What is Online Advertising? Definition and 6+ Examples



Complete Guide on Online Advertising

Digital Advertising: Definition, interests, operation

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Digital Advertising: Definition, interests, operation

The internet boom makes digital advertising a must. According to a study by Digital report, there will be more than 4.54 billion Internet users in 2018, half of whom will spend most of their time on a search engine. This is a real godsend that allows millions of new prospects to be reached.

Do you want to take advantage of it? But you don't know who to turn to?

Sortlist helps companies looking for an agency specialized in e-marketing. We help you to choose from a wide selection of providers. Tell us about your project, we will find you a digital agency that will meet your expectations. It's fast and 100% free.

What is digital advertising?

Digital advertising is a marketing action that consists in promoting a brand, a product or a service on the Internet. It uses digital terminals such as computers, smartphones and tablets to reach Internet and mobile users. For example, a marketer uses various digital channels to broadcast promotional ads. Instead of newspapers, magazines or billboards, advertisements are visible on search engines and social networks.

Overview of e-pub types

For online and mobile advertising, advertisers can choose between different possibilities. Although Google and Facebook seem to capture a significant portion of advertising revenues, there are a myriad of solutions to gain visibility on the Internet. Let's take a look at the most common formats.

Search or ASP

Search or SEA (Search Engine Advertising) consists of buying keywords to appear in the first results of search engines. The link to the website is then preceded by the word "announcement". We're talking about commercial links and paid referencing. This strategy is mainly deployed in e-business. Search is appreciated by the fact that it gives the possibility to personalize the ad. Indeed, you can add additional information about the ad: address, phone number, price, etc...

At Google, Search is done on an interface called Google Adwords. This paid referencing platform offers advertisers a keyword bidding system. Thus, the advertiser defines a Cost Per Click or CPC that it pays to Google's advertising network each time a user clicks on its ad.

The advantage with Google Ads is that it targets people who are already interested in the offer proposed by your company. Indeed, these Internet users are researching a need that your ad is likely to solve.

Contrary to natural referencing, search is particularly interesting for launching advertising campaigns over a limited period of time.

Display advertising

Display advertising is a set of graphic elements that are displayed on websites, blogs and mobile applications. Displays can be banners, pop-ups, a video that links to the advertiser's website. The Display is interesting to create traffic during a special period or to communicate a strong message. You can choose between two ways to display a display. Either you let Google display it on its partner sites whose content is consistent with the offer. Either you choose yourself the pages on which it will appear. Many publishers monetize their websites by marketing advertising space dedicated to displays. You can get in direct contact with them.

In recent years, the display market has been marked by the boom in programmatics. This technology automates the purchase of advertising space. To do this, the programmatic display refers to data that enables advertisers to target a relevant audience at the right time.

Programmatic advertising is divided into two categories: the classic programmatic display and the Real Time Biddind or RTB. The programmatic display consists of booking advertising space in advance at a fixed price. The RTB, for its part, is based on a real-time auction system. The advertising space for displays then goes to the highest bidders.

The Social Media Ads

The Social Media Ads broadcast ads on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. These platforms use data from Internet users to define the targeting criteria: gender, age, family situation, place of residence, profession, income, interests... This allows advertisers to target an extremely precise audience.


Retargeting displays an incentive message to a person who visited the website but left without making a purchase. This practice is possible thanks to cookies and technologies for tracking and storing navigation data. This retargeting takes place mainly when the visitor has viewed a product page, inquired about a comparator or filled a shopping cart. The idea is to remind the visitor of the existence of a product in order to convert it into a customer. It is a digital strategy widely used in e-business.

Retargeting is also a digital marketing technique widely used to offer complementary products. It has the advantage of broadcasting targeted advertising to an audience already interested in the products. The conversion rate will then be higher.

Native advertising

Native advertising is a digital advertising practice that fits perfectly with the content and form of a website. It is integrated into the heart of the content that deals with the same subject as it does. Like a chameleon, it blends into the decor so as not to disturb the user experience as is the case with the display, which is considered too intrusive.

On the social network Facebook, native advertising takes the form of a post with the mention "sponsored link". On a blog, it will appear as a post with the "advertising" tag, while on a news site, it will be a sponsored article.

