Online ads are everywhere. The average consumer is exposed to thousands of brand messages every day, from ads displayed on their favorite web pages to sponsored content on social media.

As a marketer, the sheer quantity of ads out there makes your job harder. In order for your online ads to get seen, get clicked, and turn into conversions, you need to put your ads in the right places, the right way.
“There are 5 million some-odd advertisers on Facebook alone,” said Ryan Bonifacino, CMO of eCommerce brand TomorrowSleep. “Everyone is competing for the same eyeballs. You can’t just press a button and make money. You need to be strategic.”
In this guide, we’ll break down the many different types of online ads available to you, to help you build your own online advertising strategy based on your specific brand.

Social Media Ads


Facebook Ads

If your target demographic is on Facebook, Facebook advertising can be an extremely effective way to get potential customers to click and convert. When used as part of a retargeting campaign, you can seriously supercharge your traffic (and your sales).

There are several types of Facebook Ads to know about, which we’ll go through now.

Boosted Page Posts

If you post something to your business’ Facebook page, you have the chance to pay to boost it, amplifying that post’s reach. You’ll have the chance to target the audience you want your post to reach, as well as the amount of money you’d like to spend boosting said post. It will look like any other Facebook post in users’ feeds, with the addition of the word “Sponsored” at the top.
Why do it: If you have a particular post that is earning high engagement or is particularly helpful for brand awareness, this could be a useful strategy. You are likely to receive higher Facebook engagement from these ads but may not see as many clicks over to your website. Since you don’t have a limit on ad copy length, these posts may work for you if you have a longer message you want to serve readers.
Where these ads appear:

Facebook newsfeed (mobile and desktop)

Specs for best results:

Headline: 25 characters or less

Ad copy: Unlimited

Link description: 30 characters or less

Image size: 1,200 x 628 pixels

Link Click Ads

Link Click Ads are the Facebook ads most commonly used and what you see the most on your own feed. With a Link Click Ad, you can promote your website or a specific landing page. Facebook users can like, share, and comment on your ad as if it were a post, potentially earning you some engagement. Clicking the ad or the call to action button will take them to a landing page of your choosing.
Important note: Any Facebook ad containing an image with text overlay can not contain more than a 20% text-to-image ratio, or Facebook with disapprove the ad. To check to make sure your images follow the guidelines, you can use Facebook’s Text Overlay Check.

Why do it: This is an upfront way to get Facebook users back onto a specific site or landing page. If you’ve set up that landing page to convert and are targeting the right people, you should see a decent ROI.

Where these ads appear:

Facebook newsfeed (mobile and desktop)

Facebook sidebar

Specs for best results:

Headline: 25 characters or less

Ad copy: 125 characters or less

Link description: 30 characters

Image size: 1,200 x 628 pixels

Video Ads

Video ads are link click ads, but with video instead of an image.

Why do it: Cisco expects video to power 80% of all (yes, all) internet traffic by 2019, and 64% of social media users say they’re more likely to buy a product after watching a video, according to Adweek.

Where these ads appear:

Facebook newsfeed (Mobile and Desktop)

Audience Network

Specs for best results:

Ad copy text: 125 characters or less

Video length maximum: Up to 240 minutes, but top performing ads are under 30 seconds.

Video file size: 4GB max

Video aspect ratio: 9:16 to 16:9

Video Format: .MOV, MP4, or .GIF files

Video captions: Optional, but recommended as the majority of users watch videos without sound.

Optional video link description: 30 characters

Optional headline with video link: 25 characters

Dynamic Product Ads (DPAs)

Dynamic Product Ads target Facebook users based on their behavior on your website. With a Facebook Pixel installed on your site, you can upload your product catalogue to Facebook so that the ads will display products your potential customers have clicked.
Check out our complete guide on Dynamic Product Ads for more information.

Why do it: This highly-personalized brand of retargeting will put your products in front of users who have already displayed an interest in them (by clicking on them on your site) greatly increasing your chance of a conversion.

