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What Is Digital Advertising (Overview Under 5 Minutes)

Wondering what is digital advertising?

You are looking for a short and sweet article to give you what you need to know about digital advertising?

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In this article, we will look at:

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What is digital advertising

Digital advertising is a digital marketing strategy used by companies to target online users with the objective of increasing traffic to their website, increasing conversion and ultimately sales.

Digital advertising can also be referred to as “online advertising”, “paid media”, “digital ads” or other.

Digital advertising, just like any other form of marketing or advertising, is intended to improve your brand awareness, effectively target your audience based on their digital footprint and deliver the most suitable digital advertisement to make a sale.

Through digital advertising, you are essentially targeting your audience using different advertising platforms and different types of digital advertising.

Your advertisement is typically designed to target your audience as they evolve in their purchasing journey. 

A person will start its purchasing journey by researching the topic, then evaluating what’s out there and then making a purchasing decision.

Through digital advertising, you can target your audience by giving them informational material, by educating them on how they can solve their problem using your products and pushing why they should buy from you and not the others.

To make it really simple, digital advertising is the strategy you use to promote your products and services online.

Digital marketing and digital advertising are now important segments of the entire marketing industry and they will continue to grow.

What are the different types of digital advertising 

Digital advertising can be done using different types of online channels.

You can run digital ads on social media platforms, search engines, mobile marketing, websites, email marketing, video or through influencers.

There are 8 digital advertising types or formats that are quite popular:

  1. Display ads
  2. Native advertising
  3. Social media ads
  4. Search engine marketing
  5. Video ads
  6. Email marketing
  7. Affiliate marketing
  8. Remarketing or retargeting

With the evolution of digital advertising, companies now have a lot of options in deploying a digital advertising strategy using different formats and on different platforms.

This makes the digital advertising process more complex than a decade or two ago.

Every company must assess the different digital advertising channels to see which one will provide them with the biggest conversion and highest return on investment.

A company may use social media advertising to create brand awareness but use search engine advertising to convert a prospect into a paying customer.

How did digital advertising begin

To better understand what is digital advertising, let’s first see how digital advertising began.

Digital advertising began before Google and Facebook took over as the dominating forces in digital advertising racking in the billions in digital advertising revenue.

It was on October 27, 1994 that the first banner ad was published.


This banner ad was published by HotWired.comto advertise for AT&T’s virtual tour of the world’s art museum.

It was a tremendous success!

This banner ad was the beginning of a multi-billion dollar marketing industry that has now evolved into a diverse and sophisticated industry driven by data and analytics.

After the success of this ad, as early as 1995, large companies started getting into online advertisements.

AT&T and Saturn purchased banner ads, media sites like CBS started launching their websites to take advantage of digital advertising and the Internet Advertising Council was formed.

Netscape, a popular search engine at the time, started charging for digital advertising on the basis of cost per thousand impressions (CPM).

Digital advertising quickly took shape.

Google started AdWords on October 23, 2000, then Facebook launches its Facebook Marketplace classified ads in 2007 and the entire digital advertising world changed at exponential speeds.

Digital advertising examples

Digital advertisements can be done in different ways.

What are some examples of digital advertising?

If we were going to present to you all of the examples of digital advertising, it may take you days to read this article.

To give you some meaningful digital advertising examples, we will look at a few examples to just make the point.

Social media advertising

One digital advertising example is the targeted Facebook ads.

There are billions of Facebook active users.

During Q4 of 2019, Facebook reported that it had 1.66 billion daily active users and 2.5 billion monthly active users.

In 2019, Facebook’s advertisement revenues were close to $69.66 billion dollars.

The reason why Facebook as so much success in generating digital advertisement revenues is due to the sheer number of active users on its platform on a daily basis.

Any company, with any product and in any industry can find and target its audience on Facebook.

That’s why the Facebook targeted advertising is so popular.

Search engine advertising

Search engine advertising is another fantastic way for reaching your target audience and generate sales through digital advertising.

What is search engine advertising you say?

It’s pretty simple.

You pay a search engine to propose your website on targeted keywords.

This can also be referred to as a pay-per-click advertising or PPC advertising.

Whenever a person doing a search on a search engine clicks on your ad, you pay a certain amount of money to the search engine for driving that traffic to your website.

According to SmartInsights, as of January 2020, there were 4.54 billion internet users across the world that’s more than half of the world’s population!

Internet Live Stats indicates that every day, 3.5 billion searches are made on Google alone!

Search engine advertising is a powerful and effective type of digital advertising companies can take advantage of.

Video advertising

Video advertising is another popular example of digital advertising.

There are billions of videos online.

YouTube is the second biggest search engine in the world after Google.

This makes YouTube video advertising a huge business.

You can present your video ads to user searching for a very specific type of video.

A user can be searching for a product, learn how to do something, get entertained or get a tutorial.

According to HubSpot, 72% of customers would rather learn about a product or a service by way of video.

No matter the reason for a user’s search query on YouTube, you can target those users with a relevant video advertising.

You can consider that video advertising is the evolution of TV advertising but in a data-driven and measurable way.

Search engine optimization 

Search engine optimization is a form of digital advertising.

Although it takes a lot of effort and persistence to succeed at SEO, once it does, the payoffs can be highly rewarding.

Search engine optimization is the process of applying on-page SEO and off-page SEO techniques to get a higher ranking on search engines for targeted keywords.

The beauty of search engine optimization is that you will organically get listed (so it’s free) and you can get a steady long-term traffic to your website.

If you understand some of the SEO statistics, you can implement your SEO strategies in such a way as to maximize the benefit to your business.

According to Impact, in 2019 Google accounted for over 75% of all global search traffic on the entire internet followed by Bing at 9.97%, Baidu at 9.34% and Yahoo ad 2.77%.

Also, 52% of all worldwide online traffic comes from mobile search and 45% from desktop computers.

72% of consumers who did a local search visited a store within five miles.

Using this as a baseline, you can implement SEO strategies in such a way as to benefit from the organic traffic search engines can send your way.

Display advertising

Another example of digital advertising is the good old display advertising.

Display advertising is the process of buying space on a website to display your advertising.

Many websites reserve advertisement space on their pages to this effect.

Consider this to be similar to an advertisement space that is reserved in newspapers, magazines and in the traditional printed material.

Display advertising can be cheaper and can target a much wider audience.

Google’s Display network is the largest display advertising network in the world with 90% reach across all internet users worldwide.

With display ads, your company name, logo and message can be put in front of billions of people, literally! 


Here you have it, a short article on what is digital advertising.

Digital advertising is any type of marketing campaign or effort used by companies to promoted their products and services online.

With so many options, channels and platforms, today’s digital advertising is not the same as what it used to be a few decades ago.

Digital advertising is now one of the most important marketing strategy used by companies around the world.

It is great that you’re looking to understand what is digital advertising.

We hope this article gave you a baseline of knowledge so you can further your research on this topic.

Do you have any comments to share with us? We would love to hear from you. Drop us a comment.

Editorial Staff
Hello Nation! I'm a lawyer by trade and an entrepreneur by spirit. I specialize in law, business, marketing, and technology (and love it!). I'm an expert SEO and content marketer where I deeply enjoy writing content in highly competitive fields. On this blog, I share my experiences, knowledge, and provide you with golden nuggets of useful information. Enjoy!

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