Today, businesses looking for digital advertising platforms to launch and manage an ad campaign have access to numerous options. However, finding the best digital advertising platform for your needs and business objectives can take significant time and effort.
In this post
Discover today’s top-performing advertising platforms and find out which options and features they have to offer and why they are among the most efficient solutions today.
What Are Digital Advertising Platforms?
A digital advertising platform is an online advertising software service designed to help advertisers create, manage, and adjust digital ad campaigns. Digital advertising platforms let you choose and configure which online advertising channels, ad types, and ad creatives your campaign should use and which target audiences you wish to reach.
The Best Digital Advertising Platforms of Today
Advertisers can choose from a large selection of digital advertising platforms such as Google Ads, Facebook Ads, or other social media platforms such as Facebook. Each one offers unique features and options suitable for different types of ad campaigns. However, one of the best ways to ensure the success of an ad campaign is to partner with one of the top-performing online ad platforms. Here are today’s top digital advertising platforms for advertisers looking to start new ad campaigns.
1. Google Ads
Originally known as Google AdWords, this is a well-known top competitor for the best advertising platform in search engine results. It is now called Google Ads. The search giant’s ad platform is one of the original “Big Three” pay-per-click (PPC) digital ad platforms launched by search engine companies, alongside Yahoo and Microsoft. Today, Google Ads offers a much more comprehensive array of ad space options and features than it used to when it first launched in 2000.
As one of the most prominent and widely-used digital platforms on today’s market, Google Ads has long been a top choice for advertisers due to its commitment to integrating the latest technologies, a free and comprehensive support knowledge base, and an easy-to-use interface.
For instance, Google Ads fully utilizes new technologies and solutions, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), to power and optimize campaigns like Responsive Search Ads.
Advertisers looking to use Google Ads can launch nine types of ad campaigns, each capable of reaching worldwide audiences:
- Search Ads: Advertisers looking to showcase products or promote their brands through the world’s largest search engine can do so with Google Search Ads. This solution allows you to display ads on the search engine result page (SERP) in the promoted results section. Popular Search Ad types include Responsive Search Ads and Dynamic Search Ads.
- Display Ads: Google Display Ads are served through the Google Display Network (GDN) and can reach over two million digital properties, including websites, blogs, videos, and mobile apps. They include static, single-image ads and the more popular Responsive Display Ads (RDAs).
- Video Ads: Advertisers using video-based creatives to promote their products and services may use Google Video Ads. The platform can serve video ads in video format to numerous outlets, including YouTube, allowing advertisers to reach multiple billions of potential users.
- Google Shopping Ads: One of the functions of the Google search engine is the Shopping tab, allowing visitors to look for eCommerce offers directly from Google. Google Shopping Ads leverages this convenient feature to let advertisers and retailers promote their brands directly on Google’s Shopping search results.
- Google Smart Ads: Google Smart Ads lets small and local businesses start ad campaigns to promote themselves through the search engine giant’s networks. Smart Ads campaigns use Machine Learning technology to target audiences in the business’s geographic area. Smart campaigns are easy to set up and configure, automating the ad delivery and audience targeting processes to make creating an ad campaign as convenient to use as possible.
- Performance Max: Google Performance Max (PMax) is one of the newer types of ad campaigns available on Google Ads. Pmax allows advertisers to launch a goal-based ad campaign to access their available Google Ads inventory and reach every Google channel, from Search and Gmail to YouTube and Maps. PMax leverages AI and ML technologies to improve audience targeting and ensure advertisers can reach high-intent customers easily.
- App Campaigns: Advertisers who primarily or exclusively advertise on mobile can use Google Ads App Campaigns to promote mobile apps and games. App Campaigns use ML technologies to reach users on the Google Play Store and mobile versions of Search and YouTube.
- Discovery Campaigns: Google Discovery Campaigns are ideal for businesses targeting audiences based on relevant interest topics. This form of advertising allows an advertiser or a brand owner to reach up to 3 billion customers across multiple Google feeds and channels.
