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Types of Digital Advertising to Grow Your Business- Digital Marketing Blog


What types of digital advertising should you be using for your business? Whether your company is large, medium or small – advertising is the only way you are going to bring in those online sales.

Creating ads can be a challenge but it can also be incredibly easy with the right tools! If you have never set up an ad campaign you’re in luck.

We are going to walk you through the process, tell you all about the different types of digital advertising techniques and when it’s appropriate to use them!

*We’re about to throw a lot of abbreviations your way so if you need a cheat sheet check out our list of top digital marketing terms.

Search Engine Marketing

SEM or search engine marketing is one of the types of digital marketing that includes PPC or Pay Per Click advertisements.

PPC ads allow you to create your very own customized advertisements, set budgets and view metrics once your ads are up and running.

Within PPC there are two types of ads that you can run on search engines like Google. They are search ads and display ads.

Search ads show up when a user types a keyword into a search engine. These ads are incredibly powerful as they show up when your potential customers search for a specific keyword.

People who come across your search ads are already looking for your product or something similar. So you won’t be marketing to cold leads.

A cold lead is someone who has never heard about your product or service, meaning it usually takes a while to convince them to make a purchase.

These people on the other hand at least have an idea of what they want. And they have probably  heard about your company before.

For all you first timers, here’s an example of how PPC works:

Let’s say I need to sell my car. Obviously I’m going to go to Google and type in a phrase like “sell my car”. When I press enter a list of results will appear. The first four and the last three will be advertisements.

The position depends on the bid each company places on the keyword as well as a quality score from Google. A high quality score indicates that your ad is more relevant meaning that you have a better chance of ranking higher.

Each search ad contains at minimum a headline, website and description. Google gives you 30 characters to write your headline and 80 characters to write your description.

This may not seem like a lot of room to get your point across so you’ll have to be crafty. Tell customers your main selling point like “Get same day cash for any car” or “Drive more sales”.

As you can see one of these ads contains a rating as well as an address and phone number. These add-ons such as contact information or additional links are called ad extensions. Their job is to give searchers additional details about your company, product, or service.

So how do display ads differ from search advertising?

Display ads are ads that appear on other websites. The potential customers who see display ads are being targeted after searching for a product or service or just happen to land on a website that contains display ads.

Typically when using display ads you will be marketing to people who are unaware that your brand exists which means you will be focusing on building brand awareness.

Google Display Ads allow you to reach over 90% of people on the internet across over 2 million websites. While these are huge numbers, it does not guarantee that you will see conversions from your ads.

These ads include photos or graphics with text that encourage users to click and they appear on websites, like this!
There are several different sizes for display ads. So we suggest you do some split testing to see which ad gets the most conversions for your brand.

Pro Tip: You can use these two types of digital advertising at the same time in order to get at customers from different angles. In order to be successful you should go for cold leads as well as customers who know what they want!

Google Shopping Ads also fall into the PPC category.

These ads feature a product along with an image and appear on Google in a carousel of photos with prices.

For example, you are searching for new dining chairs on Google – these ads, or something similar, will pop up.
Perfect! This is exactly what you need, photos with prices and what websites they come from. So what clues you in that this is an ad?

Like other types of digital advertising the text that reads “sponsored” in the right corner tells you that these are paid ads.

These aren’t necessarily the best chairs on the web. But if the chair that you sell is coming up number one, then you can bet that shoppers will believe it is the best chair just because it’s in that first spot. Having that top spot instills trust with your potential customers.

Setting up these type of ads can be a breeze. Start by uploading your products to Google’s merchant center and then you can create your shopping campaign. If you need help, our experts are always available to answer questions and help you get started!  

These type of ads are great if you have 500 or more products!

However, if you run a smaller business, and only sell a limited amount of products, Google Shopping Ads probably aren’t the way to go. But don’t worry! This is only one of the types of digital advertising that you won’t be able to use – there are many more!

Social Media Advertising

Within social media advertising there are several types of digital advertising campaigns that you as a business owner should be running.

You can run ads on LinkedIn, Pinterest and even YouTube. You can advertise on these platforms to generate leads, drive sales, increase brand awareness, and reach all types of people.

All of these platforms are great but we are going to talk in depth about two of the most popular sites to advertise on: Facebook and Instagram.

Facebook is one of the oldest and most popular advertising platforms. You can create ads using Facebook’s Ads Manager and easily integrate these same ads onto Instagram.

Facebook is great if you are wanting to increase your brand’s visibility. You can target specific demographics, locations or even interests that your customer’s have.

With Facebook there are several different types of advertisements you can run depending on the goals of your business. You can set ads specifically for things like lead generation, conversions, or app installs.

Facebook ads easily integrate into users’ feeds. So easily in fact that you may be unaware of how many ads you are seeing on social media daily.

Take this home page for example. Already there are two advertisements. One in the news feed and two on the sidebar. There are more ads in this screenshot than there is content from Facebook friends!

It’s important when creating an advertisement to realize how many ads are already out there. How will you make your campaign stand out? Check out some of our ideas to increase website traffic.

Instagram ads also integrate directly into the platform itself. It can be difficult to distinguish ads from regular posts at first glance because they look exactly like a normal post.

There are a few differences like a clickable button on the photo that says “learn more” or “shop now” as well as text that says “sponsored” like in this Intel ad.

It looks just like a regular part of your feed but Intel paid for it to show up. The user has the opportunity to engage with the ad by clicking to learn more, commenting or liking the post.

80% of Instagram’s users are outside of the U.S. so if you are looking to advertise on a global level, Instagram is the perfect platform.

Since Instagram is a mobile platform your ads will only be displayed to mobile users. There is a desktop version but Instagram advertisements will not be shown to desktop users.