Where these ads appear:

Facebook Newsfeed (Mobile and Desktop)

Facebook Sidebar

Marketplace (Where Facebook users can buy/sell items locally)

Specs for best results:

Single image size: 1200 x 628 pixels

Carousel: 2-5 images (or 2-30 images for mobile) with a 1×1 ratio of 600 x 600 pixels

Headline: 25 characters

Ad copy: 125 characters

Link Description: 30 characters or less

Carousel Ads (AKA Multi-product ads)

Carousel ads are an amazing way to show multiple products to potential customers on Facebook. Stats show carousel ads perform up to 10 times better than static ads, with a 30% to 50% lower cost-per-conversion (CPC). For eCommerce advertisers hoping to promote different products (or whose ideal customer might be interested in different products), this can be invaluable.

Why do it: You can show a range of products to audiences who may be interested in your offerings, increasing the chances of them seeing something they like.

Where these ads appear:

Facebook Newsfeed (Mobile and Desktop)

Specs for best results:

Carousel images: 1080 x 1080 or 600 x 600

Headline: 25 characters

Ad copy: 125 characters

Link description: 30 characters

Instagram Ads

Instagram is a mobile social media platform with a heavy focus on photo and video. Instagram ads are integrated with Facebook ad manager, making it seamless and easy to market on Facebook and Instagram simultaneously, while making use of Facebook’s user information and targeting resources.
There are four types of Instagram ads to choose from: Photo ads, video ads, carousel ads, and stories ads.

Photo Ads

A photo ad is the “standard” Instagram ad appearing in a user’s feed, giving a brand the opportunity to catch an Instagram user’s eye through compelling visual content. Photo ads appear much like organic content, but they accompany a “sponsored” disclaimer and a call to action button, that allows users to click over from Instagram to a designated landing page. You can choose your CTA button based on the action you’d like user’s to complete: Book Now, Call Now, Contact Us, Learn More, and Shop Now are all options.

Why do it: Photos are the backbone of Instagram’s feed — and with 800 million monthly active users and an estimated $6.84 billion in mobile ad revenue this year, it can be a lucrative place to spend your ad dollars.

Where these ads appear:

Instagram feeds in the mobile app

Specs for best results:

Ad copy type: up to 125 characters

Recommended image size: 1080 x 1080 px or 1200 x 628 px

Image format: .jpg or .png

Max. file size: 30mb

Video Ads

While Instagram was built on photos, Video is also carving out a major spot for itself on the social platform (time spent watching Instagram video increases 80% year over year.)

Why do it: Video provides the opportunity to tell a longer, more dynamic story beyond a simple photo: With video lengths up to 60 seconds, you can show off your products or entice potential customers with a video.

Where these ads appear:

Instagram feeds in the mobile app

Specs for best results:

Ad copy text: up to 125 characters

Media type: video

Recommended video resolution: 600 x 600 px or 600 x 315 px

Aspect Ratio: 1:1 (square) or 1.9:1 (landscape)

Minimum resolution: 600 x 600 px

Maximum resolution: 1080 x 1080 px

Minimum length: 3 seconds

Maximum length: 60 seconds

Maximum size: 4GB

Maximum frame rate: 30 frames-per-second

Video format: .mp4

Save settings: H.264 video compression, high profile preferred, square pixels, fixed frame rate, progressive scan

Carousel ads

Carousel ads on Instagram work much like Carousel ads on Facebook: Users can swipe through a series of images or videos. These can be simple product images to give users a feel for your offerings, or they can be lifestyle videos that tell a story.

Why do it: Carousel ads offer you creative space to get your message across with up to 10 images or videos. If you’re looking to showcase the versatility of your product or offering or have plenty of creative assets to showcase, this is a great way to make the most of them.

Where these ads appear:

Instagram feeds in the mobile app

Specs for best results:

Ad copy: up to 125 characters

Media type: image or video

Recommended resolution: 600 x 600 px minimum, 1080 x 1080 px maximum

Image format: .jpg or .png

Minimum carousel cards:  2

Maximum carousel cards: 10

Image ratio: 1:1

Video aspect ratio: 1:1

Minimum video length: 3 seconds

Maximum video length: 60 seconds

Stories Ads

Instagram stories are Instagram’s more real-time feature, where users can post images and videos in a slideshow format, which disappear after 24 hours. Stories have an extremely large engaged viewership (300 million daily viewers) with more than half of Instagram users viewing Stories daily. Instagram stories have increased time spent on Instagram to 28 minutes per day.
With Instagram Stories, brands have the opportunity to connect with viewers in a more personal way, encourage engagement, and link directly to specific landing pages through a “swipe up” feature.