- Local Service Ads: Google’s Local Service Ads (LSAs) are primarily aimed at businesses with a local or hyper-local focus offering products or services in a designated geographic area, such as plumbers or electricians. LSAs allow these businesses to promote themselves easily to customers in their designated area, ensuring that search engine users looking for their services see these businesses appear at the top of the SERP.
2. Facebook Ads
Although the company that owns the Facebook social media platform is now known as Meta,
Both Facebook and Facebook Ads have retained their original names.
This digital advertising platform is primarily intended to target audiences as well as Facebook users, giving it a potential reach of over 2.9 billion users.
One of the stand-out features of Facebook Ads is its integration with the social media platform’s data, enabling advertisers to use highly granular audience targeting options. In other words, advertising on Facebook Ads lets advertisers target users using the same demographic criteria as those they can find on the social media site.
While advertisers can use these options to promote any brand, product, or service, Facebook Ads is a digital advertising platform particularly suited for eCommerce marketing campaigns. The high precision of the audience targeting tools is ideal for attracting high-intent customers.
Advertisers looking to use Facebook Ads can reach audiences on any of Meta’s properties, including Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and the Meta Audience Network. Facebook ad types and formats include static images, video ads, carousel ads, slideshows, Instant Experiences (fullscreen ads), Stories ads, and Collection ads.
3. Microsoft Advertising (formerly Bing Ads)
Microsoft Advertising, also called Microsoft Ads, is the technology giant’s digital advertising platform. Formerly known as MSN adCenter, Microsoft adCenter, and Bing Ads, Microsoft Advertising is one of the “Big Three” pay-per-click (PPC) platforms, initially launched in 2006 to compete with Google and Yahoo’s equivalents.
Advertisers today may be familiar with its previous name, Bing Ads, which was the platform’s longest-lived name: in use from 2012 until a rebranding in 2019.
Partnering with Microsoft Ads allows marketers, brand managers, and advertisers to reach audiences on various Microsoft-owned digital properties, including MSN.com, AOL, Yahoo, and the Bing search engine.
According to Microsoft data, the digital advertising platform can reach over 653 million users monthly on the Microsoft Search Network and up to 250 million unique users through its display and native advertising channels.
Advertisers running campaigns with Microsoft Ads can launch various ad types grouped into four categories: Search ad campaigns, Dynamic search ad campaigns, audience campaigns, and Microsoft Shopping Campaigns. The platform supports text ads, native ads, search ads on Bing, display ads, multimedia ads, and mobile-only app install ads.
Microsoft Ads has numerous convenient features to help advertisers launch new campaigns or transition from another digital advertising platform. For instance, Microsoft Ads features a campaign importation feature allowing you to easily move your ad campaigns from Google Ads to Microsoft Ads.
The platform also features robust analytics and data reporting features, comprehensive geo-targeting functionality, and a comprehensive resource base for building engaging ad creatives.
4. Instagram Ads
Although Meta owns both Facebook and Instagram, the two social media platforms have retained separate digital advertising platforms due to their many essential differences. Consequently, the best way to advertise on Instagram is to use the dedicated Instagram Ads platform.
As a digital advertising platform, Instagram Ads leverage the same high-granularity audience targeting features as Facebook Ads toward Instagram users, allowing advertisers and marketers to reach up to 2 billion active users monthly with highly relevant ads.
The typical Instagram ad uses native advertising to reach potential customers. Ad content managed with Instagram Ads and posted on the social media platform is designed to have the same overall appearance as a standard Instagram post, the only difference is that sponsored posts have a Sponsored label identifying them as paid ads.
Instagram Ads supports eight ad formats: standard Image ads, Story ads, Carousel ads, Explore ads, Reels ads, video ads, Shopping ads, and Collection ads.
Each ad format supports a selection of goals and objectives, letting advertisers decide which aspects of their business to grow with Instagram ad campaigns. For instance, you can configure Instagram image ads to boost engagement, drive more traffic, or increase sales. The digital advertising platform also lets you configure various call-to-action (CTA) buttons, such as “Apply Now,” “Contact Us,” or “Download.”
