3 Digital Ad Types Defined
The creativity that can be seen today in digital ads is an impressive testament to the evolution of advertising in recent years. Today we can see three major digital ad types that marketers are using to get the most out of their efforts. No two digital ads are the same, but there are aspects that make them similar in their purpose. There are those that drive awareness, those that pique interest, and those that engage the audience with a final call to action. These three types of ads support the purchasing process, from the consumer’s first moment of contact with a brand all the way to a final sale. By using a combination of each type of ad, marketers can help reinforce brand relevance with interested buyers and develop an effective path to purchase.
Concept ads are at the forefront of the marketing funnel, and are distributed as the first attempt at consumer engagement. They are carefully constructed to help instill memorability and make a lasting impact on the target audience. Concept ads are at the crux of the brand awareness effort, and help create that initial demand and desire for a product or service. They are often videos, billboards, commercials, pop-up ads, and full-page print advertisements. Because they reach the consumer at the early stages of the marketing effort, the return on investment they offer is the most difficult to properly catalogue. But studies conducted on their effectiveness have concluded that the longer these ads are in view of the consumer, the more likely the consumer is to recall that brand.
Content ads help further hone consumer interest by expounding on concept ads. They provide more targeted, quality information that promotes engagement with the consumer. The intention is to elicit commenting, sharing, viewing, and reading by the target audience. These ads are often delivered via social media and their effectiveness is measured by the amount of time and frequency in which the consumer engages with the content. Content ads may seem like an easy, more effective method of marketing than concept or commerce ads, but they do their best work when paired along with these other ad types.
Commerce ads are a popular and familiar type of digital marketing that is practically unavoidable when perusing the web. They are not typically the most creative and visually impactful, but rather they offer actionable content that is tailored to the specific viewer. The success of commerce ads is much easier to quantify than either concept or content ads, as the outcome is specifically measurable, such as whether the viewer clicked the ad and purchased the product. This may seem to indicate that commerce ads are the most important type of ad and that the effectiveness of such ads over complementary marketing efforts is easily defensible, but the combined approach is still greater than any one standalone strategy.
Digital ads have blossomed from their simple roots and brought entirely new dimensions to the world of online brand awareness and consumer interaction. By leveraging a three-pronged approach that uses a combination of concept, content, and commerce ads, brands can catch attention, develop interest, and build on that attention for a maximum level of marketing effectiveness. This approach also helps increase the effectiveness of each type of ad by offering viewers a varied and multidimensional experience that plays on each consumer’s current level of interest. The ad experience becomes one that evolves along with the consumer instead of requiring them to meet the purchasing requests of the brand before they are entirely ready for that level of investment.