This is where Facebook advertising has an advantage over Instagram advertising. Your ads will be shown in their newsfeed on desktop and mobile and can also be shown on a sidebar.  

So what advertising platform should you use; Instagram or Facebook?

The truth is, since you can create Instagram ads from your Facebook ads in Facebook’s ad editor, you can use both! Take advantage of the fact that these two platforms are so tightly knit.

You should always do market research to see where your potential customers are spending their time and which social media platforms they prefer.

Our best advice is to keep in mind that some people who use Facebook don’t use Instagram as much and vice versa. If you want your ads to be seen by the most users possible, use both platforms!

Remarketing/Retargeting Advertising

Ever wondered how the internet knows that you’re interested in buying a product? That avocado slicer from Amazon keeps popping up on every web page and every other Instagram post!

This type of digital advertising is called remarketing or retargeting. Once a user shows interest in a product you can gather that data to use to your advantage in the future.

Businesses retarget through emails as well as through social media and search engine marketing.

This email from Vistaprint is urging a customer to complete their order that they left behind in their cart. A friendly reminder like this can get back sales that would have otherwise been lost.

Some customers think emails or social media post that are retargeting them are a sign that they should purchase that product. This is why retargeting works.

Don’t just retarget once. Send emails and make sure that you are running retargeting ads on social media. This way your customers can’t miss your ads!

Social media retargeting ads can take several forms.

There are dynamic product ads which create a carousel of products that a customer has previously viewed encouraging them to come back to your site and keep shopping.

It looks like a regular ad but the user can swipe through several products that they may be interested in purchasing. They can click on a product and be directed to it on your website.

If you don’t have that many products you are able to show your customers one product that they have already viewed or added to their cart.

You can also offer a discount for a product that a customer has already viewed. This can be done in the form of a social media ad or an email or both!

In order to retarget you will need to collect data from your customers. This means that you will need to have analytics and tracking set up on your website.

This is as simple as pasting a snippet of code onto your site. But if you feel like you need a professional to help you, then let us know!

The more retargeting you can implement, the better. If your customers see products that they have viewed in every possible place, they will eventually make their way back to your site for a purchase.

Don’t miss out on sales! Retargeting should be a huge component of your digital marketing strategy.

Video Advertising

While it’s largely a part of social media advertising, video ads can be in their own category when we talk about types of digital advertising.

Short attention spans are a huge hurdle for advertisers. And this is why video is dominating digital advertising. Video allows people to absorb content efficiently and without much effort.

Using videos in place of text advertisements can be a game changer for your business. You can use it to quickly engage with your audience.

Creating video advertisements may seem difficult, but in the long run they are worth it. We live in a time of instant gratification. If you can give your customers information as quickly as possible, they will listen to what you have to say.

Video ads on social media platforms are growing and are probably already dominating your news feeds.

Companies like Buzzfeed, Condé Nast and the New York Times are using video in new and creative ways to capture the attention of their audience.

Here are some ways that you can implement video into your advertising strategy!

-Use video to show off a new product and how it works which can help potential customers with their buying decision. If they see how a product works it can give them the confidence they need to convert.

-When you are creating your first video advertisement, consider creating short high quality videos for social media, Youtube or other platforms. They should be attention grabbing to hook your potential customers.

-The best video ads for social media are the ones that can be watched with or without sound and still make sense. Many people are scrolling through Facebook or Instagram in places where they can’t always listen to sound.

-Appeal to emotions and be relatable. Videos should make your audience feel something whether it’s funny, sentimental, happy or sad like this video ad from Amazon.

They appeal to the viewers emotions and at the same time show what their product can do.

Video helps build trust with your audience and allows you to connect with them on a deeper level. If you’re not already using video in your advertising strategy, now is the time to start!

Pro Tip: If you’re using videos on your website, this can increase the time people spend on your site – which can potentially increase your search engine rankings.

Creating Your First Ad Campaign

Creating your first set of ads can be daunting. With the right tools you’ll be on your way to creating a successful ad that converts!

Ready for some tips and tricks that will help you when you are creating your first ad campaign?

-The first thing you will want to do is to choose a platform. Keep in mind that you are going to end up spending money on any of these platforms we mentioned but not much!

Online advertising is the cheapest form of advertising there is, especially when compared to traditional advertising.

-Create an ad you would click on! Your ads need to be enticing no matter what platform you choose. When you have finished creating your first ad show it to some trusted friends or colleagues.

If they would click on it, you’re good to start testing!

-A/B split testing is important for success and it can save time and money. Don’t get stuck on one idea. Start out with multiple ad sets to see which one performs the best!

-Search ads need creative text that will draw in potential customers while display ads need enticing graphics. Test each of them to see which works best for your business. And remember, you can always use both!

-What’s your budget? Don’t wing it. Choose a budget and stick with it. You don’t want to overspend. This is super easy to control as you can set a budget with all types of digital advertising.

-Monitor your ads! We cannot emphasize this enough. If an ad is not bringing you the sales you want, don’t be afraid to switch gears.

-Combining several different types of digital advertising can be a huge advantage to your business. Reach the most customers by using different types of ads like social media as well as search and display ads.

-These types of digital advertising have learning phases so be patient if you don’t get your target number of sales on day one.

-Learn how to read the results and metrics that come with each of these advertising platforms. Google Ads and social platforms show you things like average cost per click, impressions, conversions and click through rates just to name a few.

Make sure you can differentiate between all of these metrics!

Time to Choose Your Types of Digital Advertising for Your Business

These are just a few types of digital advertising methods that can help your business grow! If implemented properly, you will be able to grow your customer base, outshine your competition and achieve your sales goals. What other types of digital advertising are you interested in? Let us know in the comments!



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