paid search ad will have small text that reads “ad” to make it clear that what you’re seeing (and possibly clicking) is not an organic result.  

4. Retargeting

Ad retargeting is another digital advertising trick up your sleeve. If you targeted an audience group and they didn’t react as intended (i.e., purchasing your product or service), you can get a second crack at them through retargeting.

A retargeting ad uses pixel code on a website. The code relies on browser cookies to indicate when and where to produce retargeting ads. The result is an ad that seemingly follows the user across the Internet, even on other websites.

According to software resource 99firms, 98 percent of first-time website visitors don’t convert. Retargeting is a chance to reclaim the majority audience.

Some companies are promoting their products and services through social media ads

5. Social Media Ads

Next are social media ads, which appear on all your favorite platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and more. You can use your business account on any of these social media platforms to launch an ad campaign.

Social media ads come in many formats depending on the platform you choose to advertise on. You can use the classic text ad, a video ad (more on those to come in just a moment), lead form ads, or interactive ads.

The other ad subtypes you can create on social media are collection ads, product ads, carousel ads, and image ads.

You can target the demographic that sees each ad according to the parameters you set on your social media business account. The ads will appear all over social media depending on the subtype you choose.

6. Video Ads

Let’s talk more about video ads, as we promised.

A video ad is one of the hottest types of digital advertising. Explainer video company Explain Ninja writes that video ads can boost organic traffic from SERPS by 157 percent. That’s a tremendous boost!

Here are the subtypes of video ads:

  • Interactive video ads that appear in mobile games and other apps; after watching a few seconds of the ad, you can interact, such as trying a portion of a mobile game to inspire downloads.
  • Non-overlay ads are a type of non-linear ad format that plays during video content and doesn’t overlay it.
  • Overlay ads are also non-linear ads but appear over a video, usually on the bottom. They take up between 10 and 20 percent of a video so you can still watch the video but will clearly see the ad.
  • Outstream video ads include in-text ads, in-banner ads, and in-page ads that appear over a video but aren’t videos themselves.
  • In-stream video ads follow a linear ad format. They can play before a video (pre-roll ads) like skippable ads, non-skippable ads, and bumper pre-roll ads. In-stream ads can also appear in the middle of a video or afterward.

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7. Audio Ads

Podcast listenership is on the rise, so it only makes sense that audio ads would become a more popular part of a digital ad strategy.

Audio ads appear on streaming services and platforms as a commercial break. The duration of the ad is traditionally 15 to 30 seconds, but some audio ads can be longer.

You can target audio ads by platforms like Spotify and Apple Music, or get more specific and target by interest, such as having an ad appear on a specific show or podcast.

8. Mobile Ads

The last type of digital ad we’ll look at is mobile ads.

Mobile advertising occurs exclusively on mobile devices like smartphones, smartwatches, and tablets. It can include banner ads in mobile games or mobile sites, SMS ads, and the aforementioned interactive video ads.

Online business mentor Luisa Zhou shares that mobile ad spending will usurp desktop ad spending in 2023, 51 percent versus 49 percent.

Advertising experts are discussing the benefits of digital advertising for their business

The Benefits of Digital Advertising

Digital advertising services can be highly advantageous. Let’s go over some of the benefits now.

Increases or Strengthens Brand Awareness

A digital ad campaign can be a phenomenal method of debuting a new brand to the masses, reintroducing an existing brand after a period of sagging sales or a rebrand, and strengthening an existing brand.

However, for your ads to perform at their best, you should target the audience who sees them.

Promotes Products and Services

Digital ads also give you a golden opportunity to promote new and ongoing products and services. When a user clicks one of your ads, you can redirect them to a landing page where they can learn more about the product or service and complete a purchase then and there.

Some types of ads even let you shop right through the ad!

Increases Leads

Advertisements remain an optimal channel for increasing leads. While it’s not the only lead gen method your company will rely on, it should produce a consistent influx of leads.

Elevates Conversions

With so many shopping opportunities presented through a digital ad campaign, including second chances at a product or service a potential customer missed, a targeted ad campaign should increase a company’s rate of conversions.