Why do it:  Because Stories only stay up on your account for 24 hours (unless you save them to your profile as a “highlight,” stories are ideal places to share promotions or campaigns with a sense of urgency to them, encouraging users to swipe up immediately to arrive at a specific landing page on your site.

Where these ads appear:

Instagram Stories in the mobile app

Specs for best results:

Ad Copy: Must be part of the image file or uploaded as text in each Instagram story

Image or Video Format: Full screen vertical ad (9:16)

Recommended Resolution: 1080 x 1920

Minimum Resolution: 600 x 1067

File types: .jpg or .png

Max. image size: 30MB

Twitter Ads

Twitter is a fast-moving platform that can be powerful for brand awareness — but with hundreds of millions of tweets posted every single day, you need to be strategic in order to be seen and heard. There are multiple ad types to choose from on Twitter, depending on your strategy: Promoted Tweets, Promoted Accounts, and Promoted Trends.

Promoted Tweets

A promoted tweet allows marketers to pay to put their brands’ tweets in front of more users, even if those users aren’t following the brand on Twitter. The tweet can be favorited and shared just like any normal tweet. The only visual difference between a normal tweet and a promoted tweet is the small “promoted” disclosure at the bottom.

Why do it: Boosted tweets still appear natural in people’s feeds, so you can get your brand in front of new eyes in a way that feels non-invasive. With the wide selection of targeting audiences, you can make sure you’re reaching users relevant to your brand.

Where these ads appear:

Targeted users’ feeds

On user profiles

At the top of related search results

Twitter mobile and desktop apps


Headline: 70 characters

Tweet copy: 280 characters

Description: 200 characters

Minimum image size: 120 px by 120 px

Maximum file size: 1MB

Formats accepted: .png, .jpg, .gif

Aspect ratio: 2:1

Promoted Accounts

The promoted accounts feature allows marketers to target Twitter users in your niche who don’t yet follow you (but should!) A “follow” button makes it easy for the user to begin following you. A disclosure identifying your account as promoted is always at the bottom of these suggestions.

Why do it: If you’re a brand with a small following or are simply trying to expand your organic reach, promoting your account can earn you real followers you can begin to reach with tweets. Make sure you target users who fit squarely in your niche, to avoid impulse followers who will unfollow you if your content doesn’t suit them.

Where these ads appear:

Users’ feeds

The “who to follow” suggestions box

Relevant search results

Promoted Trends

Twitter users are able to view trending topics and hashtags, AKA what twitter is talking about most at any particular moment. When you promote a trend, you can promote a specific hashtag to appear at the top of that list.

Why do it: Promoting a trend is particularly helpful if you are creating a timely marketing campaign that warrants its own hashtag. By placing your hashtag in the highly-visible “trending” section, you encourage others to spread brand awareness and share user-generated content using that hashtag.

Where these ads appear:

On users’ timelines

The Explore tab

The “trending topics” sidebar


Promoted trends appear as hashtags.

May not imply affiliation with Twitter or other brands/organizations/people without permission. You can read the full rules here.

Promoted trend must be relevant to your offering or brand

No adult/sexual content permitted

No profanity or offensive language allowed in promoted trends

SnapChat Ads

Snapchat is a closed-circuit social media platform where users can send videos and messages to their friends. You can choose between a few different ad options to reach an engaged audience.

Snap Ads

Snap ads are short, full-screen vertical videos up to 10 seconds long. You can manage snap ads through Snapchat’s self-serve ad filter.

Why do it: With over 300 million active users and over 400 million snaps sent every day, you can reach an active and young demographic (71% of Snapchatters are under 35, with 41% of 18-34 year olds using the platform daily).

