Digital Media – How to Categorize Digital Media Assets (2016)

Either if you are applying your digital media budget on your own (e.g. Facebook) or if you are using a multinational media agency: You should define your budget split in categories that make sense and enable you to compare spendings and results between in an easy way.

When it comes to definition of the sources where to split your budget, the (digital) media industry has created their own vocabulary and sometimes it can be misleading. On top of that they are influenced by the margins they get from their vendors and media sources – so question their studies and advice.

Here is one approach you can to define the categories of your digital media sources with that will make your life easier:



Start with the following:

1. Define your media budget

2. Split your media budget between classical (E.g. TVC, Print, Outdoor) and digital media – if necessary.

3. Out of the digital media budget define the % which will be run across mobile device (especially smartphones)

Note: Programmatic is a buying strategy that can be applied to some of the following categories and is recommended to use as it is highly effective.

Display Media

Definition: All animated or static banners that are displayed on desktop, tablet or smartphone device. Build in HTML5 so they can be delivered across all screens.

–> Important to split the results afterwards or during the live-phase between desktop, tablet and smartphone device to compare.

Standard formats: Try to reduce the selection of formats as much as you can. Sometimes media agencies recommend too much different formats and blame the vendor for it or sell you the variety of formats as chocolate cookies.

Cross device formats: 300×250, 120×600, 728×90, Text and image

Desktop only formats: 160x600300x600

Rich Media are banner formats with special mechanics, mostly used for desktop only media – Oldschool.

Mobile Ads are defined as special Mobile formats that include Interactions e.g. swiping etc. So everything beyond standard display formats.


Split video banners within video serving banners and Pre-Roll ads such as True View.

For mobile video banners think about the loading size of an ad. Do users on mobile phones really watch 30-60s video banners with a 3G wireless connection – ask yourself.

Pre-Roll banners on Youtube (5 second skip mechanic) are the most effective ones to book directly via Google/ Youtube.

When applying video ads think about to split your TVC budget and shift an amount for testing to Pre-Roll banners. You will see that your reach will increase and personally speaking: The ad will get more attention than on TV (except of Super-Bowl Prime position)

When using 5-second-skip ads use best practice cases from Google (Youtube) and apply an individual mechanic to the ad playing around with the users attention during the 5 seconds waiting time.

Paid Social

When talking about Social Media start to define the channels you want to communicate on based on your target group.

Facebook covers the whole variety in our population. Content and ads on Facebook should be engaging, so don’t populate your page with PR news. Funny or actionable content works the best.

Besides Facebook there is Instagram quickly growing and for B2B Linkedin. The content of Instagram are beautiful images, private stories, videos (new) but not focused on product details. Linkedin offers besides display banners and text-ads direct in-mail ads. With direct In-Mail ads you can target the people directly with an even “personal” written message.

Facebook has many formats that can be easily used: Besides promoting a post, video or product you can use the Facebook carousel ad or the newly promoted Facebook canvas ad. Besides to can choose plenty of parameters that defines your target group.

Think about that promoting a campaign or product should always start within Social channels such as Facebook. Even if you have a large user base (e.g. 1 Mio fans) you won’t be able to reach them anymore through organic posts (not advertised) as Facebook has changed the algorithm for displaying fanpage posts to users.


Apply search for each campaign or product you want to sell.

Search for individual search terms and try to defend them. E.g. “SUV” will be very expensive to buy instead of “car for going outdoors”. Be creative and ask your team/ colleagues for new ideas.

Note: Pls keep in mind that the first ten search results will be mostly relevant for users if they are not searching for something in specific. (Read more: Search Engine Study)


TVC is still the no 1 medium in terms of creating awareness for a brand or product. Personally I think that can be true for major positioning at Prime-time TV, but consider how much reach you could create the same budget on channels e.g. Facebook. Be radical, try new ways and compare your results.

Note: There are plenty of different terms, networks, vendors and formats out there but you have to start somewhere. Other categories of course can occur depending on your individual bookings.

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