A Primer of Digital Advertising Channels

Edmund Blog Post
Edmund Sinnott
December 31, 2015

In the days before I joined the Perfect Search team, I worked for a consumer specialty coffee event. Because we knew digital advertising could provide a competitive ROI on ad spend and our team had some familiarity of Facebook’s Ad Manager, we built a few campaigns targeting users in our demographic who had interests in coffee and food.

While I had heard of Google AdWords and other paid advertising platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram, I didn’t know much about them. Had I known more about each paid advertising channel, I might have considered running campaigns on a couple of them as well. Even now that I work at Perfect Search, a digital marketing agency, I understand how overwhelming all the options are.

Even if you’re familiar with Google AdWords, there’s still a lot to learn. Here’s a primer of other common digital advertising channels so you can make your paid search advertising strategy a little more perfect.


At 1.19 billion users, Facebook is the behemoth of social media advertising. Campaigns can be targeted to users based on demographics, interests, geographic location, device, platform (Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, etc.), and even mobile carriers. Facebook targeting is the most extensive out of all digital advertising platforms. Retargeting can be done based on users’ email addresses. Furthermore, do not discount the power of B2B advertising on Facebook.  Business owners are Facebook users, too! Advertising products or services for other businesses may offer a competitive ROAS (return on advertising spending).


Twitter has around 300 million users. Like Facebook, campaigns can be targeted to users based on demographics, interests, geographic location, device, platform (Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, etc.), and mobile carriers. Retargeting can be done based on Twitter handles. Consumer advertising seems to perform best on Twitter ads.


At around 400 million users, Instagram has overtaken Twitter in size. In my own opinion, it’s not oversaturated with ads. Campaigns are managed through Facebook’s Ad Manager and are typically best suited for consumer products and services. Beverage makers, consumer financial institutions, software companies, specialty product manufacturers, and everything in between have advertised on Instagram.


LinkedIn has around 396 million users. Campaigns can target industry, location, company size, company name, seniority, and demographics. LinkedIn is great for advertising professional products and services.


Pinterest has around 100 million users. The majority of users are female and tend to skew towards Generation Y. Promoted pins can target by keyword, location, gender, language, and device. Both consumer products, like clothing, and services, like wedding photography, are well-suited for Pinterest advertising.


reddit (stylized with a lowercase ‘r’) offers the option of promoted posts at the top of pages. Reddit likes to keep things simple and consistent with its image; posts can only target subreddits and locations. The no-frills advertising features are partly what makes it appealing. Plus, your brand’s street cred will likely benefit from being seen on reddit with its edgy reputation. I would highly encourage anyone who’s interested in advertising on it to read PPC Senior Manager Eric Yarnik’s blog post thoroughly detailing reddit advertising.

And there you have it—a very brief rundown of common digital advertising channels. I know how stressful it can be to sift through all of the possible advertising platforms. It’s important to keep your business goals and your target demographics in mind, as these factors definitely make a difference in deciding what digital advertising channels to pursue.

Do you have any questions? If so, feel free to reach out to us at info@perfectsearchmedia.com. We love helping other navigate the complex realm of digital advertising. Don’t forget to check out our paid search and social media marketing services!

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