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What Is Digital Advertising?

Digital advertising is gaining more and more ground in companies. There are sectors that are no longer conceived almost outside the online environment, such as travel and hotel reservations or the consumption of movies and series on demand. There is no doubt that the different formats of digital advertising are increasingly the protagonists of marketing strategies.

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

To shed some light on the matter, here I am going to explain what digital advertising is and the 8 formats that you should not lose sight of.

What is digital advertising?

Digital advertising is all those techniques of dissemination, promotion and paid communication of a company or brand that are launched in the digital environment. The Internet puts at our disposal different types of channels and platforms that help us reach our potential audience. In addition, one of the differentiating factors of digital advertising versus offline advertising is the great ability to segment and truly reach those people who may be interested in our service or product.

Examples of ads are the banners that you find on different pages or applications, this being the oldest format of digital advertising. There are banners that are a simple image with a 1:1 ratio and there are those that occupy the entire background of the page, which is common in the media. Or the audiovisual ads that you find among YouTube videos. There is a video ad format that is only 6 seconds long and is called a bumper ad.

The 8 digital advertising formats that you cannot lose sight of

Now I am going to tell you what the 8 most important formats of digital advertising are.

1) Native advertising

Native advertising is integrated into the content or the platform where it is published, without causing interruption in navigation. In this digital advertising format it is possible to unleash all our creativity to entertain, surprise and add value to our target audience. All of this as part of a fluid user experience. Faced with the growth of ad blockers like AdBlock Plus, the answer is not to try to limit their use to force 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 the first step to create our email marketing campaign. But the possibilities of this format go further the more we manage to segment our audience. To do this, we can launch content download campaigns in exchange for email, creating a database of interested leads. As our database grows, we can subdivide it into increasingly specialized groups and direct email retargeting campaigns to them. The goal is to arrive just at the right time and with the right message to achieve the maximum impact with our emails.

2) Social Ads

Social ads are one of the most interesting digital advertising formats, as they have millions of users and allow you to segment to reach your target audience. Use advertising on social networks to maximize your presence on these platforms, taking advantage of their different characteristics and options:

Facebook Ads: thanks to its Power Editor, Facebook Ads are a tool with a lot of 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 brand branding? Achieve conversions on your website? Choose the type of ad that best suits your goals and don’t forget to measure and optimize the results.

Twitter Ads: Twitter advertising never ceases to amaze with new options. They have recently launched the Conversion Lift tool, which allows us to configure our campaigns to test multiple variables and thus focus the budget on those that give the best results. Learn more in this post about “What is Twitter Ads”.

Instagram Ads: the most visual social network is also strongly committed to advertising. In the last year they have expanded their offer of sponsored content with 30-second videos, photographs in horizontal format and the Marquee tool. Discover in this guide the best way to create Instagram Ads.


We call display any advertising visual element that we can place on a website. Including 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, I think it still has a lot to say. But the answer is not to try to bypass the blockers to invade the user, but to create ads that are really worth seeing.

5) Online retargeting

Take it one step further with online display that intelligently uses web page ad formats to display personalized ads. Retargeting takes advantage of the information about users collected through cookies to show them ads that are more appropriate to their latest actions. In this way we will be able to create really relevant and timely advertising and, therefore, with more possibilities of succeeding.

6) SEM

The SEM is the creation of advertising campaigns of ads per click in search engines such as Google or Bing. It is one of the most widespread digital advertising formats 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 they search for (for example, “car rental in Chicago center”).

To maximize the effectiveness of our SEM campaigns, Google Ads offers the option of creating search engine ad campaigns combined with retargeting lists. For example, we may show ads only to people who have visited a particular page on our website in the last 30 days. Can you imagine all the possibilities to get conversions?

7) Mobile Ads

All advertising formats must be designed for mobile devices. Most consumers have one and it is the device with which they spend the most hours browsing. In fact, according to Google, 2015 was the year in which mobile searches surpassed desktop searches. And this trend is unstoppable. So instead of adapting your web campaigns to mobile, the time has come to put mobile first and give it all the prominence it deserves.

Google understood it long ago in its organic positioning, if a page does not have a mobile version, it does not index that page. To give an example of mobile importance.

8) Online video

Video is very effective, as it achieves better CTRs than traditional advertising and makes it easier to boost a campaign. It’s an increasingly popular format, and with the speed of connections and the ever-increasing size of mobile screens, you no longer have to be limited to desktop campaigns. Video’s biggest hurdle is user rejection of pre-roll formats (another ad commonly removed 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 that I propose are not a format per se, I wanted to highlight those that are standing out above the rest. Advertising on social networks, making video ads or betting that all your advertising content is responsive, are an imperative need in any digital marketing and advertising strategy.