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What are the types of paid visibility in digital advertising?

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Search Engine Marketing, better known by the abbreviation SEM, is a form of digital advertising that utilizes a budget to display your website at the top of search engine results pages. 

Google and Bing! Both sell ad space above organic search results to companies seeking increased visibility. Search Engine Marketing allows for keyword and audience targeting. 

The recommended ad spend budget for search engine marketing campaigns can rely on several factors, such as:

  • Campaign Length
  • Size of Target Market
  • Location of Target Market
  • Competition Present in the Industry of the Target Market
  • And much more. 

Let’s take a deeper look at search engine marketing and why it is still one of the most effective digital advertising strategies. 

Why Should You Run SEM Campaigns?

As stated above, Search Engine Marketing allows businesses to buy the first few listings above the organic search results on Google and Bing! 

“What about search engine optimization?”, you might ask. Well, search engine marketing certainly doesn’t replace SEO, but be an option for many companies. For many companies

Search Engine Optimization can be incredibly competitive, especially in larger markets. Building a competitive enough backlink profile requires months of constant work, especially when a company is new to the advertising industry. 

More so, ranking in a highly competitive market for search terms requires an adequately built, updated, and constantly maintained website. Some companies do not have the budget to create a new website and want to start advertising and gaining visibility. This is the perfect time to run SEM. 

Search engine marketing is always an excellent option to supplement SEO campaigns. Having your business listed at the top of search engine results pages, whether organic or paid, always creates an impression that leads to visits and conversions.

How We Do SEM

Google vs. Bing SEM

Search Engine Marketing is set up and run through dashboards provided by Google or Bing! Deciding which search engine to run a marketing campaign on can be tricky. It all comes down to targeting the right audience.

While many agencies might entirely ignore Bing! as a viable option considering Google has a dominant market share, we have found some shocking results from not ignoring the opportunity to run Bing! ads. Understanding the behavior of your target audience is crucial to deciding where to run SEM campaigns and how much of a budget to allocate to different search engines.

At GriffinWink, we have years of experience and over 25 certifications in search engine marketing. You can rest assured that your next campaign will succeed with our team behind the wheel.

Keyword Analysis

Keywords and Keyphrases are easily among the most critical aspects of designing a search engine marketing campaign. In the past, Google referred to its Ads dashboard as Adwords. Companies (or agencies) decide which words they want to trigger their SEM ads.

Then, when your ad is displayed, if the search user clicks through to their website, you are charged a price determined by the Google algorithm. This is where the term Pay-Per-Click comes from, but we will dive deeper into that shortly.

So what determines if your ad is displayed instead of your competition’s ads when a term is searched? Several factors decide who gets displayed and when. These include how your ad is performing when it is displayed, or quality score, the content on the page you are sending users to, the structure of your ad, and a few other factors.

Understanding keyword and keyphrase strategies can make or break your campaign. While the dashboards of Google and Bing! are helpful to new users, the strategy in search engine marketing is complex and profound. Our talented team of digital advertising specialists knows how to conduct proper keyword research whether you are running campaigns at a local or international level.

What Does PPC Mean?

In the world of SEM, you will commonly hear another acronym – PPC. PPC stands for Pay-Per-Click, which has much to do with how you are billed for search engine marketing campaigns. 

We briefly mentioned above that you only use your budget when a search engine user clicks on your ad. This helps make sure that your search engine marketing ads are fully optimized. 

When an ad is performing well, its budget is used quickly. An ad is less likely to be displayed when it does not perform well. This is because Google wants to deliver the highest level of service for those using its search engine, and when users routinely click on an SEM ad, it signals to Google that it is worth displaying more often. 

Real-Time Evaluation

Since search engine marketing runs off of a PPC design, it gives us the potential to see which ads are performing well and which are struggling. This real-time evaluation of analytics allows us to make changes throughout a campaign as it’s running. 

Evaluating campaigns as they end is no longer enough to demonstrate ROI. With GriffinWink, we constantly monitor your SEM campaigns and make tweaks and adjustments in real-time to create unbelievable results. 

Google Local Services

Google recently launched a new pay-per-lead service for select markets and selected industries. This new service is called Google Local Services and allows businesses to be “Google Guaranteed.” 

To have the “Google Guaranteed” stamp of approval and be able to take advantage of Local Services, businesses must pass a screening process. This process includes verifying licenses, insurance, and third-party employee background checks for any employees serving clients at their homes. 

Customers benefit from using a Google Guaranteed company as they receive a satisfaction guarantee. Google covers claims up to the invoice amount, with a lifetime cap of $2,000.