As an additional convenience feature, advertisers and digital marketers using the Meta Ad Manager to manage ad campaigns on Facebook Ads can also access and manage Instagram Ads campaigns from Facebook’s ad manager using the same dashboard. You can also create ads through Instagram directly, making it possible to generate high-quality ad creatives that fit easily in Instagram posts.
5. Amazon Ads
Amazon Advertising, formerly known as Amazon Marketing Services (AMS), is the online eCommerce giant’s PPC digital advertising platform, initially launched in 2012.
As of April 2023, Amazon Ads is the world’s third-largest digital advertising platform, behind Google Ads and Facebook Ads.
The primary goal of Amazon Ads is to allow advertisers to promote their brands and products on Amazon, the world’s largest eCommerce platform. While the platform is available to any individual with an active Amazon Seller Central account, Amazon Ads opens its full suite of functionality to certified Amazon Vendors with active Vendor Central accounts.
Amazon Ads supports three types of ad campaigns: Sponsored Brand Ads, Sponsored Product Ads, and Product Display Ads.
- Sponsored Brand Ads, formerly Headline Search Ads, can display up to three different products in a Sponsored section of the Amazon search results page. They are highly effective for building brand awareness with potential customers as they are intended to reach shoppers near the start of their product searching process.
- Sponsored Product Ads appear among search results, displaying ads for sponsored products in the top row. Sponsored Product Ads are generated based on the shopper’s keywords, making them an ideal solution for advertisers looking to attract customers with high purchasing intent.
- Product Display Ads appear near the Add to Cart section in the bottom right corner of a product page. They typically display a single sponsored product and are intended to reach shoppers about to add a product to their cart. Product Display Ads are intended to steer customer decisions and entice them to check out your offers before adding items to the cart.
6. TikTok Ads
Although TikTok was launched in September 2016, making it one of the youngest social media and digital advertising platforms on the market, its audience grew to exceed 1 billion active users monthly. Part of TikTok’s meteoric success is due to its digital advertising platform, TikTok Ads.
While advertising space on TikTok is a relatively simple process, this digital ad platform offers unique ad formats and types that no other platforms provide.
As a short-form video-sharing application, all ads on TikTok revolve around the video content posted. Ad types include In-feed ads, Brand Takeover ads, Branded Hashtag ads, Branded Effects ads, TopView ads, and Spark Ads.
- In-feed ads are TikTok’s equivalent of native ads. They showcase personalized selections of sponsored video content on users’ For You feed.
- Brand Takeover ads are highly competitive full-screen ads that can display static images or video creatives. Only one brand can use Brand Takeover daily, increasing exclusivity and engagement.
- Branded Hashtag ads, also called Branded Hashtag challenges, are unique ads inviting TikTok users to participate actively in a brand’s advertising effort. They typically feature games or challenges featuring a particular brand or product, encouraging users to create content around a specific theme.
- Branded Effects ads allow advertisers to design ad creatives with TikTok filters, which other users can integrate into their content. A Branded Effect can last up to 10 days and may significantly boost user engagement and brand awareness.
- TopView ads are displayed to users who open the app for the first time during the day. They contain longer ad creatives, up to 60 seconds long, offering advertisers opportunities to tell stories or showcase products in a longer format.
Taboola is a digital advertising platform specializing in content discovery. Taboola can reach up to 1 billion web users with over 360 billion content recommendations monthly, making it the world leader in digital content discovery platforms.
Ads served through Taboola can be seen on various high-profile websites in numerous languages, including Bloomberg, NBC News, MSN, The Independent, Le Figaro, and the Weather Channel. Consequently, advertisers partnering with Taboola can showcase their products and services online to an engaged worldwide target audience.
When creating a new ad campaign on Taboola, the platform lets you choose from five possible marketing goals, tailoring your campaign to your needs. For example, you can configure your Taboola campaign to boost online purchases, increase your website traffic and engagement, generate more leads, increase brand awareness, or incite users to install a mobile app.
Taboola’s audience targeting tools are designed to be as precise as possible. Advertisers can target users by geographic area (filter by country, postal code, city, state, or region), platform (desktop, mobile, or tablet), Internet connection type (wired or wireless), operating system, and web browser.
The digital advertising platform also includes comprehensive brand safety settings, including options to block specific sites from displaying your ads.
