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A Marketer's Guide to Conquering the Digital Advertising World

Digital advertising has gone from a nice-to-have to an absolute must-have for brands wanting to reach their target audience online. With so many options now available, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. In this post, we’ll walk through the major digital advertising formats you should be leveraging and tips for making the most of your ad spend.

Overview different paid digital ad formats

The digital advertising landscape has expanded far beyond just search ads. Here’s a quick overview of the main ad types brands now have at their disposal:

  • Search Ads - Text ads on Google and Bing based on keyword targeting.

  • Display Ads - Banner ads placed around the web and on social media.

  • Video Ads - In-stream and video display ads on YouTube, social platforms, and more.

  • Social Media Ads - Paid ads placed within social feeds like Facebook and Instagram.

  • Native Ads - Ads designed to blend seamlessly into surrounding content.

  • Retargeting Ads - Ads that follow users who’ve previously visited your site.

  • And more! Digital ads come in many shapes and sizes.

Google Ads - PPC, display, YouTube etc.

Google Ads is the 500-lb gorilla, letting advertisers buy text, display, and YouTube video ads through a single platform. You can target keywords, demographics, interests, and placements. With robust reporting, Google makes it easy to monitor costs and results.

Google Ads has over 90% market share of the search advertising space (Statista)

Social Media Ads - Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.

Don’t underestimate social media for reaching specific audiences. You can target users by location, age, interests, behaviors and more. Each platform has unique ad offerings—Instagram for visual brands, LinkedIn to reach professionals, Facebook for mass awareness.

Retargeting/Remarketing Ads

You know those ads that follow you around the web after you’ve visited a site? Those are retargeting ads, one of the most effective ways to keep your brand top of mind. These ads allow you to laser-focus your spending on high-intent individuals.

According to Criteo retargeted ads have a 70% higher conversion rate than non-retargeted ads

Options for All Budget Sizes and Goals

Digital ads can work for businesses of any size. With options like Google Local Ads and Facebook lead ads, you can start small and scale up as your budget grows. Define your key performance indicators and build out campaigns optimized to achieve them.

Placements Beyond Search Engines

The beauty of digital advertising is being able to put your brand in front of buyers throughout their decision journey. Using a platform like Google Display or Outbrain, you can get your ads on premium websites your audience visits.

Creative Optimization for Performance

Well-designed and tested ads are key. Use A/B testing to try out different ad copy, imagery, calls-to-action and layouts. Continuously tweak creative based on performance data.

Analytics to Monitor Costs and Returns

Robust analytics should give you insight into your return on ad spend. Track metrics like click-through rate, cost per conversion and ROI. Use learnings to refine targeting, bids and creative.

85% of marketers say paid search delivers the best ROI of any marketing channels (Unbounce).


In today’s digital world, paid advertising must be part of your marketing mix. With so many options tailored to various goals and budgets, there’s no excuse not to test digital ads and see how they can amplify your success.

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