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Defining Digital Advertising Terms

What is the difference between display ads and AdWords? What is the difference between geotargeting and geofencing? We've got those answers and more for curious business owners and lifelong learners that are branching into the digital marketing space!

In this blog post, my goal is to help provide some insight into THREE types of digital advertising you may have heard about, but may not understand all the differences between them.

Digital Display Advertising

For the term "display advertising" think of traditional ads you'd see in a newspaper or a magazine, but on the internet instead. These are usually clickable images designed to route the web user to your website or other online landing page. You can purchase display advertising through a Google partner agency, or through individual companies such as TV stations, newspapers, etc for specific websites they manage. Display ads can be targeted to only display for internet users with specific interests or online behaviors, or to people that live in a specific geographic area (or often both), which leads us to our next digital marketing term you should know.

Geotargeting / Geofencing

For the next category of digital ads known as "geotargeting", this is very similar to display ads, but only delivered to people based on their geographic location. (Obvious, right?) This is typically done using the zip code of the user's IP address, or Wi-Fi GPS data.

"Geofencing" is very similar, in that it uses geography to target users. The difference, however, is the way the information is collected and how and when the ads are shown to the user. Think of geofencing as literally drawing a perimeter onto a map and telling Google to collect information about all of the people that enter that perimeter during a given date range. (Some might say creepy. We say it's handy!)

For example, let’s say that my ice cream store is having a grand opening event and I want to entice those guests to come back again later. I can draw a perimeter around my ice cream store to first, draw them in on the weekend of my grand opening. But then also, collect the information for everyone that enters that perimeter during grand opening weekend and show them display ads in the weeks to follow to create repeat business. Maybe it’s a coupon for the featured flavor they tasted at my event.

This type of strategy is most popular among businesses that rely on walk-in traffic, such as restaurants, retail stores, car dealerships, etc. But it could also be used to collect information about everyone that attends a trade show you participate in so that you can advertise more easily to that same audience after the trade show is over.

TrueView Video Ads

Now onto the world of video advertising! "TrueView" is a term that is specific to YouTube that allows you to place video ads targeting certain types of users in a specific area. Sounds pretty standard right? WELL, the difference here is that TrueView ads only get charged to your account IF the viewer finishes the entire 30-second video. The ads are skippable, unlike other shorter video ads on YouTube, which is less annoying for people that don’t have an interest in your product. This is a great way to avoid wasting resources on people that weren’t interested in your advertisement. AND, chances are you’ll be getting a lot more brand awareness than you’re having to pay for. Think of how many people skip an ad 20 seconds into it but still watched most of the commercial!

The only downside of TrueView campaigns is that they often have slightly higher monthly budget minimums than other forms of online video advertising. BUT, you're only paying for the ads that get watched in their entirety, helping you stretch that budget as far as possible.

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