Native Advertising Online Marketing

The 8 Most Marvelously Potent Digital Advertising Superpowers (A Simple Visual Breakdown)

Potent digital marketing superpowers
Written by Josh Rueff

Learning digital advertising is kind of like trying to be a superhero.

I tried that when I was 7.

I decided I’d have biceps like Juggernaut, supergenius dagger-wit like Iron Man, and of course I’d be really, really good at word-vomiting nonchalantly cheeky comments at my freak of nature buds while I shredded bad guys into itsby bitsy R-rated pieces with my Wolverine knuckleblades.

Yep, I had it all figured out.

But there was a flaw…

I wasn’t a mutant! For all the Peter Pan fairy believing I could muster, I got nothing, not even a bent spoon.

Fast forward a decade, and there I am, floating on the USS Chung-Hoon (out of all the destroyers the Marine Corps had to choose from, they stuffed me in that goofy little sardine can…), poring over a digital marketing ebook.

I threw myself into it with the naive zeal only a 17 year old can possess.

Turns out you have to be a beast to teach yourself this stuff.

If you have a non-mutated brain like me, you may feel a bit overwhelmed by digital marketing.

Thankfully, it’s actually really easy.

I’m going to give you the detailed but simple guide I wish I’d had when I was first trying to figure this stuff out.

Let’s start by breaking down the 8 most effective types of digital advertising.

The 8 Most Marvelously Potent Digital Advertising Superpowers

Monolith Google Search Ads*

Google ads (4)

This is how it works.

I’m looking for a new iPhone, and I’m a penny-pinching tightwad, so I google “refurbished iphone 5”.

Here’s what pops up:

where do google adwords show up?

Google subtly marks each section with “ad” or “Sponsored”, in the upper right, upper left, and lower right.

These ads are PPC ads that people are paying Google for — every time you click on one of these ads, somebody loses money, and it’s sure as heck not Google.

I’m most interested in the Groupon ad, because I like Groupon deals, and $199 seems like a reasonable price, so I’ll click that.

Which brings me to Groupon’s deal page:

Groupon deal ad page

And that’s that.

Now I can either take them up on that deal, or continue to shop around.

If I buy, Groupon paid Google what, 10 cents? Sure, lots of people are going to click before they get a sale, but they’ve done the math — there’s no way they’re not making money of of the deal when it’s all said and done.

So this is how your Google Adwords works, step by step:

Google search query  Google Sponsored Ads Your Landing Page

I’ll show you exactly how to create these Google ads, step by step in the next section.

Jason’s Bing Search Ads

Bing ads (1)

I hate to treat Bing like the ugly gimp sibling, but I’m not going to spend much time here — it works exactly the same as Google.

Of course your process in getting advertised on Bing is a bit different, but we’ll go over that in the next section.

In Bing’s defense (and every other Google “competitor” out there), there has been a rising trend of people settling for using other search engines, and I honestly have no idea why.

Maybe it’s Google’s growing reputation as a baby-eating monopoly, or maybe we feel bad for the gaunt, Oliver Twist beggars like Bing and Ask.

Everybody loves an underdog.

Whatever it is, Google’s kung fu grip on the market is slowly slipping.

From USA Today Money:

Shares of Google Monday closed down $3.66, or 0.7%, to $497.06. That means shares of the search giant are down 6.3% just in 2015 already, pushing it down 19.1% from its 52-week high. Yes, that means “The GOOG” is nearly in a bear market.

Step by step Bing ads?

Bing search query  Bing Sponsored Ads Your Landing Page

Fantastic Four Forms of Facebook Ads

Facebook ads

Let’s take a peak at one of my favorite internet-creeper tactics, Facebook Exchange.

Here’s how it works:

how facebook exchange works

Pretty straightforward right?

Cookie collection and other inspired invasions of privacy  Facebook  Your Target Users

We’ll cover all of those Facebook marketing bases in a second — I just want to make sure you’re tracking on the behind the scenes, digital black ops. It may be somewhat ethics-bending, but it certainly works.

The Mystique of the Reputation Replicating Twitter Promotions

Twitter ads

Instead of reinventing the wheel, I’m going to take you straight to the horse’s mouth, whilst vowing to never beat the dead horse of a cutesy cliches again.

Here’s how Twitter says it works:

How do Promoted Tweets work?

To create a Promoted Tweet, start by writing a compelling piece of content, such as the announcement of an upcoming product release, a sale or an event you’re hosting. Include an image or video to drive higher engagement.

