The Basics of Digital Advertising

Sébastien Godin

Account Manager

New to Digital Advertising? This article is a great start for you to understand what you can and should do online to grow your business.

We are going to go through the main tactics and networks you can use with digital advertising, their main characteristics as well as why and how to use each of those networks. Each network is different, so it's important to understand where you should be advertising based on your business goals, and why.

Search Campaigns

Main goal: Capture an interest or a desire for a product or a service

Where to use it: Google Ads, Bing Ads & other search engines

Main characteristics:

  • Low impressions compared to other networks
  • High CTR
  • Higher CPC than most other networks
  • Higher probability of macro-conversion than most other networks

Why use it: The search network is used to target users who are actively searching for your products or services online.

How to use it: Bid on search keywords that are related to your business, products or services. Your ads are shown to users when they type these keywords in search engines, such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.

Each campaign starts with keyword research, planification, and a competition analysis.

Competition analysis is an important aspect of a search campaign. Our tools allow us to spy on competitors and see what works for them. We can then replicate what’s working best to reduce wasted spend.

It is also very important to plan which keywords will be used, and how you will structure your account using these keywords. Those will have a major effect on the success of the campaigns.

Shopping Campaigns

Main goal: Capture an interest or a desire for a product or a service

Where to use it: Google Ads, Bing Ads & other marketplaces

Main characteristics:

  • Low impressions compared to other networks
  • High CTR
  • Higher CPC than most other networks
  • Higher probability of macro-conversion than most other networks

Why use it: Show your products directly on Google. It is a good technique especially if you have a large inventory, if your products change price often, or if you have a limited inventory per product. Since all those things are automated, you ensure you are not advertising a product that is out of stock.

How to use it: This technique is centered around your product titles, descriptions, categories, and includes an image of the product, the price, and you can also include a promotion you are currently running on each product.

Shopping campaigns require a product feed, that contains all your products information. You can then upload this feed online and Google will match your ads with this feed information.

Display Campaigns (Prospecting)

Main goal: Brand Awareness, and Create an interest in your products or services

Where to use it: Google Ads, and other third-party platforms.

Main characteristics:

  • Cost of advertising relatively low compared to other networks.
  • Large amount of impressions - High visibility for your product or service
  • High impact of the creatives on the campaign’s performance

The Display network allows you to show banner ads across websites that are partnering with Google. Its targeting is based on these websites’ content, the users’ interests and also based on user behavior, which are called custom audiences. These custom audiences include remarketing (that we are going to talk about later in this article) and similar audiences, that are based on algorithm modelization.

The Display network contains around 80% of all websites, which means a lot of potential traffic for most niches.

Why use it: The Display network is a very efficient way to increase your brand awareness, since its cost is lower and its inventory is higher. With visually attractive banners, we create an interest in your products from users who don’t know your brand.

How to use it: Show banner ads of your offers, your brand and your products across the web, based on the targeting options discussed above.

Social Campaigns

Main goal: Brand Awareness to Direct purchase of products or services.

Where to use it: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube and more !

Main characteristics:

  • These platforms offer very advanced targeting options, and include a vast majority of people around the globe.
  • Excellent source to target very specific audiences. We are targeting the “Buyer Personas” of your business to improve the performance of our campaigns.
  • They are ideal when you have a good understanding of who your target market is.
  • Facebook is used by the majority of people around the globe.
  • Instagram is the most used platform to exchange photos in very specific contexts.
  • YouTube is the biggest video exchange platform online with more than 1 billion users.
  • LinkedIn is the best platform to reach an audience of professionals across the web.

Why use it: Social networks are used differently by people than other platforms. Brands have a chance to connect with people in their close environment, where they interact with their friends and family.

How to use it: Show creatives and videos of your offers, brand, and products, where users spend the most of their time when they are online.

Remarketing Campaigns

Main goal: Re-engage previous visitors and convert users into leads and clients.

Different types of remarketing:

  • Classic Remarketing: Show ads to your previous website visitors, following them everywhere across the web. The audience creation is the most important part of this tactic.
  • Dynamic Remarketing: Show to your previous visitors the exact products they viewed on your website. This tends to work better for large inventories, since it increases your ads relevance. It works with the same product feed as your Shopping campaigns.
  • Email List Remarketing: Some platforms allow us to target users who previously bought your products, or subscribed to your newsletter. An email address database is required to use this tactic.
  • Retargeting Lists for Search Ads: Re-engage your previous website visitors at the most critical moment; when they are actively searching for your products or services. This technique is very effective since these users are already familiar with your brand, AND are searching for what you offer.

Where to use it: Most platforms now offer remarketing campaigns.

Why use it: This technique is very efficient to re-engage people who already shows interest in your brand by visiting your website once, but did not proceed with the desired actions, such as purchasing a product.

How to use it:

  • Install a pixel on your website (additional script in the website code)
  • Create remarketing audiences (visitors of specific pages, email lists, website behavior, interests, etc.)
  • Show relevant banner ads to predefined audiences, on the Search, Display and Social networks.


Hopefully this gives you a great overview of what can be achieved online to grow your business. Of course, this article only covers the basics, but you should now have a better understanding of what you should be doing, and what networks are right for you.

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