TechDogs-"Digital Advertising & Planning" Explained: Part 1

Digital Marketing

Digital Advertising & Planning Explained: Part 1

By TechDogs

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Are you overwhelmed seeing all the digital ads in your Google account, Facebook, Spotify and so on? Oh, for sure, you are! Digital Advertising is a ubiquitous part of our everyday lives, literally. After reading this article, you'll be familiar with the most common types of digital ads from mobile, to social, to email, to search and everything in between. We'll also discuss the origins of Digital Advertising, the diverse types of Digital Ads, including search ads, email ads, etc., and the marketing strategy for why businesses need it. So, what are you waiting for?
TechDogs-"Digital Advertising" -The Breakfast Of Marketing Champions

In our own digital lives, ads are ubiquitous and often play the same role as the ads in Maniac, the famous Netflix comedy-drama, where the characters are often confronted with ads customized to their unique preferences and demographics. Ads play in endless loops on digital billboards, subway signs and moving posters on street corners. They even take human form via people who solicit the characters in stores or on the street, offering to read sponsor messages in exchange for goods and services (every marketer's dream).

TechDogs-"Maniac" Play-Characters From Famous Netflix Comedy Drama Play Maniac Often Confronted With Ads Customized To Their Unique Preferences And Demographics

Many of the so-called free services and content we consume on the Internet are not free at all - we pay for them with our time by watching the ads and giving up some measure of personal information. Ads are on your social media feeds, in your Gmail inbox, embedded in YouTube videos, sprinkled throughout the apps you use every day and sandwiched before, between and after your favorite murder mystery podcasts.

What Is Digital Advertising, Anyway?

The method of promoting content using a digital marketing strategy, be it text, images, audio or video via digital channels such as social media, blogs, etc. is known as Digital Advertising. The term Digital Advertising is an umbrella term used by the marketing team for all promotional content marketing is also known as online marketing or digital marketing campaign. Digital ads are media plans delivered electronically versus "traditional" ads like magazine and newspaper ads which are more tangible because they're physically printed.

Types Of Digital Advertising

There are a variety of different digital ad types that fall within (roughly) ten categories of digital marketing, as follows:
TechDogs-Types Of Digital Advertising-Different "Categories Of Digital Marketing"
  • Influencer Advertising

    Influencer advertising used by digital marketers may seem new when viewed in an app on our shiny smartphones but utilizing someone with a seemingly perfect life to promote a product is an age-old tactic. Take the cereal brand Wheaties, for example. Wheaties was using celebrity endorsements (read influencers) as far back as 1958, when Bob Richards, a gold medal Olympian, graced the front of the Wheaties box. These days, brand influencers have gone digital, with social media stars like Kim and Khloe Kardashian peddling everything from weight loss lollipops to vitamins (usually in an obnoxiously cheerful way) to their social media followers.

TechDogs-Influencer Advertising-Instagram Screenshot Of "Influencer Kim Kardashian" Advertising Vitamins
  • Mobile Advertising

    You know those annoying banners that you accidentally click on while playing your favorite game on your smartphone? Those are a form of mobile advertising! Mobile ads leverage mobile devices and smartphones to target specific audiences using SMS messaging, in-app ads, email and ads on social media feeds for digital marketing success.

TechDogs-Mobile Advertising-Pop-Up Of Annoying "Mobile Ad Marketing" While Playing Saving Yello Game
  • Search Engine Advertising

    Search ads are delivered by search engines, such as Google, Yahoo! and Bing. They look so much like the regular (unpaid) search listings on the Search Engine Result Page (SERP) that you may not even know they're ads. Advertisers run ads on search engines by bidding on keywords and setting the price they're willing to Pay Per user Click (PPC). Search ads are primarily text-based ads and must be relevant to what people are searching, for example, you shouldn't see an ad for "dog food" if you're searching for "cat food".

TechDogs-Search Engine Advertising-Screenshot Of Cat Food Ad On "Google Search Engine"
  • Social Media Advertising

    Social media ads run on most social media networks (Duh!). They combine elements of images (text and videos) and are designed to fit within the native feed of whatever platform you're using. Here's an example of a couple of Pinterest ads in the wild. Can you spot the ads (hint: we outlined them in red)?

