Digital 101

September 4, 2019

Digital Advertising 101

On October 27, 1994, the first banner ad appeared on HotWired’s webpage. It simply asked, “Have you ever clicked your mouse right here? You will.” 

Much has changed (and is constantly changing) in the world of digital advertising since 1994. 

Quite simply, digital advertising is any type of advertising that takes place online, whether that be through Google search functions or displays on a website. 

Digital (or "Display") Advertising 101 is an introduction to the type of advertisements newspapers typically run on their websites. 

What Makes Display Advertising Different Than Other Digital Advertising? 

The two most common forms of digital advertising are paid search advertising and display advertisements. We are only going to cover display advertisements in this blog post.

Display advertisements appear on websites in various sizes, positions, and formats. They typically include text, images, and rich media (i.e. video, audio, or some other interactive element.) You can find display advertisements as boxes in the corner of the screen, the wide banner ad across the tops of websites and the pop-ups that block your screen when you’re about to click out of a webpage. Display ads typically charge by CPM (more information on that below.)

Paid search advertisements are the ads that, for example, pop up on Google when you are using their search engine. Paid search charges via a pay-per-click model, meaning the advertiser doesn't pay unless someone actually clicks on the ad.

Ad Pricing

Cost per Thousand Impressions (CPM): This advertising pricing method is most often employed for display advertising. The advertiser pays for the number of times an ad is displayed to visitors. For example, if a buyer agrees to pay $2.00 CPM, and your website gets 1,000 impressions on that advertisement, you get $2.00. If you get 2,000 impressions, you get $4.00. 

Tip: The “M” in CPM has to do with the Roman numeral for 1,000. 

Cost per Day (CPD): While less common, this pricing method charges a flat rate for the full day an ad is up, regardless of ad performance. Often, this type of pricing is only used for premium placements like 100% share-of-voice unit takeovers (i.e. only one advertiser is shown in an ad unit space. 50% share-of-voice, for example, would mean that two advertisements are being shown in rotation.) 

Ad Sizing

According to Google, the top-performing ad sizes are 300x250, 728x90, 300x600, 320x100, and 336x280 pixels. Out of those, 728x90 and 300x250 are the most sought after by our advertisers and most common.

Note: Do not forget about how your ads will look if someone is viewing the webpage on a cell phone. Always test any new ads units on different screen sizes and mobile devices.

How is Flytedesk helping publishers up their digital ad game? 

We've built a digital ad unit that's custom built for the unique needs of student media. Flytedesk Digital allows you to sell advertising space on your website to buyers and fills any unsold space with ads from our national buyers. When you pair flytedesk Digital with the Ad Shop, you no longer have to manually put up or take down ads; once you approve an ad it will automatically be placed into the unit. You can learn more about installing our unit on your site here.

This makes it easy for you to bring in revenue and for advertisers to reach their audience, all while you continue to provide top-notch content for your readers.

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