Digital Advertising  101

DigitAl Basics:

Types of Digital Properties -

E-Mail - One of the first and most effective forms of digital marketing. Lists are generated by users signing up for weekly, monthly, or quarterly e-newsletters that highlight a brands new line, current sales, or other news that would interest a customer. With a total of over 3.6 billion email accounts and an average ROI of 4,300%, email marketing is still one of the best ways for brands to engage with customers.

Display - These are advertisements that are placed on digital properties(websites) usually on the side or top of a page. Normally referred to as “Banners” this ads come in many sizes and formats. These have a much lower ROI than email but have a greater reach to new customers as there is no requirement for a customer to subscribe to see these. There are a multitude of targeting and audience strategies that help ensure that these ads are only shown to truly interested viewers through the use of cookies and browsing history. Examples in yellow.

Mobile - The fastest growing form of advertising today. Mobile advertising is where a banner ad is placed on a mobile app. There are man locations these ads can be placed and with the vast amount of user data that is held on a mobile device, targeting parameters can be even more granular, providing a higher rate of success for a client. Furthermore, with the average viewing time on a smartphone now being higher than that of television, it is the most likely place to capture an audience.

Digital Video - These ads can be placed before the start of a YouTube video, a show on Hulu, or any other property that sells ad space before a video on their site starts. Unlike television commercials, users generally have the ability to skip these after a few seconds of playing. The average length of an ad is around 30 seconds to 1 minute. These can go across both Mobile and Display platforms.

Native Video Ad

Creating Digital Ads:

Fixie's Ad Creator

There are many sizes a digital ad can be made in. However, there are only a few accepted formats that an ad can be made in. This is so that no matter what the device or web browser a user is engaged on the ad has the highest likelihood of being displayed. **All sizes below are in pixels.

Most Common Banner Sizes - Display

  • 160x600
  • 300x250
  • 300x600
  • 728x90

Most Common Banner Sizes - Mobile

  • 300x50(Smartphone)
  • 728x90(Tablet)
  • 300x250(Tablet & Smartphone)

**In addition to these banner sizes, there are full page ads which pop up between pages on a site or app.

Most Common Banner Formats

Standard JPEG - These have no animation and can only be clicked on by a user to take them to a landing page. No other interaction can be done with these.

Animated GIF - These as the name implies do have animation but still only allow for the user to click on them to go to a landing page.

Flash - These banners have the ability to be animated and have multiple aspects of interaction with them. For instance, a user can have two places to click on these banners that can take them to different pages. In addition to that, these banners can have what is called “Rich Media” capabilities to them. Meaning they can expand to a larger size, change as the user scrolls over them, and even incorporate short games, videos, and other elements to make them more engaging. Unfortunately, as more and more devices/ browsers stop supporting Flash, this format will continue to loose popularity.

HTML 5 - Has all of the same features of Flash but with the added ability to work across all devices and web browsers. This is the fastest growing format choice for both standard banners with animation and rich media banners. The majority of Fixie’s banners are developed with rich media capabilities on HTML 5, giving clients the best engagements along with the most exposure across any platform.

Fixie's partnered RTB/DSP platform with UberAds

Buying Ad Space:

There are a couple of ways that ad space is purchased in the digital world. The first and still most popular is direct deals with digital vendors. These vendors represent multiple publishers(websites) and do deals with both advertising agencies and brands directly. These deals have a greater cost generally but provide the highest quality of sites and control over where your ads are placed. The second is what is called a real-time bidding network. These networks are massive and hold billions of websites and apps for you to place “bids” on to win ad space. Think of it like eBay and the stock market combined. You can set your pricing and targeting parameters and these platforms known as Demand Side Platforms will comb all of the data in milliseconds to place your ads on matching properties. While this method brings about huge amounts of inventory and cost savings, the amount of brand safety and fraud prevention is greater. This form of ad buying as grown into a larger market with more dynamic abilities called “Programmatic Buying”.

Pricing Ads:

Selling advertising to clients can be done a few ways. Aside from the creative and planning work, clients will pay for the number of “Impressions” or amount of times there ad is shown across the properties mentioned earlier. Impressions are generally priced and sold by a CPM(Cost per Mille) method. This means the cost of 1,000 impressions(mille is latin for 1,000). The easiest way to calculate this by taking the total amount of impressions a client wants to purchase, which is usually determined by the agency during planning, dividing that number by 1,000 and multiplying by the rate a publisher gives you. Example: 1,000,000 impressions ordered/1,000 = 1,000 x 25.00 CPM = $25,000 campaign cost.

A way an agency can profit from this kind of deal is by purchasing these impressions at a lower rate and selling them to the client at a higher rate. Much like a wholesale & retail structure. With RTB systems you can input a baseline profit margin that allows the system to know to never bid over a certain price to ensure margins are maintained.

Another popular method is CPA(Cost per Action). This allows for a client to specify a particular action(app download, item purchase, survey filled out, ect..) to be the only time aside from creative and strategy work that an agency gets paid. These take extra steps to place tracking into the ads and apps to prove campaign success. Impressions are booked at the agencies discretion to control cost. These actions generally carry a high value and can be very lucrative for an agency and client if planned and executed properly.

The last method is more or less used with SEO(search engine optimization) campaigns. This is when a client pays for clicks(CPC) on search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. While SEO services are something that Fixie can provide, it is not at our core offerings.

Reporting and performance:

Most agencies report on how many impressions were served, how many clicks(people who clicked on an ad) occurred and the CTR(Click-Through rate = Clicks/Impressions). With Fixie, we provide a more granular look at how long a user engaged with an ad, if its a video, how far into the video they watched(in 25% increments aka quartile tracking). We can break down information by region, device, browser, and even some demographic information around if the user was male, female and their age. The frequency of these reports can be determined on each campaign. The basic information generally comes at no additional charge while the more granular insights can come with an additional cost. These insights truly give the client great insight to their target audience and help expose areas of opportunity for future marketing efforts with the agency.

Fixie uses all of these strategies and methods to give clients a holistic experience with digital marketing & advertising. We truly believe that we can bring these tools to local businesses and startups to generate a ROI & gain market awareness.

Created By
Kyle Dodson
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