Can you imagine getting a 78% Click Through with a simple banner?


Well, that’s how it began, on October 27, 1994, the official story of internet advertising or online advertising in Hot Wired magazine and for which brands such as AT&T, Club Med or MCI would pay about $ 30,000 for three months.

Although it is true that the previous year Navigator already offered the pages of its website to advertisers, the appearance of the banner represents the differential value of the new advertising channel.

History of Online Advertising

Let’s do a brief review of what (much) happened in this (little) time within this area:

1995. Barclays launches the online edition of the Electronic Telegraph, while animated gif banners are popularized (a format that, by the way, lives a new Golden age).

1996. OZÚ (yes, there was a Spanish search engine that was called that) and others like OLÉ (the pioneer), TERRA and SOL, include an AdverNet banner. Meanwhile, Hewlett Packard launched the first interactive banner based on the classic ping-pong, the CLICK-THROUGH appeared replacing the payment per visitor and, very importantly, the Internet Advertising Bureau , today the Interactive Advertising Bureau ( IAB), present in several countries, including Spain . Today this non-profit organization is in charge of ordering the market, standardizing formats, promoting good practices and promoting its virtues among users, advertisers, agencies and the media. Learn more about construction digital marketing

1997. Video banners test bandwidth that still leaves a lot to be desired.

1999. MICROSITES appear .

2000. And here comes the revolution, Google launches ADWORDS , the payment for keywords that marks the beginning of the decadence, not the end, of the banner. CTR rates begin to fall, reaching 0.4% in 2004, far from the 50% average in good years.

2001. The banner tries to adapt to the new times by turning to Rich Media with formats that include sound, interactivity, video … but the fall is inexorable, reaching a CTR of 0.07 in 2008 and finding in 2010 that Internet users click in 1.5 out of every 1,000 banners. But lo and behold, Google creates its GOOGLE DISPLAY NETWORK , a website banner and advertising scheduling system.

The beginning of the New Social Era

Meanwhile, other agents are appearing in the world of internet advertising called to change the market … and our lives: Facebook begins a New Social Era . Behind will come YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, Snapchat … social networks that put their platforms at the service of brands.

All this is an expert in sweet for brands: interactivity, pay per click, segmentation with huge databases and an exhaustive knowledge of user profiles … a temptation so great that we will end up falling into one of our recurring vices: saturation . With the consequent satiety of the users.

The answer comes with the damned, for the advertisers,ad blockers .

According to the latest figures provided by the IAB, 615 million users use ad blockers (11% of the total) and their growth in 2016 was 20%. There are already those who predict, again, the “end of the internet as we know it”. But it is true that traditional media, websites, online media and social networks are financed through advertising, and a drop in income means a drop in investments.

One of the responses to this phenomenon is native advertising, of which we will talk later, but, of what there is no doubt is that we have a great opportunity ahead of us to do good publicity, to forget about saturation and interference, to bet on creativity, strategy, new formats and, above all, for the creation of interesting and relevant content for the user.

Digital Advertising within the media plan

First of all, the internet is just another medium, and for years it has coexisted with others. Come on, forget about online and offline, as you have to forget about BTL (Below The Line) and ATL (Above The Line).

Within your Communication Plan and responding to the objectives, target, budget … you will choose one medium or another, or a combination of several, which would be ideal. But this article is about digital advertising, so let’s focus on it.

First we will set goals and put the necessary means to achieve them through a message, a value proposition and an attractive call to action that leads to a predetermined action or conversion.

Digital campaigns are based on three pillars: flexibility, scalability and adaptability.

We can test, observe in real time how they work and correct and improve on the fly, we can segment audiences and supports and use all the formats that digital advertising makes available to us.



Caption: example of Online Media Plan

Types and channels

Before talking about the content and the continent, something you should not forget: every day more, the Internet is mobile . So the premise when designing our campaigns (and our sites, of course) will be what is known as Mobile First . In other words, we must think of them for mobile devices and then adapt them to the desktop , the opposite of how we did until recently. Minimalism rules.

And now, let’s get to the heart of the matter. Until recently one of the most repeated phrases was that of “content is king”, organic communication was having a sweet moment, brand pages on Facebook were giving very good results and well-done SEO gave nothing but joys. Today the tables are turning, slowly but inexorably. According to a Statista study , Google and Facebook today control 83% of digital advertising , with Amazon growing but still quite far away. Because, make no mistake, Google is not a search engine, it is the largest advertising agency in the world, surpassing the large advertising groups without breaking the bank. 

And Facebook? It seems that monetizing is the new mantra of the platform. We are talking about the fact that in 2017 the organic reach of Facebook has fallen by about 20%. There is a part that is attributed to the fact that there is more and more content, about 1,500 stories per feed, so that not everything can be shown but, in addition, the algorithm is being modified, and everything points to the next appearance of a “News Feed ”, They say to get rid of clickbait. They say.