Where And How Ads Appear

Local Services ads take priority above other Google advertisements. This means if your company is Google Guaranteed and runs Local Services ads, they appear above the map 3-pack and the AdWords results. 

In these Local Services ads, companies can display their name, review rating, city, phone number, and hours. The number of paid listings in different industries varies significantly by region. It is a good rule of thumb to remember that the larger the metro area your business is in, the more competition a Local Services ad will need to compete with.

Are Local Services Ads Worth The Setup Process?

While the setup process for Local Services ads can be time-consuming, it is worth it. Local Services are a new feature for businesses to use in many markets. For this reason, many companies are seeing enormous returns from getting in on the ground floor.  

To learn more about the setup process of Local Services, and to get started on this exciting new opportunity, contact us today.

Display Advertising

Display Advertising is another type of digital advertising. Display Advertising allows you to place visual ads on different websites across the internet. Display ads are a great way to promote new products or offer new promotions. 

While Display ads work similarly to search engine ads, some unique differences are worth understanding fully. While display ads commonly have an excellent conversion rate, creating an effective campaign takes an in-depth strategy and a high level of research.

What Is Display Advertising: Breaking Down The Basics

As noted above, display advertisements allow you to advertise with visual ads on different websites, sometimes even competitor sites. These ads commonly come in a few sizes and are placed in different areas around a webpage.

Banner Ads

Banner ads are a form of display ads that are long and not tall. They are commonly placed at the top of a web page. 

Some websites keep their banner space to themselves for in-house promotions, but many sites, such as news, blogs, and other content creators, sell their “top bar” space to advertisers.

Mobile Ads

The final form of display ads worth noting is mobile ads. Considering that well over half of all web traffic comes from mobile devices, it makes sense that this class is all its own. 

Mobile ads are created specifically for the responsive screens of smartphones and tablets. They have different dimensions and usually a bit of different strategies behind them.

Skyscraper or SideBar Ads

SideBar ads are very tall but not thick. For this reason, they are placed on the side of websites. They are typically just inverse dimensions of banner ads.  

The design of both banner and sidebar ads is tricky, as the dimensions do not allow you to use much text to convey information. Graphics must be clear, obvious, and compelling when designing ads on sidebars or banner locations.

Square and Rectangle Ads

Display ads can also be featured throughout a website’s content. Typically when used throughout the copy of a page, display ads come in square or rectangle form. 

These display ads allow a little more creative freedom regarding what can be included in the visual. That being said, following best practices regarding the amount of text used in ads is still paramount for rectangle and square ads.

YouTube Pre-Roll

YouTube is one of the largest websites in the world. It is so large that it is impossible to know its full scope. What we do know are some blistering statistics that demonstrate its value in the digital marketplace. 

Over 400 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, and over one billion hours of video are watched daily by nearly 2 billion active users. For those in the 18-44 demographic, 90% watch videos on YouTube, and more than half of those in the 75 and over demographic also use YouTube. 

With all this, YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world and the second-most visited website, behind only its parent company, Google, in both categories. For these reasons and many more, YouTube is one of the most worthwhile advertising platforms for businesses. 

How It Works


There are a few different types of YouTube Pre-Roll videos. At its base level, there are two different kinds of Pre-Roll ads – those users can skip and those they cannot.

Unskippable ads come in two forms, 30-second videos, and short 5-second clips. Skippable ads can be anywhere from 30 seconds to several minutes of video. A comprehensive YouTube Pre-Roll strategy includes several videos that fit the ad types listed above.

Strategy is crucial when creating YouTube Pre-Roll videos. Typically, when skippable Pre-Roll ads play, your advertisement has about 5 seconds to capture a user’s attention before they can skip your video. In short, first impressions are indeed everything in the world of Pre-Roll.

Your video advertisements need to immediately capture the viewer’s attention enough to have them continue to watch past when the skip prompt becomes available. To do this, visual hooks and immediate calls to action are necessary to help pull the viewer in to learn more about your business or company and draw them away from the content they want to watch.

With the aforementioned strategic aspects of Pre-Roll, you can see how vital targeting is while launching pre-roll campaigns. Suppose a viewer has no interest in the industry your business operates. In that case, they will most likely skip the video as soon as possible or entirely zone out if they encounter an unskippable advertisement.


All of our YouTube Pre-Roll is created in-house by our production team. We never outsource our work to freelancers or third parties. Since strategy is such a crucial piece of the puzzle when YouTube is concerned, we value having creative control and communication across departments to make sure the final product we create is strategic, attractive, and practical.

