Top 4 Digital Advertising Formats & When To Use Them

The best digital marketing strategies use a combination of different advertising formats. Using multiple ad types and sizes improves the reach and possible frequency of your advertisements being seen by your target users.

However, before you can decide what ad types to use in your campaign, you should know the most common digital advertising formats and the pros and cons of each.

In this article, we’ll break down the 4 most popular ad formats so that you can make an informed decision.

Display Ads

Display ads attract the users of a site, social network, or other digital channels to perform a particular action. They are often composed of image, textual, or video ads that stimulate the customer to click on them and reach a landing page where they can take the desired action (such as buy your product).

The majority of display ads work on the cost-per-click (CPC) pricing model. This means, every time a person clicks on your advertisement, you’ll have to pay a certain amount depending on your overall bidding strategy.

Display ads also work well for retargeting campaigns, where advertisements are shown to viewers who’ve already viewed a particular site. The purpose is to “retarget” them and stimulate them to revisit the site to perform an action.

Source: Content26

Pros of Display Ads

1) Reach – You can access hundreds of spots right from your Google Ads account – thanks to the Google Display Network (GDN).

2) Measurable results – You can easily track clicks, impressions, and conversions from Google Ads. For more granular performance and engagement tracking, Google Analytics is a smart choice.

3) Targeting – You can target the right users by showing your advertisements on the right platforms due to the extensive reach of GDN.

4) Diversity – Display ads come in multiple forms and sizes. You can select a size and format that will help you attain your objectives.

Cons of Display Ads

1) Banner blindness – Due to the abundant nature of display ads, many people tend to disregard them completely, resulting in a lower click-through rate (CTR).

2) Ad blockers – Adblocker technology has become more popular over the past few years. However, many brands have tried to avoid it by giving viewers the choice of enabling ads or buying a subscription.

Source: Google

Video Ads

Video ads have become more popular today because of better internet speed performance and online developments, which are making it quick and hassle-free to watch videos online.

The most effective video ads dodge flagrant advertising and opt for more informative, how-to visual content that attracts the audience. However, these ads aren’t always purely educational. They do have some (if any) product suggestions subtly integrated.

We’ve observed that funny video ads perform quite well. In fact, some humorous video ad network campaigns have found huge success, particularly when an interactive element was incorporated. However, the kind of video ads you make will greatly depend on your business type and target audience.

Source: WordStream

Pros of Video Ads

1) Cost – You don’t have to spend a lot of money on prime time viewing slots as your users can see the ads on the internet 24/7.

2) Real-time results – You can access an almost infinite amount of data in real-time, including how many users are seeing your ad at any given time, their location, etc.

3) Multiple formats – Video ads can be served in a variety of formats such as linear, non-linear, interactive, and in-banner.

4) Global reach – Your video ads can reach everyone all across the world.

Cons of Video Ads

1) Ad skipping – Users can skip the advertisement or just close it – unless you craft content that they want to watch repeatedly.

2) Timing – You have to consider your target audience and plan your ads accordingly. For instance, if you’re targeting college students, your advertisement will be useless if it is shown during college hours.

3) Improper placement – You can’t place your video ads on every website. So you have to carefully choose the platform that aligns with the messaging and is related to your target users.

Native Ads

Native advertising involves using paid advertisements that are in line with the look, feel, and purpose of the format in which they’re served. You’ll often find these advertisements in social network feeds, or as suggested content on a website.

Unlike display or banner ads, native ads do not really look like advertisements. They seem to be a part of the website’s editorial flow. The biggest benefit of these ads is that they are non-disruptive. So they expose the viewer to marketing material without popping out.

Source: Outbrain

Pros of Native Ads

1) Effectiveness – Customers view native advertisements 53% more than display advertisements. These ads increase buying intent by 18%.

2) Engagement – The visual engagement with native advertisements is similar, at times even better than the actual editorial content.

3) Less disruptive – As native ads are placed within content, they’re incorporated better. They are less obvious and, consequently, less disrupting. They don’t alter user experience much.

4) Beats ad fatigue – Ad fatigue occurs when the users get tired of seeing advertisements and start ignoring them. Native advertisements offer brand publicity masked in editorial content, so they do not exhaust the users.

Cons of Native Ads

1) Measurements – It’s quite challenging to measure the performance and sustainability (with higher renewal rates) of native campaigns. It’s particularly tough to measure metrics, such as ROI, impact, and effectiveness without cohesive standards in this domain.

2) Time and Labour – The actual process of creating a native ad is an expensive, multistep method, involving a lot of teamwork and a series of reviews conducted over a long period.

Rich Media Ads

Rich media ads are a combination of rich media including text, images, audio, video, animations, etc. These advertisements are dynamic and can mould according to the viewers’ on-screen or on-device activities. The intent is to make ads more interactive and provide a better user experience.

In simple words, rich media advertisements are like visualisations brought to life.

Source: MobileAds

Pros of Rich Media Ads

1) More clicks – Users find rich media ads more attractive. They can grasp the user’s attention and lead to more clicks on the advertisement.

2) Effectiveness – With rich media ads, you can convey more info via different kinds of media such as games, videos, small applications, audio, and animation.

3) Access to user info – Unlike traditional display ads, you can simply ask or program in more sophisticated analytics to gather more user information.

Cons of Rich Media Ads

1) More expertise – To craft a rich media ad, you need more skills and creativity. Often the in-house team doesn’t have the right expertise to pull it off successfully.

2) Bandwidth requirements – Rich media ads need more bandwidth (by a factor of 10 to 100), stopping many users from viewing the advertisement.

3) Larger size – These ads usually have large file sizes and may take longer to load. If your website loads slowly, visitors are likely to abandon it.

Take Your Digital Advertising To The Next Level With Eskimi

No matter what ad format you choose, Eskimi can help. From sharing your brand’s story to selling your new product via a powerful ad, we will make it unforgettable for your target audience.

By implementing a variety of ad formats on our DSP platform, you can target your customer segments, receive impressions spontaneously, watch closely your CTR, views, completions, and track other key metrics. Take a look at our creatives gallery for a glimpse of some of our ad campaigns.

Get in touch now to learn more about our services.