Introduction To Digital Advertising

Introduction To Digital Advertising

Marketing Analytics

I'm going to be walking you through introduction to digital ads. If you already have experience running ads, then this may be a little bit redundant for you.

This Article is made for people who have never run ads before. And what I'm going to do is I'm going to give you a good bird's eye view of the industry, its players, and the important things that you need to know. That way you really understand the environment, the types of roles, the types of ads.

I will cover the players in the industry, the networks, the roles, the different ad types of ads that you'll be creating. And then I'll talk about the targeting, which is a huge important part.

if you need the summary, you can just jump to the 80/20 summary at the end if article. But I encourage you to read the entire article, it is full of wisdom.

Digital Ad industry players

  • Ad networks
  • businesses
  • agencies & freelancers

Digital Ad Networks

  • Ad networks
  • Display networks
  • Search networks
  • Native networks
  • Social networks
  • Video networks

Display ads networks

If you've ever seen a banner ad on any website out on the web, Those are display ads. That is where really the paid advertising industry began.

banner ads come in with all different sizes usually see the long skinny one at the top, you might see some square ones on the on the side, and then some other ones down. And they're scattered throughout the the web, they can come in text ads, and image ads.

When somebody says display ads, or you run display, they are usually talking about Google Display Network advertising. And they're really talking about banner ads just depends on which vocabulary that they use.

Native ads networks

native ads are technically display ads. In fact, I'll get into a definition here a little bit showing how really it's all display ads. But specifically, when somebody says display ads, they mean banner ads, native ads, what they mean is they mean ads that are running on content distribution networks, but more closely call or more commonly called native ads, and that's outbrain, taboola, Gemini.

And so native ads, they are like banner ads, where they have an image, but it's really just an image and an ad headline, we call them hybrid ads, I'll talk about that ad types.

Native Ads generally run on magazine type websites, content websites. And what they are is, you know, when you're reading an article, let's say on, the Washington Post, at the bottom, there will usually be like related articles or more from around the web. Those are generally native ads, and they call them native ads, because it's native looks like just more content. However, that is an actual advertisement, people are paying to be there. And then the network is making sure that it's relevant to the content.

So it's not like an article about remote working. And then all of a sudden, there's an article about sport or whatever, it should be very related. And that's what helps you reach the right types of customers with native ads.

Social ads networks

you've seen these for sure that you've seen Facebook ads, you've seen Instagram ads you've seen LinkedIn Ads, or Pinterest ads. that's all kind of social ads network.

by the way, I did not forget to put TikTok, YouTube or Snapchat ads here, because those really fall into the Video ads networks.

Video ads networks

YouTube ads, TikTok ads, Snapchat ads

I know, you've probably seen the YouTube ad, you've probably skipped many. and wondering, do people really even click it, most people tell me, nobody clicks ads online. And I said, you know, you're right. 99.5% of people do not click on ads, but it's that point 5% that we can make millions of dollars on and that's true,

in fact, as you'll see as I talk about click through rates and the benchmarks and things like that. we're generally shooting for a point 5% click through rate, a 1% click through rate is is absolutely golden.

And that click through rate is enough to make millions and millions of dollars see the entire advertising industry. is worth billions maybe trillions is built off of that little point 5% of people that click it's very large number you take point 5% of the entire world.

Search ads networks

search ads is done on Google, Bing, and Yahoo. and search is where I believe almost everybody should start out. And the reason for that is because search ads is different from everything else. Everything above is interruptive advertising. While search ads is problem-solving networks. and there is a buyer intent behind a search ad.

Digital Ads Roles

There are 2 main roles of Digital Ads: Media Planning and Media Buying.

Media Buying

the one role that everybody really knows is the the media buying role. And that role is when you're actually purchasing the ad, that's when you have your images, you have your headlines, your descriptions, your targeting, and you're kind of loading it into the interface and pressing publish, and it goes, that's, that's be a buyer, I like to refer to it as ad buying, it's just an easier word to understand. And that is you're actually purchasing the ad and putting it in there.

Media Planning

media planning is actually where the money is made. Everybody wants to get to the media buying. And I get it. That's the fun part. Let's see, you know, when you press play is when you press send, that's when the results start coming in. But media planning is where the money is actually made. media planning is when you're doing the research, the customer research, this is when you're finding out what type of image should you even use, what type of colors should you even use your what words should be in your headlines, you know, all of that stuff comes in the media planning role.

So you would do your media planning. And then you take that media plan and pass it over to the creative, the creative thing creates the copywriting, your headlines, your descriptions, your call to actions, your imagery, and then gives that over to the media buyer, the media buyer deploys it in the interface presses, then the data comes back in maybe that goes over to a data scientist or a data analyst who pretties it up and makes charts, then you have a meeting with the company.

And everybody talks about the numbers and says, okay, we need to optimize a little bit more. So either goes back to the media buyer and the Creative Media planning. And that's kind of how like a large agency would run, you are probably going to do all of that and need to understand all those different roles and how those play out with your clients or with your boss.

Ad Types

Now let's talk about the different ad types that you'll be working with.

There are different Ad Types: Text Ads, Image Ads, Video Ads, and Hybrid Ads.​

Text Ad

The first type of ad that you'll be working with and simplest one is called a text ad. if you go to Google, and you type in "buy a Samsung TV", you're going to see ads right there at the top text ads.

And generally, they consist of a headline, description, and then your URL. there's no images, it's just a simple text ad with a headline, a link and a description.