Objective, that you sponsor your publications.

And don’t forget that Instagram, Whatsapp and Messenger also belong to Zuckerberg.

Does this mean that the king is dead? Not at all, content is more important than everWhat has happened is that it is increasingly difficult to survive on its own, it needs the push of advertising to reach consumers in optimal conditions.

That said, we are going to start a tour of the different types and formats of Digital Advertising that we can find today.

1. Direct purchase of advertising

The most classic model , inherited from traditional advertising. Large media and major websites have their own rates and, just as we used to buy pages, half pages and page stealers, these media sell banners and pop ups . At this point it is not very common to do it directly, as it is not so in offline advertising, Media Agencies include them in their plans as they also do with many of the supports that we will see later. But there it is and you may be interested in reaching specific agreements with one of them at a certain time.

Factors such as saturation and a certain feeling that this type of advertising was sold “by weight” have led us to a new, more refined model.

2. Programmatic buying

What is Programmatic Advertising ? the automated and real-time purchase of advertising spaces offered by all media. It combines algorithms, data and interconnected platforms without any human intervention.

The most common way of purchasing spaces or impressions is through RTB (Real Time Bidding) auctions in which advertisers decide the price they are willing to pay for each impression for a specific user or audience profile.

Programmatic and RTB are often used synonymously and they are not. The auction is one of the formulas to sell spaces but not the only one.

One of the great values ​​of programmatic,Segmentation based on Big Data and geolocation , allows reaching an audience that, due to their behavior and interests, is potentially interested in our product or service.

Thus, when one of these users visits a certain support, the bid begins and the ad that they will see will be that of the advertiser who wins the auction.

Another great advantage is that, by operating in real time, we will be able to know the response also in real time, being able to adjust and fine-tune to optimize the results.

The place where supply and demand meet is known as AD EXCHANGE , and it is the platform where the supply (the media) and the demand (the advertiser) meet.

Once the space is allocated,the ad can be shown in different formats : Display (Banners, Native, Rich Media…) Video (In-stream, In-banner, In-text, In-game…) Apps (banners, Interstitials, Native, Interactives…)

3. Native Advertising

Native Advertising is to digital what advertorial is to analog . It integrates into the platform where it is published without interrupting navigation, with the same appearance, style and user experience.

In this case, brands and the media come together to offer relevant and quality advertising . So, if quality content is key in the digital world, even more so when we talk about Native Advertising, also taking into account the content of the medium, its way of presenting it, types of headlines, very clickbait style, generally.

And, finally, to say that Native Advertising is a type of Branded Content, in this case, the one that is inserted in paid media. So, all Native Advertising is Branded Content, but not all Branded Content is Native Advertising.

It is precisely in this similarity between advertising and content that one of the most tricky aspects of the matter lies, since it is easy to fall into what is called covert advertising. That is why I refer you to this complete Guide on Native Advertising published, of course, by the IAB.

4. Email Marketing

A great tool. Its advantages are unquestionable:

  • Low cost.
  • Easy campaigns to prepare, send and measure. Especially if it is done through Mailchimp-type platforms.
  • Valid for any type of business.
  • Adaptable in frequency, segmentation …
  • Possibility of interaction, from direct response to sending to Landing Pages.
  • Total customization, from the name of the recipient to the offer.
  • High ROI conversion rates.
  • Ideal for A / B testing.
  • Immediate results.

So good that it has been pounded by all kinds of unscrupulous vendors. Because that is the big downside of email marketing , the saturation of inboxes due to SPAM.

That, and that the lists that are rented out there are a real crap.

So if you’re going to do it, do it right. The first, create your own lists , it is more laborious, but the results are infinitely better. And, for this, take into account the three types of registrations:

Opt-out. The user does not request registration. You are added to the list and then an email is sent with instructions on how to unsubscribe. As you can imagine, this option is not recommended at all.

Opt-in. The user requests their registration in a list but it is not necessary to confirm their registration.

Double Opt-in. The user requests their registration and a confirmation email is sent. Until confirmed, it will not become part of the list. The open and click rate is very good and the bounced number negligible.

Also, don’t lose sight of the fact that :

SPAM is a crime.

Make responsive emails.

The screen is tiring so be concise.

Include links to a microsite at the beginning, middle, and end of the email.

Respond immediately, even with an automated message.

Beware of magic words (Free, gift, earn money …) you have all the numbers to be considered a spammer and punished.

The “subject” is the most important, it is equivalent to the headline of an advertisement.

Use a suitable platform that meets these 3 premises: Usability, efficiency and active support. If you opt for the self-service (you manage the campaigns) versus the full-service (outsourced) always work with a platform, never make the shipments from your computer or your company, because it is very possible that they are considered as spam.

And finally, never lose sight of the Data Protection Law . In 2016, a New General Regulation (RGPD) came into force that has had a period of adaptation of 2 years and will begin to apply on May 25, 2018.