Boosts Sales

Through all the measures above, a company should see a healthy uptick in sales from its digital ad strategy. Digital ads can have a great ROI!

Mediaboom shows how digital advertising works directly from its Google Ads account

How Does Digital Advertising Work?

You’ve seen the benefits of digital advertising in action, but how exactly does the process work? Here is an overview.

1. Segment Your Audience

The first step in creating a digital ad campaign is splitting your audience by demographics, geographics, and psychographics.

You can use that data to create buyer personas, which amalgamate the top traits of your audience groups. It’s easier for marketers, salespeople, and advertisers to promote products and services to these personas. 

2. Choose Your Goal(s)

What is the goal of your ad campaign? Do you want to increase brand awareness, get more conversions, or generate more leads? Your campaign may have more than one goal, in which case, you’d need a multifaceted advertising campaign to match.

3. Select Your Digital Ad Type

Next, you must choose the type of digital ads you wish to use. Will you focus primarily on social media, SERP ads, or digital display and native ads around the Internet? Perhaps you’ll use mobile ads or audio ads.

You very well might decide that several types of digital ads suit your campaign the most.

4. Establish Your Budget

Digital advertising campaigns rarely come for free. Your company must determine how much you can afford to set aside to make your campaign goals a reality.

5. Create the Ad and Target Its Viewership

With the budget, ad type, and platform decided, now you can create the ad and determine which audience segments you’ll target.

6. Run the Campaign

When everything is ready, it’s time for your campaign to go live.

7. Monitor Results

You can review a slew of advertising metrics to gauge whether your campaign succeeded. We’ll talk a bit later about what those KPIs are.

Mediaboom shows how it has optimized its landing page for digital advertising campaigns

The Role of Landing Pages in Digital Advertising

Landing pages are an integral part of a digital advertising campaign. As we’ve discussed, many ads redirect users to a landing page when they click.

Your landing pages must be converting machines before your digital ad campaign begins. Here are some best practices to assist with that.

  • You must have a landing page for each product or service you sell.
  • Make your landing pages SEO-friendly with their own URLs, backlinks, image files, meta descriptions, header tags, and title tags.
  • Keep the information on your landing pages up to date.
  • Start with the most important information so it’s above the fold.
  • Ensure your landing pages load fast, ideally within two seconds.
  • Optimize the landing page for mobile.
  • Add social proof, like case studies and testimonials.
  • Use split testing to create the best landing page.
  • Keep copy concise; use short paragraphs!

How to Measure Digital Advertising Effectiveness

You have many measures at your disposal for tracking digital advertising campaign efficacy. The list includes: 

  • Clicks
  •  Impressions
  • Total site traffic, which breaks down traffic by paid search, email, and social traffic
  •  Cost per thousand impressions (CPM)
  • Bounce rate
  • Cost per conversion
  • Conversion rate
  • Customer lifetime value
  • Average cost per acquisition
  •  Engaged visit rate
  •  Return on advertising spend
The Google Ads home page where you can register to start doing digital advertising

Digital Advertising Platforms

The success of your digital display advertising campaign hinges on using the right advertising platform. Here are some options you might consider:

  • Adroll
  • RevContent
  • Bidvertiser
  • Taboola
  • Outbrain
  • LinkedIn Ads
  • TikTok Ads
  • Snapchat Ads
  • Instagram Ads
  • Pinterest Ads
  • Amazon Ads
  • Twitter Ads
  • Bing Ads
  • Google Ads
  • YouTube Ads
  • Facebook Ads

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Hire a Digital Advertising Agency

Digital ads can achieve your company’s goals in lead generation, conversions, and sales. If you’re struggling to formulate an advertising strategy, count on the pros at Mediaboom.

We’re a digital advertising agency that can help in areas like ad management, media buying, mobile apps, display ads, social ads, PPC, campaign management, and more. Contact us today for more information.

By: Frank DePino

Frank DePino is Principal and Founder of Mediaboom. Since 2002, Frank has led Mediaboom’s award-winning staff of creative and technical professionals, building the most effective marketing and advertising solutions for its clients.


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