Our production team can take existing assets from your company and edit them together to create Pre-Roll videos or do onsite shoots with our wide range of professional video equipment. Our production team utilizes aerial drones, zip line cameras, and movie-quality production equipment to create visually stunning content that separates your business from the pack.


Since YouTube allows users to skip Pre-Roll videos fairly often, strategic targeting is crucial to creating successful campaigns. A central part of our strategy is both retargeting and custom intent.

Retargeting involves showing pre-roll advertisements to viewers who have already visited your website. This is done by detecting cookies on the viewer’s web browser to understand their browsing behavior. Retargeting helps keep your brand in front of viewers’ minds while also driving conversions for website visitors who did not complete the process of becoming a lead or customer during their visit to your site.

Custom Intent allows us to target individuals’ web browsing behaviors outside of just them visiting your website. We can take this a step further and target those who have recently visited your competitor’s websites. This helps educate viewers about your brand when it has been determined they are researching companies that operate in your industry.

Strategic targeting is one of the most powerful tools to ensure that your Pre-Roll campaigns are spending your ad budget in the most beneficial way possible. Combined with our talented in-house production team and years of experience, this strategy creates advertising campaigns that other agencies cannot match.

Native Advertising

Native Advertising has seen a massive uptick in popularity over the last few years as websites continue to see the benefit of regularly posting new content. 

You have probably encountered several native advertisements today as you browsed your favorite local, national, or international news website. You probably didn’t even realize what you saw was an advertisement, as it was displayed to blend in with the page or appear native.

What Is Native Advertising?

Native advertising is a form of paid media where the ad experience follows the natural form and function of the user experience in which it is placed. The largest social platforms in the world monetize with native, in-feed ads, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. 

The publishing industry is quickly following suit, as companies such as Time Inc, Forbes, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and USA Today continue to introduce new advertising integrations on desktop and mobile that match both the form & function of their editorial feeds.

Native Advertising is a way for websites to offer advertising space that does not clash with the overall aesthetic of their website. This also gives your business an added boost as native content blends in with the site’s design and has a higher click-through rate than standard display advertisements. 

Content Creation’s Role In Native

Content Creation plays a massive role in native advertising. If your website is not regularly publishing new content such as blog posts, news articles, or guides, then it will not have any content to display on other sites as native advertisements. 

Native advertising allows us to choose from various topics and interests, which helps your newly created content find users already intrinsically interested in the subject matter. 

Regularly publishing new content benefits search engine optimization strategies and gives your site the potential to utilize this powerful form of digital advertising.

Music Streaming Advertising

Pandora and Spotify have a few key differences worth examining to understand which platform would be the most worthwhile for your business to advertise. Furthermore, the platforms do have specific demographics they cater to. Let’s examine the critical differences between Spotify and Pandora.


Spotify is the most potent streaming platform for streaming and sharing music users already know and love. The median age of Spotify users is lower than that of Pandora. 

Spotify advertisement targeting works a little differently than many might expect. It targets the IP address of a user’s current Spotify session. As Spotify targets the IP address rather than account location information, it allows those visiting from outside the area to be advertised instead of only the local population.

Spotify offers advertisements in three formats – audio, video, and display advertisements. It allows a period of free listening for users in exchange for watching a brief video advertisement or uses the display and audio ads between songs for listeners using their free service. 

Spotify can be listened to on a mobile device or desktop application. Their advertisements run coherently across different platforms, ensuring that no matter what device is being used to stream music, your advertisement will find your target audience. 


Pandora entered the market as the first digital streaming service in 2010. The company’s popularity increased as its users discovered how it helped them discover new music similar to what they were listening to. Pandora’s strength still lies in helping its users discover new music. On average, the median age of Pandora users is higher than that of Spotify.

Pandora also allows for targeting specific audiences based on several different factors ranging from basic demographic info to what and how they listen to Pandora. Pandora also offers the same style of advertisements that Spotify does – 

  • Display
  • Audio
  • Video

That being said, Pandora offers more varieties of choices within those styles of advertisements than Spotify does. Pandora also has a greater variety of platforms from which it can be listened to than Spotify. The most noticeable difference is Pandora comes as a standard application in many new vehicles.  

It is worth noting that Pandora typically requires a higher monthly budget than Spotify advertisements. 

In House Production

Our in-house production team makes all the assets needed to run an advertising campaign on digital streaming platforms. These include display ads, audio commercials, and videos. 

When you decide to begin digital advertising on a streaming service, our digital department will work alongside our graphics and production team to create compelling advertisements. 

As always, you will be at the center of the process, making approvals and suggesting edits throughout production. Once you approve our designs, our digital team will place the ads and target the perfect audience to drive traffic, conversions, and sales.

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