Where these ads appear:

Snapchat discovery

In between users’ stories


Width: 1080 pixels

Height: 1920 pixels

Aspect Ratio: 9:16

Format: .MP4, .MOV, H.264 encoded

Audio: 2 channels only, PCM or AAC codec, 192 minimum kbps, 16 or 24 bit only, 48 KHz sample rate

Length: 3 to 10 seconds

File Size: 32MB or less

Sponsored Geofilters

Sponsored Geofilters on Snapchat are custom Snapchat filters that users can overlay over their snaps.

Why do it: This gives users the opportunity to interact with your branding in a tangible way. They are relatively easy to make and don’t require a huge advertising budget, making them a cost-effective way to deepen relationships with potential customers.

Where these ads appear:

In user Snap customization features


Width: 1080 pixels

Height: 1920 pixels

Format: .png with transparent background

Maximum file size: 250kb

Sponsored lenses

Sponsored lenses are much like sponsored geofilters, but they give the user the ability to put the filter over their face, using Snapchat’s facial recognition/augmented reality software. You can read Snapchat’s full guide on creating sponsored lenses here.

Why do it: Like sponsored geofilters, sponsored lenses give users the opportunity to interact and “play” with brands in a hands-on way. The additional element of facial-recognition makes the feature extra engaging.


Image file type: .png of logo, transparent background

Layered file type: .png for any static images appearing in the lens

For 2D lenses: include high-res .psd file for any 2D models

For 3DLenses: include 3D Max or Maya files of 3D models

Optional audio: Include .mp3 or .wav files

Tumblr Ads

Tumblr is a social blogging platform with an extremely engaged, active audience: 80 million Tumblr posts publish every day. According to an Adobe report, 70 percent of polled users say Tumblr’s dashboard is their favorite place to hang out online, and Tumblr ranks #1 in positive sentiment toward brands and ads. Depending on your goals, you can choose between Sponsored Posts, Sponsored Video Posts, and Sponsored Days.

Sponsored Posts

Sponsored posts appear in the feeds (called “dashboards”) of Tumblr users, while still maintaining the general feel of natural, organic content. When brands are strategic in promoting content that feels natural on a Tumblr feed, they can see great success. For example, television channel FX promoted their show Man Seeking Woman using Tumblr sponsored posts. By using editorial content that would naturally appear in a user’s feed (GIFs, photography, comedic copy, etc;) they were able to generate interest for their show in a way that feels fun, not forced.

Why do it: Tumblr’s audience is engaged and curious. According to a Tumblr survey, over half of Tumblr’s audience has taken action on a sponsored post or gone on to research a sponsor afterward.

Where these ads appear:

Tumblr user dashboards

They can also be syndicated to Yahoo for increased reach


Static image file type: .jpg or .png

Static image recommended dimensions: 540 x 750px

Static image maximum dimensions: 1280 x 1920px

Static image maximum file size: 10mb

Animated GIF file type: .gif

Animated GIF recommended dimensions: 540 x 750px

Animated GIF maximum dimensions: 540 x 750 px

Animated GIF maximum file size: 3mb

Audio file type: .mp3 or embed

Audio maximum file size: 10mb

Sponsored Video Posts

Sponsored videos are similar in format to normal sponsored posts, save for they are — you guessed it — in video form. The added bonus to Video posts is that the videos autoplay in Tumblr dashboards as they scroll down the page, encouraging views and engagement.

Why do it: Video is a more engaging medium than other formats on social media. Combined with Tumblr’s autoplay feature, you can encourage interactions and shares, increasing brand awareness.

Where these ads appear:

Tumblr dashboards


Video file type: .mp4, .m4v or .mov

Video recommended dimensions: 650 x 480

Video maximum file size: 1GB

Sponsored Days

Marketers wanting to go all out with a brand awareness campaign should consider Tumblr’s Sponsored Day option. When you Sponsor a day, you can pin your logo and a tagline to all user dashboards for 24 hours. When users click it, they’re brought to a tab in the explore page where they can view content you’ve curated specifically for the campaign.

Why do it: This is an extremely powerful top-of-funnel strategy for widespread brand awareness across an actively engaged social platform.