5. Retargeting

Or remarketing? Google started calling it remarketing in AdWords and at the beginning this term was used when talking about Google and retargeting when referring to the rest. But today they are used interchangeably.

What are we talking about when we talk about retargeting? Surely you have experienced it, you look at a flight at eDreams, a smartphone at Amazon, a pair of sunglasses at Hawkers … and automatically, their ads start to haunt you wherever you go . A simple pixel installed on our site and through AdWords, Facebook, Twitter, email … allows us to impact users who have previously interacted with us. The famous cookies.

Let’s see the different types :

If you. You visit a website and a cookie is installed in our browser.

Dynamic. Ecommerce is widely used, it launches personalized offers for the product that the customer has been interested in.

Social. When the ad appears on Social Networks.

E-mail. Offers through this channel.

CRM. Cross the data that you have with cooking pools of different platforms, and it is not necessary for the user to have your cookie installed.

Search. Linked to searches.

To this day, remarketing still does not distinguish, for example, if we have already bought the product. But, together with Big Data, it offers great possibilities,

6. Social Ads

Returning to what has been said, it is no longer enough to have excellent content on Social Networks, you have to “move” it so that it reaches your followers. And that, increasingly, is synonymous with paying.

In the world of social media ads, Facebook has been, and continues to be, the role model .

The Facebook campaign generator, cleverly named Power Editor , allows you to choose objectives, segment (age, region, interests …), assign a budget to a publication, measure results … a format that has been transferred to Instagram . So much so that Social Ads on this platform can only be managed through the Mother Network.

The formats?

Streaming videos or images with call-to-action button

Single image or video



And, in short, it is very possible that pre-roll formats in videos, YouTube style …

The latter is one of the most used formats, and that I like the most, is that of Promote Publication . Why? because it forces you to create interesting content.

A tip , if your ad is an image with text, avoid by all means that it occupies more than 20% of the ad surface , and it does not have to be in the same block, because the algorithm scans the entire ad .

Twitter Ads. Different types of campaigns: clicks on sites to get web traffic, sales and generate leads, build audience by getting followers, interactions, quick promote to promote a tweet being able to segment … being able to choose between different formats: Plain Texts, Website Cards, Basic App, Video App and Image App, Promoted Video, Tweets with Gift Files (watch out for gifts, they are an excellent piece to get notoriety at low cost), Tweets with several Images, Summary Card with a large image, Conversational Ads…

LinkedIn Ads . Display ads, on the right side segmented by professional profile. Text Ads, sponsored content, Dynamic Ads, Sponsored InMail, directly in users’ mailboxes as email marketing … a higher CPC than in other networks, but very effective in, for example, B2B.

7. Google Universe

Here comes the SEM , that although the term refers to the creation, through keywords of ad campaigns in any search engine, it is undoubted that the palm is taken by Google and its AdWords , I would recommend you not to neglect other search engines such as BING.

But today SEM encompasses much more, including the retargeting we talked about earlier.  Some of the possibilities of AdWords are:

Search network. The classic ads that appear in the first positions.

Display. Image, text, video and Rich Media ads on websites and partners.

Shooping. By registering in the Google Merchant Center , product sheets with image and text,

Video. Here comes YouTube with its multiple formats . And, if you want to throw the house out the window, you have the Advertising by Reservation that does not work by auction and that has a banner format called Masthead (970 × 250 pix) that is displayed on the main page of the portal. You can pay for impressions or fixed cost per day. the price? depending on the country, the complements… go from 10,000 to 60,000 euros per day.

Universal Applications Campaign . They allow you to promote your app in Google Search, Google Play, YouTube and in other applications and mobile web pages of the Display Network.

8. And the influencers?

Well, yes, it is also advertising , and as such it has to be indicated, although the subject is extensive and makes for an entire article, or a thesis, I dare say. For now, a recommendation: your influencer does not have to be the one with the most followers, but the one that is most related to your positioning and the one with the most followers related to your brand.

9. Other classes

In addition, there are other types: The SMS that, although you may not believe it, has great potential due to its little use and the sense of urgency it creates, Wi-Fi networks, the one related to affiliate marketing more linked to digital marketing than to advertising or that which can be included in free advertising portals such as directories and classified ad websites , but I think we have touched the main channels, so now we are going to finish by giving a little review of the formats.

Digital advertising formats

Especially when we talk about Display, we have multiple formats, only in banner there is a whole catalog, and in many cases invasive such as:

The pop ups

Interstitial (those full screen banners that are so difficult to close and that I am convinced that a large part of the clicks they add up are more the result of anxiety to close them than of interest) where to choose

We also have text, image, gift …

And, above all, video

We can say that the video is today the star . But, as Uncle Ben used to say to an inexperienced Peter Parker, “With all power comes great responsibility.” And that means that you have to make quality videos, texts, images, infographics….

Come on, we always end up returning to content.


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