One of the fundamental issues both web publishers and advertisers are facing today when it comes to digital advertising is an incredibly fast development of this market and constantly evolving trends and technologies. It is quite difficult to keep up with all the different ad formats especially for individual entrepreneurs and SMEs if they don’t have a fully-fledged marketing team on board.
If you’ve been following our previous publications, then you probably know that we at pubGENIUS are doing our best to provide expert information and insights about the digital marketing industry to further empower our customers. And we are sharing with everyone to empower publishers with more knowledge and understanding of these complexities.
Digital ad formats and types
There are many increasingly complex and often confusing areas of knowledge in adtech. Digital ad formats certainly fit into this category, as one could find dozens of various online advertising types, forms, categories and platforms. You would need a huge and extensive guide to describe them all.
Today we are going to talk about several specific ad formats that are relatively unknown or misunderstood, and at the same time, in our opinion, have a lot of potential both from the publisher’s and advertiser’s points of view.
But first, just to avoid confusion and make sure we are all on the same page, as much as it is possible, let’s name the main types of digital advertising in general.
- Paid search ads
- Social media ads
- Native advertising
- Display ads
- Video ads
- Email marketing
- Mobile ads
- Audio ads
As each of these types of ads evolves over the time, and the perception of the audience changes, various ad formats are being adopted across different types of digital advertising continuously, to better meet the audience requirements while delivering more value to advertisers.
Here are four powerful digital advertising formats with great potential that we expect to remain popular in the coming years.
Bumper ads are short, maximum six seconds long videos that viewers aren’t able to skip. This video ad format is most commonly used in YouTube, and is promoted by Google as “ideal for driving brand reach and frequency.” We won’t argue with the Internet giant on this: even though six seconds is quite a short period of time and such a limit may be seen as a weakness of this format, bumper ads can serve as a powerful marketing tool when used right.
Here are some of the most appropriate uses for bumper ads:
- Brand recognition,
- Increased ad recall and awareness,
- Existing ad campaign complementation,
- Communicating short messages to the target audience.
According to Google, while bumper ads are short on time, they’re long on impact. “We tested over 300 bumper campaigns this year and found that 9 out of 10 drove a significant lift in ad recall,” reports the company.
Bumper ads as an ad format do have a number of considerable strengths. First of all, they are unskippable, which is an important factor allowing advertisers to achieve higher levels of ad viewability and ad recall. Secondly, bumper ads are considered to be more cost-effective compared to other formats. Prices of bumper ads typically range between $1 to $4-5 per thousand views. However, factors such as target audiences, user location and industry do apply.
Low costs and strong viewability is what makes this ad format increasingly popular among big brands.
Carousel ads is another interesting digital advertising format that allows advertisers to combine multiple videos and/or images in a single ad placement. This way users see everything in one place while scrolling through the carousel ad.
Most commonly used on Facebook and Instagram social networks, display ads are positioned as a great way for businesses and brands to demonstrate products or inform their audience about several offers at once.
The most appropriate uses for carousel ads would be the following:
- Single product demonstration (with multiple types of product-related content
- Virtual product tours for SaaS solutions and mobile apps
- Product usage guides
- Featuring several products (with links to separate pages)
- Showcasing product catalogues
- Telling a product story / customer’s story
Carousel ads have a whole bunch of strengths that other formats of display advertising just don’t possess. This format allows advertisers to showcase multiple products and offers in the same ad, while also adding links to different landing pages. It can be a great way for brands to communicate with their target audience in a more meaningful way compared to other formats.
The ability to support both videos and images, as well as rich customization options when it comes to Facebook and Instagram, is another considerable advantage that can unveil lots of interesting opportunities for talented digital marketers. This allows brands to tell stories and better explain the benefits of becoming a customer to their audiences.
Interstitial ads is a display, video and mobile ads format that features full-screen, often interactive, ads covering the whole viewable screen. Even though this format is not new in the digital advertising, it is often misunderstood and confused with other ad types.
The reason interstitial ads and pop-up ads are confused is a similar approach to ad presentation in these two formats. You could say that pop-up ads were in some way a predecessor of interstitial ads as they were introduced earlier. Pop-up ads appear unexpectedly when a user clicks on a link or opens the app, which makes them irritating. It inclines users to activate pop-up blockers when it’s possible, while interstitial ads take a more considerate approach. When placed properly, they appear in-between the actual content, at natural transition points and pauses (such as changing pages or between app activities, game levels), and allow the user to either close them after a few seconds or click to open the landing page.
Today, interstitial ads is one of the most popular ad monetization options for mobile apps and games. Here are some of the most appropriate uses of this format:
- Brand recognition
- New product presentation
- Mobile apps, games and SaaS products promotion
- Highly persuasive ads for post-click landing page conversions
Interstitial ads have their own set of strengths that make them popular, especially when talking about mobile ads market. The core benefit is the fact that interstitial ads take all the available screen space. This allows advertisers to reach great viewability and make a stronger impression on viewers. This leads to higher CTR (click-through rates) and ultimately, better conversions.
This format also has its rather obvious downsides. Designed to be less annoying than pop-up ads, interstitials still can cause irritation for a large proportion of the audience. Especially if they are not used in accordance with the best practices for this ad format.
Discovery ads is one of the newest ad formats, introduced by Google in 2019 and fully launched in 2020. Basically, discovery ads is native carousel-styled advertising that appears to users in multiple Google feed environments.
So in some way you could say that discovery ads are Google’s answer to Facebook’s carousel ads format. They allow advertisers to showcase multiple images and components in a single ad placement. Another key component of this format is its combination with Google’s machine learning and audience targeting capabilities to show users ads precisely when they are open to see them. Google is utilising the power of behavior targeting to make this type of ads increasingly relevant to the audience.
Here are some of the most appropriate uses of the discovery ads format:
- Targeted product ad campaigns
- Content-rich ads with multiple components (product story, company presentation, etc.)
- High-scale targeted ad campaigns to drive conversions and reach new customers
- Communication with repeat and most valuable customers
As one of the most modern ad formats, which is also introduced by the market leader, discovery ads certainly have a number of major strengths. The combination with Google’s targeting and machine learning capabilities can be quite effective, delivering ads to the most relevant consumers. If, of course, the ad campaign was designed and executed well.
The ability to include multiple types of content in one ad placement, same as in carousel ads, is also a major benefit that can empower advertisers. They add new ways to deliver their messages to the audience. As well as strong technical support of Google’s platform, with multiple settings and automated bidding options.
These are just four (out of dozens) interesting ad formats that can all be great monetization tools for web publishers. If, and we cannot stress this enough, implemented correctly, as increased sophistication of ad formats also drives the requirements for thoughtful integration of these formats into your digital assets.
Talking about professional implementation of ad technologies and thoughtful publisher-focused solutions, this is exactly what we at pubGENIUS do. Our ad ops specialists are well-versed in the best practices and trends of the industry. We will help you adopt, integrate and test most powerful ad formats to reach new heights in revenues and ad efficiency.
Get in touch with pubGENIUS Team to get free consultation 🙂