Where these ads appear:

Logo, tagline, and link pinned to the top of user dashboards

Curated content on special “explore page” tab


Dashboard banner file type: .jpg or .png

Dashboard banner dimensions: 1080×432

Dashboard banner max file size: 3mb

Dashboard GIF file type: .gif

Dashboard GIF dimensions: 540 x 216

Dashboard GIF max file size: 3mb

Call to Action: 30 characters of copy, sentence case

Pinterest Ads

Pinterest is different from other social platforms in that it is used less to communicate with friends and family and more as a place to compile ideas, find inspiration and create boards of things they like. That can make it an interesting place to host ads, especially if your product answers a specific problem a Pinterest user may find interesting.

Promoted Pins

Promoted pins are sponsored pins that appear in targeted users’ feeds.

Why do it: 61% of Pinterest users found new brands through Promoted Pins, with half of pinners making purchases through promoted pins.  

Where these ads appear:

Desktop Pinterest feeds

Mobile Pinterest feeds


Minimum image size: 600px by 900px

Maximum image size: 1080px by 2100px

Format: .jpg, .png, .gif

Aspect Ratio: 2:3 to 1:3.5

Small Thumbnail: 69px by 69px

Large Thumbnail: 216px by 146px

Pinterest Video Ads

You can also promote pins with videos in them, which is especially effective for product demonstrations. These videos autoplay in Pinterest feeds as the user scrolls.
You can promote a video in two sizes/formats:
Why do it: Video can increase conversions up to 80% over standard ads. With autoplay features in users’ feeds, users are encouraged to stop and engage with the content.


Video file type: .mp4 or .mov

Save settings: H.264 encoded

Minimum length: 4 seconds

Maximum length: 30 minutes

Recommended length: 10-20 seconds

Maximum size: 2gb

Max width video aspect ratio: 1×1

Widescreen video aspect ratio: 16×9

Recommended resolution: 240 ppi

Recommended frame rate: 25 fps

YouTube Ads

Youtube trails just behind Google as the 2nd-most searched platform on the internet, with more than a billion hours of YouTube content viewed every single day. That’s why some experts estimate that 80% of all internet traffic will be related to video content by 2021.
Marketers can capitalize on this traffic by placing ads on YouTube videos within the platform. There are six types of YouTube ads to choose from:

Skippable Video Ads

Skippable video ads, also known as TrueView ads, are a great way to encourage brand engagement. TrueView ads can be skipped after five seconds, so the first few seconds of your clip are extremely important.

Why do it: TrueView ads reach a wide audience since you’re essentially reaching traffic from the world’s two biggest search engines (while your ads are designed for Youtube, they can also appear on other publisher sites in the Google Display network if you choose it). That doesn’t mean they work for everyone: A 2017 survey found that 76% of users immediately skip an ad as soon as the option becomes available (even if the product is relevant to them).

Even still, these ads are low risk: You only need to pay for an ad if a user watches at least 30 seconds.

Where these ads appear:

At the beginning of monetized Youtube videos


Varies based on specific campaign goals. You can read more about video ad requirements here.

Non-Skippable Ads

Non-skippable ads are fairly self-explanatory: They are video ads that users cannot skip in order to move on to their content. Brands can pay for these ads on a CPM basis (cost per mille, or cost per thousand impressions). While this gives brands the opportunity to tell a longer story, brands also run the risk of annoying viewers with their intrusive ads — which is why YouTube no longer allows 30-second non-skippable ads, opting instead for 15 or 20-second ones.

Why do it: Non-skippable ads can be a good idea if you need the full duration of an ad to get your message across or tell a story. Just be strategic and careful not to annoy potential customers.

Where these ads appear:

At the beginning of monetized Youtube videos


Maximum length: 15 or 20 seconds

Other specs vary based on specific campaign goals. You can read more about video ad requirements here.

Bumper Ads
While a bumper ad is also non-skippable, they typically only last 6 seconds which makes them less intrusive than a full-length non-skippable ad. Bumper ads are also charged on a CPM basis.

Why do it: Their short length can tell a quick, powerful story that increases brand awareness without irritating the user. What’s more, the shorter time frame makes them great for mobile views.

Where these ads appear:

At the beginning of monetized Youtube videos


Maximum length: 6 seconds

Other specs vary based on specific campaign goals. You can read more about video ad requirements here.