I think everybody should start with text ads, because that gets you it's a very easy way to get started and really start understanding how to improve your click through rate just with a very simple words on the screen.​

Image Ad

the next type of ad that you'll be working with is an image ad, or a lot of people refer to them as banner ads. generally, on an image ad, you have a headline, you have some sort of a description, a picture and call to action.

Video Ad

Video Ads is generally range from 10 seconds to 3 minutes and usually show up in the beginning of the video.

These days, the ad networks are getting greedier. So, you may have mid roll ads, and post roll ads and heads just throughout the YouTube video. But generally speaking, video ads show up at the beginning of a video and you want to really make sure that first five seconds is catchy, because you'll like for instance, on YouTube as they have that little skip ad button. And so if you don't catch their attention in that five seconds, then they're gone. They're going to click on skip ad and they're gone.

Hybrid Ad

Last type of Ad is the Hybrid Ad. it only consists of the image and a little headline. Some people will just refer to this as native ads. And these are what the I was telling you about, like when you read an article and then at the bottom, you know, promoted stories, related stories related articles from around the web. There's a lot of different things that they call them, but basically, you know, there are more things to click on at the end of the article. And they generally only consist of an image and a headline.


This is the most important thing to understand in digital ad. Targeting is how the digital advertising happen. It allows to show an advertisement to the specific person to sell the product.

Keywords Targeting

keyword targeting is based on a search intent, and so what does that mean? A search. technical word for is a query if you really want to get technical, but basically you go to Google, and you execute a search, You're searching, where to buy Samsung TV, So if somebody is searching Samsung TV, that that phrase, Samsung TV is a keyword. and when I say keyword, I don't mean it has to be one word, sometimes it can be a whole question. And I'll talk about the strategies of when you would go after a whole question versus like, a single word.

so, keywords targeting when you are you're creating a small list of keywords so that you can target people who are searching those keywords to display your ad to sell your product.

Placements Targeting

placements are based on web location. There are many more placements that exist on the web, there may be even trillions. essentially, every single article of every website, every single URL that exist is a placement.

I will enplane placement targeting by example. let's say I want to sell a book about digital marketing using placement targeting, so I need to find articles about advertising, articles about retargeting, articles about marketing. And then I can put my little image ad or text ad on those pages. That way I know somebody is going to that page, they're interested in advertising, retargeting marketing. And so when they see a picture of my book, they have a high likelihood of being interested in that and wanting to click on that.

Contextual Targeting

contextual targeting is based on the the context. So if you wanted to target entrepreneurs, on Facebook, you can target people who like entrepreneurial books like Rich Dad, Poor Dad is one of my best targets that I use when I'm trying to reach entrepreneurs. So the context is people who like the book, Rich Dad, that's the topic or the interest. And so I can use that interest to then show my ad, so they can click on it, buy my product.

Behavioral Targeting

you can call it retargeting, for example, if somebody went to this website, show them my ad, or even more specific, if somebody went to this page, on this website, show them my ad, you have probably gone to somebody's website before, and then all of a sudden, you see either ads on Facebook, on YouTube, like, it's like it's following you around. That's behavioral targeting. It's very effective.

another example, let's say someone visits four pages of your blog. Well, that person is obviously much more interested in you than somebody who clicked one page of your blog. And so using behavioral targeting, you can say because this person visited these four pages, then show them this ad, so you may want to show them a higher price. Product versus a lower priced product because that person is really interested.

So very cool things you can do with behavioral targeting, and different ad networks have different abilities of how you can leverage behavioral targeting.

Lookalike Targeting

if I'm selling a business book and I'm targeting entrepreneurs , we already said a contextual target is people who have read or like the book Rich Dad, Poor Dad. Well, there's only so many of those, you know, and so let's say we're doing great our ad is crushing it and we need to expand. Well, now we need to say, well, who are all the people that are like, people who read this book? And that's called a look alike audience,

So maybe they didn't read that specific book, but they read millionaire Fastlane or they read seven successful habits, if Well, those people are look like these people. And that's what a look alike audiences is you're expanding your audience because you're saying people who are similar to these people, that's who I want to show my ad to.

80/20 summary

Ads Networks

  • Display Ads
  • Native Ads
  • Social Ads
  • Video Ads
  • Search Ads

Ads Roles

There are 2 main roles of Digital Ads: Media Planning and Media Buying.

  • Media Planning refers to researching and planning optimal media platforms for a client's brand or product to use. the goal of media planning is to determine the best commination of network/ad types to achieve the clients objectives.
  • Media buying deploys the media planners "plan" in the Ad network interface, in order to make the ad effective. the media buyer optimizes price and placement of the ad for the client or product.
  • Media creative, that's the person who actually creates the ads, writes the copy, headlines, descriptions, call to actions,
  • Digital Media analyst: who pretties data up and makes charts

Ad Types

  • There are different Ad Types: Text Ads, Image Ads, Video Ads, and Hybrid Ads. Text Ads is the simplest ad. It only contains headlines, description and URL. Image Ads is also known as Banner Ads. It has the headline, description, picture and call to action. Video Ads is generally range from 10 seconds to 3 minutes and usually show up in the beginning of the video. Last type of Ad is the Hybrid Ad. This is also called as the Native Ad because generally, it only consists of the image and a little headline.


targeting is one of the most important thing to understand in digital ad. Targeting is how the digital advertising happen. It allows to show an advertisement to the specific person to sell the product.

  • Keywords - based on search intent
  • Placements - based on web location
  • Contextual - based on topic / interest
  • Behavioral - based on previous action
  • Lookalike - based on audience matching