Digital Marketing

Digital Advertising Glossary

Dec 06, 2019

Any business in the modern world needs to be adept at using the Internet to promote their brand. The majority of the people who see and use your business will be internet users, meaning that it is so much easier to reach people through digital advertising than physical ads.

If you’re new to the idea of digital advertising, here is a quick glossary of some of the most important terms to help you understand better what your options are.


Affiliate Advertising

This is a type of performance-based marketing wherein a company (the affiliate) earns a commission by promoting another company’s (the creator) products on their site. For every sale that is made as a result of their marketing, the affiliate will get a percentage of the profit made by the creator.

There are three main types of affiliate ads: pay-per-click, pay-per-lead and pay-per-sale. This means that affiliates don’t earn money unless the user performs a certain action (such as clicking the link or filling in contact details). For small businesses, and those just starting out, this can be a cost-effective way of reaching mass audiences, as some of the biggest ecommerce sites in the world run affiliate programmes, including Amazon.


Banner Ads

A banner ad is essentially exactly what it sounds like: an advertisement which appears on a website as a strip (or ‘banner’), separate from the rest of the content. The ads will usually consist of an image and can be static or animated and will contain a link that takes the internet user to the advertiser’s website or landing page.


Content Recommendations

Content recommendations are pieces of content which are suggested to web users based on their previous browsing activity. They are often headed by titles such as ‘You May Also Like This’. Content recommendation space is purchased on discovery networks by advertisers, who provide useful and relevant content that the network can then offer to users as a result of their online activity. This is a great form of advertising for the user, who is only offered results that suit their interests, as well as for the advertiser, who is getting a far more relevant and targeted audience to advertise to.


Display Advertising

Display ads can also be known as banner ads but are not necessarily displayed as a ‘banner’ and can appear anywhere on a display ad network. As with banner ads, the advertiser pays the network for every click, lead or sale that is generated as a result of the ad being displayed.

Popular display ad networks include:

  • Google
  • Yahoo
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Outbrain


Mobile Advertising

In the modern world, mobile advertising is one of the most important forms of marketing to understand. Mobile advertising is purely designed to help you to appeal to mobile device users. As most people now have a smartphone and use it for the majority of their leisure time browsing, this is a prime place to make sales and generate leads.

Mobile advertising allows advertisers to target users with personalised, time and location-specific ads that help them to find businesses and products exactly when and where they need it, wherever they are.


Native Advertising

Native advertising is an effective marketing method that places an ad within the context of another media form, whilst making it look as though it belongs there. These ads will mimic the look and function of the ‘native’ web page and won’t generally look like ads. This means that the user experience isn’t disrupted, helping consumers to feel more comfortable and interested in the content.

Native advertising examples include:

  1. “In Feed” ads. These are ads that appear naturally within your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram feed, for example.
  2. Content recommendations. Articles which are recommended for you to read next after the one you have just read.
  3. Search & promoted listings. Ads that appear to the side or at the top of Google search results.



PPC stands for pay-per-click, a method of advertising mentioned above which allows advertisers to promote their products without paying for the space, unless they actually get a lead. The advertiser pays a fee to the website promoting their products every time a user clicks on their ad.

The most popular form of PPC is search engine advertising, meaning that the advertiser bids for a higher placement in Google (for example) search results. This means that when someone searches for a product or topic related to their business, their ad will appear higher up in the ratings. If the user then clicks on that, the advertiser pays Google a small fee.


Programmatic Advertising

A bit more complicated for first-time advertisers, programmatic advertising can actually be one of the most effective and simple types of advertising to use once you’ve got your head around it. Programmatic advertising automates the process of buying and selling online ad impressions, via software that bids in real time, on behalf of both advertisers and publishers.

Programmatic advertising has a supply side platform (SSP) and a demand side platform (DSP) which publishers and advertisers will sign up for. The DSP sends bids to the SSP in order to purchase online advertising space, and the SSP then chooses the most appropriate bid (based on an extensive data resource constantly updated regarding the online consumer activity of website users). The user will then be shown the most relevant result within a fraction of a second.


Social Media Advertising

Social media advertising basically covers any sort of advertising that is done on a social media platform. In today’s world it is very important for businesses to take part in some form of social media marketing because most internet users use some form of social media.

Popular social media platforms include:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Google+
  • Pinterest
  • Snapchat
  • YouTube

There are two main types of social media marketing strategies – paid and organic. With paid marketing the advertiser simply needs to provide an advertisement and then pay for the network to do the work. However, many advertisers find that organic is more fruitful.

Organic social media marketing requires placing regular interesting, high-value content across all of your social media channels and staying visible and engaged with your followers. This does not cost any money but can take a lot of time, meaning that it is costly in other ways. Most businesses find a combination of the two is the most successful.


Video Advertising

Put simply, video advertising does exactly what it says on the tin – it promotes a business or product through the use of videos. This could be anything from a professional television-style advertisement, or an influencer chatting about a make-up product. Video ads are very popular with web users, with some research showing that it is the most preferred advertising medium for consumers.


Need Any Help

Here at Maxweb we understand the importance of successfully promoting your business. If you would like to find out how to effectively use these methods of advertising please call our team of experts on 0151 652 4777 or email

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