Overlay Ads

Overlay ads are very similar to display ads — but instead of appearing on a website, they “overlay” atop a video (typically at the bottom). Google has a great guide on how to successfully set up an overlay ad.

Why do it: Overlay ads can contribute to brand awareness while seeming less intrusive than a longer video ad a user needs to watch.

Where these ads appear:

Overlaid atop monetized Youtube videos


Overlay image file type: .gif, .png, .jpg

Overlay image file size: 150 kb

Companion banner file type: .gif, .png, .jpg

Companion banner file size: 150 kb

Display Ads

Just like on other search engines, you have the option to display ads on Youtube. Bonus: You can manage your Display ads on Youtube within AdWords, effectively killing two birds with one stone.

Why do it: Display ads are unobtrusive and effective in contributing to brand awareness when used in conjunction with a larger ad campaign.

Where these ads appear:

Above video suggestions list in Youtube sidebar


Ad dimensions: 300×250, 300×600

File formats: .gif, .png, .jpg, HTML5

Max File Size: 150KB

Max Animation Time: 30 seconds

Audio: No sound

Cards & Sponsored Cards

Sponsored cards are CTA pop-ups that can appear inside a YouTube video while it is playing. They are unobtrusive, effective, and the call to action encourages engagement. They appear as a small information icon, sometimes accompanied with text that expands when you mouse over.

Why do it: When paired with relevant videos, sponsored cards are a natural way to reach users who can view the ad as an additional resource.

Where these ads appear:

Inside playing Youtube videos


Image format: .jpg, .gif, or .png

Aspect ratio: 1:1

Maximum file Size: 5mb

Reddit Ads

Reddit ads blend in to look natural on Reddit board, with a headline, optional photo, and destination URL. Marketers pay for Reddit Ads with bids, setting budgets and choosing campaign budgets. A feature unique to Reddit ads is comments/voting: Reddit users can upvote or downvote your ad, just as they can with regular Reddit posts. This can be a useful way to receive and implement feedback about your ad.

Why do it: Like Tumblr, Reddit has an extremely active and engaged niche audience. Plus, Reddit has some unique targeting options (you can target by interest/location/device as well as target specific subreddits with highly-engaged niche audiences)  that make for a good ROI with low cost-per-impressions.

Where these ads appear:

Reddit boards


Headline: 300 Character max

Thumbnail aspect ratio: 4×3

Thumbnail size: 400×300

Thumbnail format: .jpg, .png

Thumbnail maximum size: 500kb

Card Image size: 1200x628px

Card formats: .jpg, .png

Maximum card file size: 1mb

Card aspect ratio: 1.91×1

Click through URL: Must be HTTPS if link post

Call-to-Action copy: See more about CTAs here.


The cost of PPC (pay-per-click) ads is conditioned on how many users click on your ads. Google Adwords uses a PPC model. You can read our guide to getting started with PPC and Google Adwords here.
There are a number of different PPC options to choose from, including:

Google Search Ads

Google Search ads are sponsored search results that appear at the top (or alongside) related search queries in Google. For example, if a user searches “sweaters,” marketers can pay to have their search results appear at the top of the SERP. Google Search Ads are PPC and you manage them in Google Adwords.

Why do it: Google search ads give marketers the opportunity to capitalize on the relevant interests of potential customers. Since they are searching for related content already, there is an increased chance that the user would be interested in your product offering.

Where these ads appear:

Google SERPs

Text ad and dynamic search specs:

Headline 1 30 characters
Headline 2 30 characters
Headline 3 30 characters
Description 1 90 characters
Description 2 90 characters

Source: Google Help

Google Shopping Ads

Google Shopping Ads (GSAs) are similar to Google Search Ads but work specifically when Google Users are using the search engine to browse and hop products. GSAs show users product photos alongside, titles, prices, and store/brand name. These ads are targeted by product name and category rather than keyword, and Google uses the product specs you provide each of your products (size/color/brand/price) to decide what products are relevant to show.

In this instance, a user could search “Purple Cashmere Sweater” and Google would place shoppable photos/links at the top and top-right corner of the search results.

