Digital 101: Digital Media Classifications
A beginner’s guide to different types of digital media
Once you’ve located your target audience and determined how to reach them, it’s time for the fun part: the creative! The best ad formats for your campaign will largely depend on your messaging, but you should also consider the audience you’re targeting and the placements you’re purchasing.
When talking about digital advertising tactics, we use a matrix of targeting options (programmatic, contextual, social, and search intent) and ad formats (display, video, native, and audio) to create highly descriptive classifications like “programmatic video” and “endemic display” to optimize ads.
This cheat sheet (click to download) offers a quick definition of each classification. These encompass the most common digital ad formats at a high level, but can be adapted to classify other types of unique units.
- Programmatic Display – Static or animated ads targeted to the right audience across the web
- Programmatic Video – Video ads targeted to the right audience across the web
- Programmatic Native – Ads that look like a piece of content on the page (think: the advertorials of digital), targeted to the right audience across the web
- Programmatic Native Video – Native video ads that match the format of video content on a page, targeted to the right audience across the web
- Programmatic Audio – Audio ads targeted to the right audience across the web. They can run across streaming audio content, such as Spotify, Pandora, or sports broadcasts
- OTT/Connected TV – Video ads targeted to the right audience across a variety of OTT streaming (without cable) services and devices
- Endemic Display – Static or animated display ads within category-specific sites
- Endemic Video – Video or animated display ads within category-specific content
- Endemic Social – Static or animated display ads promoted on category-specific social pages
- Endemic Social Video – Video or animated display ads promoted on category-specific social pages
- eNews – Ads within a publisher’s eNewsletter content, or a dedicated eBlast to their subscribers
- Non-Endemic Display – Static or animated display ads within the content of a specific site. This is a contextual buy on a specific site that’s not related to the brand category
- Non-Endemic Video – Video ads within the content of a specific site. This is a contextual buy on a specific site that’s not related to the brand category
- Podcasts – These ads are usually a live read by the host and non-skippable, so more engaging than a regular audio ad. Sometimes they are accompanied by a display banner. They can be purchased via a network where you advertise in bulk with a group of podcasts on a particular topic or that hit a certain demographic
- Social Display – Static or animated display ads promoted by a brand’s page to a specific audience
- Social Video – Video ads promoted by a brand’s page to a specific audience
- Search – Advertising within the results of a search engine query based on the keyword
- Google Display Network (GDN) – Display or video ads targeted to the right audience across Google’s network of sites. They are similar to programmatic ads since Google’s network is so large, but they’re keyword and bid-based
- YouTube – Video or display ads on YouTube promoted by a brand’s account to a specific audience
In our next post we’ll review how to track and engage with the audience using cookies.
R+K’s Maggie Mattheessen, Digital Supervisor, Paid Media, contributed to this post. If you would like to learn more about optimizing your creative media assets for different channels, contact our Business Development Director firstname.lastname@example.org.
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