BidVertiser was founded in 2003, making it one of the oldest players in the digital advertising industry. This 100% self-serve digital ad platform serves over 80,000 clients worldwide and can reach audiences in 196 countries. Advertisers that partner with BidVertiser can bid on over 3 billion ad impressions daily from reputable worldwide publishers, and the platform claims over 1.5 million monthly conversions.
BidVertiser is known in the digital advertising industry as a fully self-serve demand-side platform (DSP), giving advertisers and brand managers complete control over their digital advertising campaigns and how their brand is presented. The platform features an extensive suite of ad campaign management and automation tools, allowing businesses and companies to run fully-automated ad campaigns regardless of their budget.
BidVertiser supports numerous ad types and formats. The most popular options are native ads, push notification ads, pop-unders, slider ads, and desktop and mobile XML feeds.
Additionally, BidVertiser’s audience targeting parameters are robust and highly comprehensive, allowing advertisers to target audiences by geographic area, operating system, device type, browser, mobile carrier, and internet service provider (ISP). Advanced targeting options, such as IAB categories, time of day, and contextual targeting, are also available.
AdRoll is another early player in the digital advertising industry, founded in 2006. This California-based digital advertising platform is primarily aimed at eCommerce marketers and brand managers.
The platform offers a powerful campaign management platform suitable for businesses of all sizes. Over 120,000 brands have used the platform to boost revenue and meet their business objectives, boasting a return on investment (ROI) of $3 to $10 for every $1 spent.
AdRoll can serve four categories of ads: web ads, social ads, native ads, and video ads.
- Web ads include static and dynamic banners, HTML5-powered banners, and in-banner video ads.
- Social ads are designed to appear on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram and include single-image static ads, carousel ads, dynamic ads, and out-stream video ads.
- Native ads can be either static or dynamic and are intended to blend into the publisher’s content. Both types typically feature large-format creatives with minimal text.
- Video ads served through AdRoll may feature up to 1 GB file sizes. Although any duration from 1 second to 30 minutes is supported, the platform recommends a creative length of 30 seconds for maximum impact and engagement.
BuySellAds is a PPC digital advertising platform with a unique value proposition: a real-time ad inventory marketplace, allowing advertisers to instantly buy quality spaces from premium publishers and boost fill rates.
Advertisers on the BuySellAds digital advertising platform can create and manage many ad types. You can choose from more common ad types, such as native ads, display ads, and sponsored content, to more specialized forms of your advertising online, such as podcast ads and email newsletter ads.
While the platform’s dashboard and features are designed for ease of use, advertisers who need help setting up and managing campaigns can access BuySellAds’s dedicated support team, maximizing campaign management efficiency.
11. Twitter Ads
Twitter Ads is the leading solution for advertisers looking to showcase their brand and products on Twitter, the world’s most well-known microblogging platform and one of the top social media sites.
Advertising with Twitter Ads is an opportunity to reach a target audience of up to 450 million active users monthly with high engagement rates. Although ads served on Twitter are less frequent or visible than equivalents on other major social media ad networks, they generate less “ad fatigue,” resulting in higher viewer interest and more effective ad campaigns.
Twitter’s digital advertising platform offers seven Twitter ad formats unique to the network, offering advertisers numerous ways to have social media ads reach its highly engaged members. They include Promoted Ads, Follower Ads, Twitter Amplify, Twitter Takeover, Twitter Live, Dynamic Product Ads, and Collection Ads.
According to Twitter statistics, advertisers that use at least 3 of their unique ad formats to promote their sponsored brands, products, or services benefit from 20% higher campaign awareness and 7% more purchase intent.
Build and Manage Your Advertising Campaigns with CodeFuel
Starting a new advertising campaign with the digital advertising platform of your choice is typically a simple process. However, defining your goals and continuously building, managing, and optimizing your campaign requires attention and proper resource management.
The best way to ensure your ad campaign performs as expected and reaches your business objectives is to partner with CodeFuel. Our team can help you through the processes of managing and optimizing your ad campaigns, regardless of the digital ad platform you choose. Contact us today to get started.