Digital Advertising

Digital Advertising: Definition, How it Works, and Examples

In the digital era, marketing activities are very necessary for business development. One of the most effective ways for business development is to do a promotion.

Various kinds of promotional media can be used to market goods or services, but keep in mind, a promotional media must certainly provide effectiveness to the business.

One of them is media promotion using digital advertising. Digital advertising is one of the promotional media to promote an item or service that will be offered. Then, what is digital advertising? Check out the following explanation.

What is Digital Advertising?

Digital Advertising is part of the marketing activities carried out by businesses for a fee through digital media or platforms to be able to reach a wider, faster, and targeted audience.

Using advertising is the most effective digital marketing strategy to build a brand and develop its business so that it is better known by the audience.

As you already know, if you use digital advertising you need to have a budget to start a marketing campaign so that ads can run according to the intended target. 

Budget and advertising objectives are two important points that must be considered before making a decision. It’s a shame if you’ve already spent a lot of money but the ads don’t live up to your expectations. 

If you are just starting a business and have limited capital, don’t worry. You can use a marketing strategy by using advertising for free.

This means that you do not need to spend money to promote an item or service. Even though it’s free, if you do it right, free advertising can be effective. 

How Does Digital Advertising Work?

Now that we know what Digital Advertising is, it’s time to talk about how digital advertising works on the internet.

There are at least 2 methods of how digital advertising works when viewed from how the ad appears on your target audience’s devices. Both are Behavioral Targeting and Contextual Targeting.

1. Behavioral Targeting Behavioral

targeting is an advertising method in online marketing by using information from website visitors so that the advertisements displayed can be relevant to their behavior in the digital world. 

This technique involves collecting data from various sources such as browsing on search engines, behavior on social media, shopping on certain websites. and others. Several factors are considered as behavior, namely:

  • Pages viewed (Pageview)
  • The length of time the audience is on a website or on a particular page
  • The words or terms they usually want to know
  • Content, advertisements or buttons that attract them to click
  • The last date they visited a website
  • Other detailed information about how audiences visit and interact on a website

An example of this method can be found on social media advertising platforms such as Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads, Display Ads, etc., where we determine what kind of information is relevant to the audience. which we want to target.

2. Contextual Targeting (Contextual Targeting)

Contextual targeting is a personalized advertising method that allows it to appear in searches (Search Ads/Paid Search).

To use it, the audience must first type in the word or topic they want to search for, after which the search engine will analyze, serve, and display relevant advertisements.

Examples can often be found on search engines like Google. After typing certain keywords, ads will usually appear in the top position or there is also a bottom position.

Types and Formats of Digital Advertising

Digital advertising has various types and formats that can be tailored to the needs of a business. Here are some types and formats of digital advertising that you can use:

a. Display Ads (Image Ads)

Display ads are a type of digital advertising in the form of an image with an emphasis on visual beauty to attract the audience. These display ads are displayed on a website, social media platform, or other digital media. 

Display ads have many advantages, namely to build brand awareness or invite people to buy a product. 

Display ads can be in the form of a banner, so that in its manufacture, creativity and concepts are needed so that the audience is interested in clicking on them. 

b. Video Ads (Video Ads)

Video Ads are a type of digital advertising with a video format. This is interactive content that is able to attract the attention of many people.

Combining the senses of sight and hearing through video and audio presentations that support each other so that they can convey more accurate information. 

c. Social Media Ads (Social Media Ads)

Social media is a marketing medium that is currently widely used by various business people in promoting their goods or services. This is because social media is the most important part of society in their daily lives. 

So that the audience will never be absent to carry out activities on social media every day. Therefore, the type of advertising content that will be displayed through social media must be in accordance with the tastes and behavior of the target market.

d. Search Ads (Search Ads) or Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a subset of digital marketing that makes use of PPC (Pay Per Click) ads.

 In PPC there are two types of ads that you can run on search engines like Google, namely search ads and display ads. Search ads appear when users type keywords or keywords into a search engine.