This personalised advertising appeals to advertisers because it responds to the target audience's interests. It generates more than half of the clicks you can get in organic SEO. A study conducted by Oath, the entity that merges Yahoo and AOL, predicts that native advertising will grow by 167% in the year 2020.


Affiliation is a very simple marketing approach. The owner of a website, called an "affiliate", inserts a link or a display on his page that refers to the advertiser's offer. In return, it receives a commission each time a visitor clicks on the link or makes a purchase. For its part, the advertiser takes advantage of the affiliate's flow of visitors to find a new audience.

Influence marketing

Influence marketing is a real lever to gain visibility. In fact, it is very popular with businesses. A study conducted by Influencer Marketing Benchmark Report highlights an increase in its global revenues to ?.5 billion in 2019.

The influencer is the main actor of this web advertising. It has the respect and trust of the public and becomes a force of proposition to its audience. He uses a variety of techniques to present a brand including product placement, buzz, unboxing, contests, event invitations, video buzz, web series, etc.

Influencers can be celebrities in film, sports or music. They have millions of fans that brands can use to boost sales. On the other hand, to call upon a famous influencer requires a large budget. Apart from the stars, there are also macro and micro-influencers that have tens of thousands to millions of followers on Facebook or Twitter. Nano-influencers, on the other hand, have a small community brought together by a shared passion. This promises a strong commitment from the targets. This category of influencers is ideal for working in a niche market.

According to a study carried out in 2019, internet advertising is growing by 12% and cannibalizes 5.86 billion euros. This is proof that marketers are moving more and more towards this trend, so why not you?

Why advertise online?

There are various reasons for the use of internet and mobile advertising, including :

  • to generate qualified leads
  • gain renown
  • increase market share
  • promote
  • induce a purchase
  • etc

But what drives brands to choose this type of marketing communication is the range of its advantages. By opting for digital advertising, you adopt a strategy that helps you achieve the desired result.

Precise targeting

With an advertisement, you are sure to reach people who are really interested in your products and services. Thanks to tracking technologies that allow you to collect targeting data, your ads focus only on the Internet users that are of interest to your company. And they are delivered at the right time, increasing your chances of getting better results.

A measurable campaign

When you invest in advertising campaigns, it is legitimate to want to follow your advertising initiatives. By renting a billboard on the road or spending on TV or radio ads, it is difficult to know exactly what impact your strategy will have. On the other hand, it is possible to monitor and measure your web advertising efforts. Online advertising platforms provide reporting tools to get an overview of the results of your e-advertising campaign.

Moreover, when you broadcast an ad via digital channels, you will see the results immediately. As soon as the campaigns are launched, you will start receiving clicks, phone calls and even orders without delay.

Digital advertising for every budget

Digital advertising fits any budget. Whether you are a small or large company, this type of advertising is for you. Unlike traditional advertising, online advertising does not require a large investment to be launched. The advertiser decides how much he will spend on his ads. In addition, some advertising platforms offer a PPC or pay per click payment method. This way, you only pay when there is a result.

E multi-option and personalized advertising

The interesting thing about digital marketing is that you have an infinite number of choices. You can choose between various terminals: computers, mobile phones, tablets. You can display your ads on websites, on search engines like Google and Bing, on social networks like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, or on Youtube. You can create a banner or a display with image and video. In addition, you can refine your audience with advanced targeting options.

Free qualified traffic

By seeing an online advertisement on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, an Internet user can comment, like or share the publication. This will encourage his friends to do the same. The result: the creation of organic, qualified and free traffic.

Save time by accessing the list of the best digital advertising agencies in your region.

How to measure results?

If you decide to go digital, you need to know the key performance indicators that evaluate the success of your advertising campaign. They also serve to anticipate future strategies.

Cost per action, per click or per impression

An online advertisement is charged in three ways:

  • cost per click, where the advertiser pays per click on a display, banner or video.
  • the cost per impression that is paid for each banner, video and display displayed
  • the cost per action where the advertiser pays for each action performed such as adding a "Like" to a Facebook page, viewing a video, installing a mobile application or clicking on a banner.


Conversion refers to a specific action that you want to encourage with your digital marketing strategy. It can be a download of a mobile application, a purchase, participation in a webinar, a registration, filling in a form, watching a video, answering a satisfaction survey ...

Measuring the conversions achieved with your advertising allows you to have an idea of the success of your communication campaign. By opting for CPA ads, you can easily track conversions.