Once you create your Promoted Tweet, use our targeting options to connect with the right audience.

After you launch your Tweet Engagements campaign, your Promoted Tweet will appear in the home timeline of the users you’ve targeted.

From the user’s end, it looks something like this.

I log onto Twitter for the first time in ages (I’ve been a lazy butt about my Twitter marketing  lately).

Lo and behold, my timeline is…

… empty.

But the other two platforms have promoted content — check it out:

Digital advertising on Twitter (1)

So from the user’s perspective:

Log into Twitter  See targeted promotions

Cyclobanshee: YouTube Ads

YouTube ads (1)

Cyclobanshee? Cyclops eyes plus Banshee’s super-hearing, obviously…

Arguably the primary reason videos are so effective, videos have visual and auditory appeal unlike most forms of advertising.

My favorite strain of marketing right now? Easily video marketing.

Mainly because it works so darn well, but also because it’s a digital marketing uptrend that isn’t slowing down.

To demonstrate the different forms of YouTube ads, here’s their breaking-it-down-barney-style notes:

types of youtube ads

User’s perspective:

Log into YouTube  See targeted promotions, like…

Digital advertising on Twitter (2)

Poisen Viny: Vine Ads

Vine ads

I have a VERY limited amount of experience with Vine ads, but I wanted to include it here because it’s become one of the most seductively intoxicating forms of native advertisement platforms in the industry.

This Vine ad example from HP should get your creative juices flowing:

Bansheeclops: Video Marketing

Video Ads

Creating sales videos takes time, patience and earmuffs (for those pesky, parrot-mime-copycat kids who get a kick out of cussing like daddy in front of the pastor) — but it’s worth it.

And if you do it the smart way, you can create a promo video like this in 20 to 30 minutes:

I made that one, and I’m about as amateur as it gets when it comes to coding and stuff like that (I don’t even know what the pros do to make marketing videos).

I’ll show you how to make videos like that one and the one below in the second part of this article; videos that’ll take anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour, depending on how good you get at it.

Here’s how sales videos work.

I google “kansas city social media marketing”, click on the most attractive url, and land on this page:

digital marketing landing page example

What’s the first thing I do?

I watch the video.

And it was pretty darn creative if I do say so myself.

Of course marketing videos can be used in all sorts of ways, but there seems to be something almost magical about including them your landing page.

I think these numbers* may have something to do with it:

A third of ALL online activity is spent watching video.

 80% of internet users remember the video ads they watch online.

Real estate listings with videos receive 403% more inquiries than those without videos.

 80% of your online visitors will watch a video, while only 20% will read through the content.

 90% of users say that seeing a video about a product is helpful in the decision process.


  Mass Mind Control (Sort of): Email and Gmail Ads

Email ads

Email marketing — the digital marketing monster that everybody thought would shrivel up and die before the almighty power of social media.

Well here’s the latest email marketing stats — I’ll let you decide what you think:

“For every $1 spent on email marketing, the average return on investment is $44.25. *

“Marketers consistently ranked email as the single most effective tactic for awareness, acquisition, conversion, and retention. *

“Email conversion rates are three times higher than social media, with a 17% higher value in the conversion. *

“Email is nearly 40 times better than Facebook and Twitter at acquiring customers. *

“70% of people say they always open emails from their favorite companies. *

“95% of those who opt into email messages from brands find these messages somewhat or very useful. *

Email ads (1)

Email ads are fairly straightforward, but I’ll break it down from the user’s POV just in case:

Log into email  See list of emails Click and read the most interesting ones

So what are you waiting on there Flash? Light a fire under that tight spandexed butt and start using your digital marketing superpowers!


PS — CollegeHumor has me beat on Superhero/Digital comparisons, by far:

superhero digital advertising


*Facts from QuickSprout, InSivia, and DigitalSherpa

Featured Image from the comic geniuses at CollegeHumor

About the author

Josh Rueff

Josh Rueff is a digital marketer, copywriter, minimalist nomad, fisherman, literary nonsense poet, Marine Corps vet, lover of every form of chocolate, and keeper of very large dogs. He believes that specialization is for monkeys and insects. He's recently published a book called Rock Paper Root, and has two other pieces in the works: Minimalist Living in Ancient and Modern Culture, and a children's poetry collection in the writing genre of literary nonsense, Periwinkle Yetis and the Yvinosiop.

  • Raubi Marie Perilli

    Love this post Josh! Great info and fun to read! Kudos!

    • Josh Rueff

      Thanks Raubi! I appreciate it (: