Have you ever read an article about digital advertising strategies or optimizing ad spend, and finished feeling like you understood less about digital advertising than when you started reading? It can be a little intimidating to raise your virtual hand and say, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” We get it, which is why we’re here to break down the basics of digital advertising and provide a few pointers if you’re just starting out. 

What is Digital Advertising?

As the name suggests, digital advertising shares goals with traditional advertising, it’s just delivered digitally. Digital advertising, also called digital ads, or DA, distributes promotional materials via online channels. Short and sweet: it’s advertising on the internet. We asked a few of our in-house digital advertising experts about DA basics and this is how one explained it, “Digital advertising is when companies pay to show their ads to users on various platforms. When digital advertising is set up correctly, we show our ads to the correct users with the intent to convert… It’s a great awareness tactic and people can take action to get to the businesses’ websites.”

Types of Digital Advertisements

Have you ever noticed that there are advertisements throughout web pages like Google, Facebook, and other websites you visit? Those are all different types of digital ads. They show up in different placements, or categories of ad locations, throughout your internet browsing experience. Ad placements can be broad, such as an entire website, or as specific as a single ad unit on a search results page. 

Advertising specialists select placements, based on the goals of their advertising campaigns and their target audience, in much the same way that advertising specialists of the print era would select various ad sizes and locations for newspaper ads, or billboards at a busy intersection versus a rarely traveled scenic byway. 

Digital Advertising Networks

Each advertising network, such as Google, Microsoft Advertising, and Facebook, have their own advertising placements. On Microsoft Advertising and Google’s advertising networks, we can broadly categorize the digital ads into two different categories. The first is paid search advertising, which shows up on a search engine results page, typically above the organic search results. This prominent location is the internet equivalent to “above the fold” ads from newspaper days. The second type are shown via display network advertisements, which show up on websites in banners and side bars. The Google Display Network has over two million websites it advertises on, and reaches over 90% of people on the internet. Advertisers can choose the networks that are most appropriate for their audiences, and show ads to people based on certain audience criteria, which can be selected on the advertising platform. 

Facebook reaches across social media including Facebook, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram. When combined with Google, this ensures your digital advertising strategy reaches your prospective renters and residents where they are — online and on social media. 

Learn more about platform-specific digital advertising tips and tricks with our Demystifying Facebook Ads and Google Ads for Beginner blogs. 

How Can Digital Advertising Drive Leads?

When you’re looking for a specific product that you’ve already researched thoroughly, you probably know exactly the search terms to type into the Google search bar. For example, if you’re looking to buy a new digital camera, you might type in “Sony Digital Cameras” because you’ve already searched, “best mirrorless digital cameras 2021,” or “Is a mirrorless camera worth the hype?” How someone searches online shows their intent. Are they there to learn more about the product, like someone researching what camera is right for their needs, or someone wanting to know which cameras are best? Or, are they looking to buy by searching for a very specific camera? 

Of course, someone looking for a new apartment in their favorite neighborhood, a senior living community for a loved one, or a storage unit has a more intricate decision to make than someone buying a camera. Digital advertising allows marketers to identify and connect with people who are searching for their properties’ or communities’ amenities or services. Digital advertising drives leads by connecting with their needs, and putting your brand in front of the right customer, with the right message, at the right time. 

Working with a digital advertising partner that bases their marketing decisions on data science and automation empowers your team to drive leads with precision. Meaning, that rather than making adjustments based on historical trends, in a world where trends aren’t reliable, a best-in-class partner can proactively and automatically adjust campaigns in order to drive more qualified leads and from every ad dollar spent. 

Data-Driven Digital Advertising

Data-driven digital advertising demands that you don’t just think you know how researching renters, or seniors and their family members found you, but that your marketing team KNOWS how they connected with you. Digital advertising is nuanced, and time consuming. Plus, it’s a marketing tactic that needs to be coordinated with other digital advertising efforts that make up the digital advertising conversion funnel

Trusting in data and advertising experts, such as a best-in-class marketing partner, can help make this journey a little easier. Learn more about G5’s approach to digital advertising and schedule a demo.