The click rate

The click rate is the ratio between the number of Internet users who saw the ad and the number of visitors who clicked on the ad. This indicator is referred to as CTR. Thus, if 5 people clicked on the ad displayed 1000 times, the CTR is 0.5%.

The increase in the rate of clicks proves the success of an advertising campaign on the Internet. This reduces advertising costs.

Traffic sources

It is important to know the origin of the traffic in order to know which strategy works best and to take it back. For this, it is necessary to use UTM parameters in URLs. These features are used to track the number of visitors and identify the most effective ads. Traffic sources can be identified in the Google Analytics report if you adopt a campaign on Google.

By letting Sortlist's partner agencies work with you, you can rest assured that you will get better results from your digital marketing campaigns.

How to choose a digital advertising agency?

In the digital market, online advertising agencies are flourishing like mushrooms to the point where it is difficult to find your way around. However, you have to choose the one that will be able to meet your objectives. These few criteria will help you make your choice.

The experience of the digital advertising professional

The experience of an agency is a guarantee of success. It is not a question of counting its years of experience in the business, but rather the type and number of projects already completed.

After answering our questions, we provide you with a list of digital agencies in your area. You can consult the profile and achievements of each one on our website.

Its expertise

Digital communication agencies embrace a variety of services. While some are generalist, others specialize in a particular branch: creation of text, image or video for display, social media ads, adwords, etc.

It's up to you to choose the one that best meets your expectations. In any case, an agency must be professional and have a broad knowledge on the subject. Moreover, since it has the image of your company in its hands, it is preferable that its vision matches yours perfectly.

On our website, we have established a rating system for our agencies so that you have an idea of the level of satisfaction of their clients.

Understanding the brief

You've briefed different agencies? Now assess their responsiveness in terms of response time. In general, a good agency will respond to you before the deadline. Also, you will be able to judge their understanding of your needs from the very first lines of response.

At this stage, favour exchanges. A professional service provider will not be satisfied with simply responding to your specifications. He will seek to deepen your needs. A good digital marketing agency is first and foremost an advisor and not a mere executor.


Very often, companies choose the cheapest service provider for reasons of economy. And yet the satisfaction is not there. Others opt for the most expensive for security reasons, even though this is not necessarily a guarantee of quality. Here, the objective is to find a price that is consistent with the project and the level of involvement of the service provider.

To do this, do not hesitate to ask for quotes from our agencies.

How does an agency prepare an advertising campaign?

A web advertising agency is a key partner in the digital transformation of your communication.

The development of a digital advertisement differs from that of a traditional advertisement. A successful advertisement is designed to attract the attention of a specific target group and convince them to take action. To do this, it must be implemented according to a well-defined approach.

Know your objectives

Before launching a digital advertisement, you must first have in mind the goal you want to achieve. Do you want to earn "Likes", be at the forefront of Google results, convert prospects, promote a new product, get answers to emails? Your digital marketing actions will depend on your main objective.

Determine the target market

On the Internet, it is not possible to target everyone. That is why you have to ask yourself: who might be interested in your services? To answer these questions, the agency can conduct a survey or consult the statistics of your website or mobile application to see the type of people who visit it.

On the other hand, it can also refer to the target of competitors on the market. However, you should not limit yourself to their targets only. The ideal is to position yourself in a niche market that escapes them. To properly define the target market, the creation of a buyer character could help. Imagine your personae by describing their profile in detail: age, profile, interests, etc.

Choosing the channels

In digital marketing, you can choose from a multitude of media. Google ads are favoured by marketers because of its effectiveness in placing company websites at the top of search results. Display ads on social networks and video on Youtube are also very popular. On the other hand, digital advertising by emailing is often neglected by companies. However, it is also a better strategy to communicate your brand.

A combination of the different channels can be interesting to implement a solid communication strategy. However, the media where the target is strongly present should be favoured.

Create a powerful ad

The success of an online advertisement depends on the persuasive power of the ad. To be more convincing, it must highlight the benefits of your products. In addition, digital advertising has to make an impression. In video, text or image, it would be much more effective if it titillates the sensitivity of the public. Some advertisers even rely on the creation of a video buzz to boost interactions on Facebook.

Although it is possible to set up your own digital advertising, it is a task that requires time and skills. So think about hiring a professional to succeed in digital marketing.

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