TechDogs-Social Media Advertising-Screenshot Of Pinterest Ads For "Social Media Advertising"

Another social media ad that looks remarkably like an organic post. Check this one out from a LinkedIn feed:
TechDogs-Social Media Advertising-Screenshot Of "Nubank's Reaches 25 Million Customers"- Ad On Linkedin As A Part Of Social Media Advertising
  • Content Marketing

    This is a blanket term that refers to creating digital content in a variety of formats (text, graphics and videos) aimed at a specific target audience. We don't say "content advertising" because this tends to be an organic (unpaid) tactic (unless you don't pay your content creators). Content can be distributed via paid mediums as well (third-party content publishers) and as such falls within the category of Advertising.

  • Email Advertising

    This tried-and-true form of Digital Advertising planning includes sending out email newsletters, product updates, offers/ promotions, pre-and-post purchase drip emails and other campaigns to either an internal or third-party list. Retailers are fond of using email to sell products. Here's an example of a promotional email from Michaels, a craft store:

TechDogs-Email Advertising-Screenshot Of "Promotional Email" From Michaels "Michael's Coupon-You Hit the Jackpot
  • Display/Video Advertising

    Display ads, also called "banner ads," are image or video ads that appear above, below or within the margins of a website's primary content. Banners also appear within mobile apps. Here's a Masthead ad (Ad on YouTube home page) by Advil:

TechDogs-Video Advertising-Screenshot Of "Banner Ad By Advil On Youtube"

Digital Advertising’s Come A Long Way, Baby!

We'd be remiss in talking about Digital Advertising if we didn't touch on the origins of what has become an enormous industry. The first digital ad appeared on Wired Magazine's website, Hotwire in 1994. It was (as you've guessed) a banner ad. Wired set aside a portion of its website to run the ads for three months. Users who clicked on the banners were directed to the advertiser's landing page.

The next technological innovation to facilitate Digital Advertising was the ad server, a platform launched by DoubleClick in 1996 to make it easier to run, track and create reports on Digital Ads. Yahoo! launched the very first search ads in the same year. Then, a few years later, Google launched their own paid ad platform, Google AdWords (now Google Ads) in 2000. The digital ad landscape took off after campaign performance with innovations cropping up constantly: targeted content and video advertising in 2006, behavioral targeting and social media advertising in 2007, ad exchanges in 2008 and on and on.

Why Do Businesses Need Digital Advertising?

Digital Advertising is thriving because marketers and businesses need to get people's attention - and attention is increasingly being directed towards online marketing strategies. Way back in January 2019, Nielsen reported that the average U.S. adult (18+) spent about 10+ hours a day consuming electronic paid media and that was before Money Heist season 4 came out.
Everyone having a mobile today is also playing a huge role in the growth - and future - of Digital Advertising. The ubiquity of mobile devices combined with social media marketing and internet connectivity adds to the widespread adoption of Digital Advertising. In April 2019, the global mobile population was estimated to be as high as 4 billion, with mobile devices accounting for half of the web page views worldwide. Remember, many people access social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram via their mobile devices. This is where people are directing their attention and attention is what sells ads. While it's clear that businesses need marketing activity like SEO, digital ads to capture people's attention, what's less clear is the best way to do that. That's where Digital Advertising and Planning tools come in to create the best digital strategy and a robust marketing plan.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is digital advertising and how does it differ from traditional advertising?

Digital advertising refers to the promotion of content using various digital marketing strategies, such as text, images, audio, or video, through digital channels like social media, blogs, and websites. Unlike traditional advertising, which typically involves tangible mediums like print magazines or newspapers, digital advertising utilizes electronic delivery methods to reach target audiences. This includes methods such as influencer advertising, mobile advertising, search engine advertising, social media advertising, email advertising, and display/video advertising, among others.

How has digital advertising evolved over time?

Digital advertising has undergone significant evolution since its inception. The first digital ad appeared in 1994 on Wired Magazine's website as a banner ad. Subsequent innovations such as ad servers, search ads, and paid ad platforms like Google AdWords (now Google Ads) have revolutionized the industry. Over the years, advancements in targeted content, video advertising, behavioral targeting, social media advertising, and ad exchanges have further transformed the digital advertising landscape, making it a crucial component of modern marketing strategies.

Why do businesses need digital advertising?

Businesses rely on digital advertising to capture the attention of consumers who are increasingly spending time online. With the proliferation of mobile devices and internet connectivity, people are accessing digital content more than ever before. The widespread adoption of social media platforms further amplifies the importance of digital advertising. As consumers' attention shifts towards online platforms, businesses need to engage with them through effective digital marketing strategies to remain competitive. Digital advertising, along with tools for planning and execution, helps businesses create robust marketing plans tailored to their target audiences, driving brand awareness, engagement, and sales.

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