Digital ads: understanding, characteristics, types, strengths and disadvantages
The rapid development of technology has changed the way the world works. User behavior and media consumption have taken a completely different path, thanks to the internet. This change has forced marketers to follow and adapt to changing marketing channels. Even advertising is no longer limited to traditional channels, now the era of digital advertising.
Just like traditional advertising, digital advertising is present in various forms, sizes, and shapes. The basic principle behind digital ads is the same as conventional advertising. However, this ad has interests, types, advantages, disadvantages, and even its own operations that are different from traditional advertisements.
But what is the digital ad?
What is digital advertising?
Digital advertising is an act of attracting public attention to an offer through online and digital paid channels by identified sponsors.
Precisely, digital ads are all forms of advertisements that appear online or in digital channels such as websites, search engines, social media platforms, cellular applications, and other channels that can be digitally accessible.
Digital advertising is a digital marketing branch and only deals with promotional mix, in p from a digital marketing mix.
Digital advertising characteristics
Digital advertising comes with a series of unique characteristics yourself. This is:
- Paid shapes: digital advertising, just as other advertising forms require advertisers (also called sponsors) to pay to create ad and creative messages, buy space or ad slot, and monitor advertising efforts.
- Measured: digital advertising is very measurable in terms of how many people see it and how many people interact with it. Often, advertisers can even calculate the accurate ROI from this ad.
- Objective oriented: This ad is always supported by the aim – to promote, sell, increase exposure, etc.
- Data supported: Digital advertising is supported by data about what they are, to whom they are targeted, and how the target audience interacts with them. Data forms excess digital ads than conventional advertisements.
- Personal or non-personal: Advertising on digital media can be very personalized based on user activity through the internet or non-personal with motives to increase brand awareness.
Evolution of digital advertising
The internet has changed the advertising landscape. In the early 90’s, investment in zero digital ads. But for years, in 2025, digital advertising is expected to exceed $ 500 billion throughout the world.
Either began in 1994 when hotwired.com, the Wired website, released the first banner ad on its website.
In the same year, we see the development of HTTP cookies that help advertisers and publishers track user behavior.
Immediately after, in 1996, Flash was introduced, which formed a framework for Web advertising.
In 1997, pop-up advertising was found and widely used throughout the internet.
In 1998, Google launched and carried a minimum search engine concept. The company began making money in 2000 and paved the way for pay-per-click advertising and search engine marketing.
Cellular eriklans also began in 2000.
In the early 2000s, Facebook launched and presented a hyper-targeted ad model that uses the interest and demographics of users to advertise. It started targeted advertising trends.
The late 2000s and early 2010 witnessed the launch of YouTube, smartphones, iPad, Instagram, Snapchat, Internet of Things, and real-time bidding which then changed the advertising scenario to:
- In the application and cellular
- Micro targeting
Digital advertising agencies are still developing, and every day finding their applications in the new channel.
What kind of digital ads?
The digital media landscape is very broad. It serves every user activity on digital and web devices. Digital advertising ensures to attract the attention of users at each contact point that can be done. Thus, this can be divided into several types, depending on the type of ad, channel, and the intent of advertising.
1. Search ads
Also called search engine marketing, this type of ad uses search engine results to promote offers. Advertisers target keywords that are searched by people in search engines and encourage their web pages at the top of the results by paying search engines like Google, Bing, etc.
Such advertising campaigns are intention oriented and also called a pay per click or PPC campaign because it is paid by advertisers only when the user clicks on the results.
This ad is further divided into search advertisements, shopping advertisements, map ads, etc. Depending on the search engine where they are registered and the intention is behind the target user search.
2. Picture ad
Display ADS or pictorial ads are the most common digital advertising forms. It consists of images, text, and animation, and appears as a banner on the website and blog.
This ad can be personalized according to the activities of users on the internet or not personalized and are usually released to increase brand exposure, offer exposure, and meet other similar motives.
Usually, pictorial ads are categorized further as:
- Regular pictorial ads: This ad has a fixed size and occupies a fixed room regardless of the device where the website is loaded.
- Responsive Display Ads: This ad adjusts the screen size where the website is viewed.
3. Native Ads.
Native ads are ads disguided ones that blend with the content where they added. List of sponsors inside or after blog posts forming examples of genuine ads.
This ad produces better user interactions when compared to other forms of digital advertising because of its properties in accordance with the structure and function of the platform where they appear.
4, video ad
Video ads are digital advertisements used to promote bid using videos or moving images that are played before, during, or after streaming content, or as a standalone banner or default ad.
Most are used on video streaming platforms such as Youtube, Facebook Watch, etc. Video ads are also used on websites and blogs as out-stream advertisements to attract the attention of website users.
5. Audio ads
Audio ads are used mainly on audio streaming platforms such as Spotify, LivexLive, Pandora, etc. Advertisers are bound to contract streaming platforms or content makers to add brand ads inside, before, or after content.
6. Cellular advertising
Cellular advertising is a digital ad that aired on a mobile device. This ad uses two different platforms:
Mobile Web: This is a website, blog, and pages that are set to fit the size of the cellular screen.
In the application: Cellular Applications are special applications developed to target special moments. This application is easily downloaded, navigated, and involves a higher level of retention than other channels.