Why do it: GSAs can deliver an excellent return-on-investment (ROI), outperforming other ads by 100%.

Where these ads appear:

Top of SERPS

Top-right of SERPS


Read a detailed description of shopping product specifications here.

You can read our full guide to Google Shopping Ads here.  

Google Display Ads

Display ads are a type of banner ad, used within the Google Display Network. With the Google Display Network, sites agree to host display Google Ads in exchange for a cut of the money when users click them. The Display Network includes other Google-owned sites like Youtube, Blogger, Gmail, and so on. You can set these up using Google Adwords.

Why do it: Display ads assist in increasing overall brand awareness. You only pay for the ads when someone clicks on them, and you can set a Google Adwords budget to make sure you don’t overspend.


You can read a detailed guideline on Display Ad formats and specifications here.

Retargeting Ads

Retargeting ads use cookies to serve ads to users who have already visited your site. During a retargeting campaign, the site attaches cookies to site visitors, noting what products and pages that visitor clicks. Later, marketers can display ads to those visitors based on the pages they visited. So, if a user clicks around on a couple sweaters but then bounces from the page without converting, you can serve ads highlighting those products to them, reminding them about products they’ve already displayed an interest in.

Why do it: Because they’re served to users who have already shown interest in the products, retargeting ads have click-through-rates (CTRs) 10x higher than typical display ads.


You can read a detailed guideline on retargeting  formats and specifications here.

You can read our full guide to setting up a retargeting campaign here.

Other Paid Ads


Gmail Ads

Gmail ads are contextual ads that appear similar to an email at the top of a user’s inbox. Up until last year, Gmail used to scan the context of a users’ inbox to determine which ads to serve them, based on their interests and discussed topics. Gmail did away with that practice in 2017, but it continues to serve ads based on information collected through other Google properties, such as Google and Youtube searches.

Why do it: When used strategically, a Gmail ad can contribute to overall brand awareness while also driving visitors to your website or landing page. This is a good guide on ways to use Gmail ads correctly.

Where these ads appear:

Top of Gmail inbox in the “promotions” tab


Minimum logo size: 144px by 144px

Maximum size: 150kb

Aspect ratio: 1:1

Business name: Max 20 characters

Headline: Max 25 characters

In-Game Ads

In-game ads exist within computer games, video games, and mobile games. They can take any number of forms, from pop-ups, to videos that run during loading screens.

Why do it: In-game ads are typically a brand awareness play. They can be effective, particularly when the product offering is relevant to the game in question.

Where these ads appear:

Inside games


Will vary significantly from game to game. Get in touch with the specific games or platforms you are interested in working with.

In-App Ads

Like in-game ads, mobile app ads exist inside (typically free) mobile apps. They can be pop-ups, video ads, or banners at the top, bottom, or corner of the app. App creators can earn revenue from their apps by signing up for AdMob, which is Google’s mobile advertising platform.

These can take the place of text ads, banner ads, or HTML5 interstitials ads.

Why do it: Also like in-game ads, in-app ads are typically used primarily for brand awareness, but can also be effective in driving app users to relevant landing pages. Here is a solid guide on how to get started with mobile app advertising.

Where these ads appear:

Inside mobile apps


You can read a detailed guide on AdMob’s various formats and their respective specifications here.

Quora Ads

Quora is one of the largest platforms for online questions and answers. With more than 100 million monthly unique visitors, it’s a great place to reach niche audiences asking and answering questions relevant to your products or brand.

Why do it: Because relevant ads are placed between questions and answers in your particular niche, you can build credibility while reaching customers in the middle-of-funnel research phase, who have taken to Quora to research answers to their problems.


Headline: Maximum 65 characters

Body text: Maximum 105 characters

Display URL: Maximum 30 characters

Read a full guide to Quora ad requirements here.

How do your ads stack up? Stryde is an eCommerce agency empowering eCommerce businesses to leverage online ads for fast growth. Get in touch today.


TJ has worked in the digital marketing space since 2006. He has worked at a number of agencies and and helped hundreds of clients grow their business through SEO, PPC, Social Media and Content Marketing. He currently lives in Lehi , UT and enjoys spending time with his family.