These ads will be very powerful when they appear in search engines, because it is very likely that potential customers searching for these keywords will see your ad.

e. Email Ads

Email ads or email marketing is an easy way to effectively reach a target audience who is already interested in your business. Sending an email with an advertisement in it is called “email marketing.” 

Every email sent to customers such as information about products, promos or ongoing events. It aims to be able to connect with customers in a more personal way. 

f. Native Ads

Native ads are similar to display ads, but they are more strategic and intentional when it comes to placement and audience targeting. They are registered sponsors that are integrated and disguised into the feed. 

Native ads are the least annoying type of advertising to users who are most likely to be relevant to them. Often users think native ads help them because they are very relevant.

g. Remarketing/Retargeting Remarketing

or remarketing advertising is digital advertising targeted to a brand’s online visitors with the motive of bringing them back to the website or app, or taking an action.

For example, a brand that targets visitors to an e-commerce store through advertisements to get them to complete their unfinished transactions. Another example is an event brand that targets its website visitors with informative ads about new events they can attend.

Examples of Digital Ads and Their Formats

a. Paid Search

Paid Search is also known as search engine marketing, namely advertisements on search engine pages.


b. Social Media Ads

Next is social media ads such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can be the right choice. You can categorize according to the target market of the goods or services you offer. 

Starting from the category of age, gender, region, income and others.

c. Display Ads Display

ads are considered more attractive than classified ads or column ads because the content is varied, and advertisers or display ad image designs can create as creative ad content as possible without restrictions on the size, color, or media content that can be added.

d. Video Ads

Video advertising is an advertisement that has a video format. The ad is a fairly effective ad because the delivery of the ad is quite complete. 

The combination of audio and video so that the audience can imagine what advertisement information is being displayed. 

What is the Implementation of Digital Advertising for SME & MSME Businesses?

Digital Advertising will make it easier for MSME actors to provide information to consumers so they can expand market share, increase awareness and increase sales.

a. Research First Who is the Target Audience

Before starting an advertisement, it would be nice to research first who the target audience will be. If you are going to advertise a fashion product, of course the target audience is a woman. 

b. Determine the Main Goals and KPIs in Advertising

After doing a research on who the target audience will be, the next step is to determine the goals and main KPIs in the advertisements that will be made. KPI itself is a goal that has been made measurable in the long term to find out financial benefits. 

Running a digital marketing strategy without a clear goal, of course, is a fatal mistake. Because, apart from not knowing what to pursue, you also don’t know what to do and what is the right decision to make afterwards.

The goals made vary according to what the business needs, for example, your goal of advertising is for sales, leads, awareness, or branding where if your brand wants to be known more by the public. 

With more people getting to know the brand, sales are also expected to increase. So that KPI will be achieved in accordance with expectations

c. Choose and Recognize the Characteristics of an Advertising Platform

Before starting to advertise, you need to choose and identify the characteristics of what advertising platform you will use. If you are just starting a business and want to build a brand, social media ads advertising platforms are the right choice. This will also relate to the characteristics of the ad if we use each of these platforms. 

d. Research on Content Ideas that Match Audiences and Advertising Purposes

Finding content ideas is indeed difficult and easy, all business people sometimes have problems getting stuck or don’t have ideas in making content to run.

So to find inspiration for what kind of content to create, it is necessary to research appropriate content ideas. For example, you can research content ideas by following current trends. 

It seems that your ad will be less than optimal if you create content but don’t follow the current trend. But keep in mind, of course, content ideas also need to be adjusted to the audience and the purpose of advertising.

e. Observe, Imitate, and Modify Competitors’ Advertising Strategies

Observe, imitate and modify is a well-known business principle, this method aims to provide opportunities for businesses to always create products or strategies that are fresh, creative, unique and competitive. 


Advertising plays an important role in the marketing strategy of every business and company today. The reason is, with advertising, companies can reach the target market and build effective brand awareness. 

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