Remarketing or remarketing ads are digital ads targeted at online visitors brand with motives to bring them back to the website or application, or take action.
For example, a brand that targets visitors to e-commerce stores through advertisements to make it complete the unfinished transaction. Another example is the brand of an event targeting visitors to its website with informative advertisements about new events they can attend.
8. Social Media Ads
Social media ads appear on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Reddit, LinkedIn, etc. This ad can be in the form of pictorial ads, genuine ads, video ads, audio ads, re-marketing advertisements, or cellular advertisements.
Social media advertisements are hyper-targeted ads that target users depending on demographics, locations, interests, and even psychographic interests and their behavior.
9. Influencer ads and curators
Influencer ads and curator ads are a relatively new ad form where the brand directly contacts content developers and / or content curators with good followers to put brands or offers on their content. This helps brands to get exposure and trust from influencer followers.
How do digital ads work?
Although digital advertising is different from traditional advertisements, how it works almost similar. There are parties involved, contracts support transactions, and advertising material and copy of the ad are developed to meet advertising purposes.
Digital advertising usually involves three different parties:
- Advertisers: brand that makes and funds ads. For example, Nike with his campaign ‘just do it’.
- Advertising network: This is an intermediary that connects advertisers with publishers and advertising space providers. For example, Google runs AdWords for advertisers and adsense for publishers.
- Publisher: Publisher is anyone who has a digital property and is willing to monetize the property by selling advertising space.
Generally, the advertising network acts as a mediator that connects advertisers with many publishers or digital property owners.
However, in the case of large players such as social media advertisements, publishers, like Facebook, LinkedIn, etc., become a network of advertising themselves.
Each digital ad is supported by a goal or motif. Can to get more exposure, more prospects, renewal, or more actions taken. And this goal forms the backbone where the ad structure stands.
In addition to its purpose, the ad structure includes:
- Media: Which media will be used for ads to reach users?
- Advertising material: what will be graphic content and text from advertising material?
- KPI: How are advertisers measure the return on investment for advertising campaigns?
Various contract models are available for digital advertising, such as:
- Pay Per Impression (PPI): Advertisers pay fees every time the ad is displayed to the user, no matter whether the action is made on the ad or not.
- Pay Per Click (PPC): Advertisers pay fees every time the ad is clicked.
- Pay Per Action (PPA): Advertisers pay fees every time the user takes an agreed action.
It can be anything starting from filling out the form, registering, registering for something, or buying a product.
Generally, more than one advertiser submits a request for one ad space that increases competition.
The room is then provided for advertisers who are the most bid. This process works in real time and is called real time offer or realtime bidding.
Digital Advertising Differences and Traditional Advertising
Traditional ads are offline ads. It involves the use of channels such as magazines, newspapers, television, radio, direct mail, and billboards to advertise offers or ideas. This ad is very different from digital advertising.
Digital advertising is an act of attracting public attention to an offer or IDE through online and digital paid channels by identified sponsors. While traditional advertising is an act of attracting public attention to an offer or IDE through offline paid channels by identified sponsors.
Digital advertising through online and digital channels such as websites, search engines, social media platforms, etc. While traditional advertising through offline channels such as radio, television, newspapers, etc.
Use of Data
Development, application, and measuring digital ads supported by data. But on the other hand, you can’t get accurate data to support all traditional ads.
Digital advertising includes one-sided communication and two-sided communication. Users can interact with advertisements. While traditional advertisements do not provide ways for users to interact.
Advantages and disadvantages of digital advertising
Digital advertising comes with the advantages and disadvantages of itself that distinguishes it from traditional advertising.
- User-targeted: digital advertising is very targeted by users and can even be targeted micro to the smallest part of the target audience.
- Cheap: Given ROI from digital advertising, this is considered a form of promotional promotion.
- Supported data: digital advertising is supported by data. This data can be used to develop campaigns that were previously not possible.
- Interactive: Digital advertising can be interactive, increasing involvement and proven useful for advertisers and users.
- Real-time: Changes in digital ads can be done in real-time. Even analytics and data can be collected in real-time. This proved to be a big advantage.
- Global coverage: It’s easy to launch digital advertising to audiences around the world even without going to places like that.
- Various formats: digital advertising is present in various forms and sizes, and the coverage is still not utilized.
- Limited viewers: Only 59 percent of global populations that use the internet. The rest don’t have access to it. So, if the target of the brand audience does not have internet access, digital ads will not be useful.
- Competition: Many advertisers bid for one ad space that increases competition and advertising prices.
- Increase advertising blockers: ads are everywhere. This disturbs digital users who are looking for ways to block such advertisements.
- Requires special expertise: running digital ads requires special skills to develop and optimize ads and offers for the same thing.
That is a complete discussion of digital advertising that might be useful and can be adapted for your business. Although digital advertising has many advantages, you must continue to make a strategy so that you make the ad on target and be able to get the expected results.
Advertising costs include considerable costs for some business, it is important for you to monitor these costs to remain efficient so that there is no waste in your business. Record all costs you spend on advertising and apply ROI values in business as the effectiveness parameters of the advertising strategy you created.
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