I recently got a really good question from one of our clients. They wanted to know what digital media offers in terms of digital advertising formats compared to traditional print. My co-founder and I had to sit down and discuss this question between us and this article will touch on the ideas we came up with.

Traditional Print Advertising Formats

In the print media, advertisers are used to very tangible forms of advertising options. It’s very clear to understand what you get when you purchase a full-page ad in a publication. In digital it’s not quite as clear and sometimes digital advertising is valued less than print. That’s an entirely different debate and for this article, we will simply focus on digital advertising options compared to its printed counterpart.

Here are some of the traditional advertising formats in print media:

Page Foldouts

These are really great ways to get more attention than a full-page ad. They come in a variety of options and the purpose is, of course, to break the reading habits and grab attention. They also cover a much bigger area allowing advertisers to play with bold images and messages.

Belly Bands

belly band print advertising format

Impossible to ignore as they need to be ripped open or slid off the magazine cover. These classic print advertising formats make it impossible for readers to ignore and often serve as a teaser or intro to a featured content piece or advertisement within the issue itself.


print bookmark advertising

As a print advertiser, you also have the option to include printed bookmarks in a publication. These can live for a long time and be used across many different media. There are also some format variants where they come as a ribbon attached to the publication itself.

Outside Back Cover

Outside Back Cover Print Advertising Format

This is another premium placement for print advertisements. Also very hard to miss for readers and typically printed on more premium paper. There are variants to this format like the inside back cover and inside front cover.

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Digital Advertising Formats

Many of the already mentioned print advertising formats can be translated into similar digital advertising formats. For the belly bands, we see digital publishers experiment with ads covering the issue cover which needs to be tapped on in order to read the issue. Many digital readers also come with built-in bookmarking features. These features typically come with a special page for saved bookmarks, and this page is an ideal candidate for advertising placements.

For publishers using their own native apps to deliver their content, they have more options compared to simply publishing their PDF online. The apps can serve as a hub for readers which allow you to also gather more details and usage statistics about your readers. Something that advertisers often value very highly.

Let’s dig into some of the digital advertising formats that are available to app publishers today:

Hidden Pages

As a digital publisher, you are able to offer hidden pages to advertisers. These hidden pages can be compared to the fold-out formats from print. Essentially, you can trigger a hidden page by clicking on any element on a page. So this could be a small or a full-page ad, which opens up a new overlay window and allows the reader to view it as a pop-up page, or continue the navigation by linking multiple hidden pages together.

This technique is often used for taking the reader down a side-story but still keeping them within the digital magazine. You could use this to create a multi-page advertisement without adding a lot of pages to the main content and storyline.

Adding More Pages

You can of course simply add more pages to your digital publication. As there is no increase in price like print, you could have as many advertising pages as you want. Obviously, there is a fine balance between advertisements and quality content which needs to be respected more in digital than print. It’s still an option that you don’t have the same way in print.

Video Advertisements

It goes without saying that you can use audio and video as digital advertisement formats. These formats are extremely good at grabbing attention and with auto-play options, they will always get a chance to capture a reader’s attention.

Animated GIF Advertisement

Animated GIFs can be extremely powerful for digital advertisers. They are lightweight in size and can demonstrate powerful messages to readers. Here is a great article that highlights some of the most popular animated GIF advertisements. This is definitely a fantastic way to advertise in digital publications.

Slider Advertisement

This is fairly similar to the animated GIF advertisement format. Instead of having the advertisement animate automatically as the GIF, readers are able to swipe on an image that triggers the next image in the slider. Imagine advertising a dress in multiple colors or views. With the slider image format, you can allow readers to interact and swipe the variations of the product.

In-App Pages Advertisements

These are special pages that can trigger based on reader behavior. This is another app-specific feature that allows you to show dedicated pages in your digital magazine app based on pre-defined triggers. A classic trigger is to show the in-app page “on every app launch” or “after closing an issue”.

App Banner Advertisement

You should be able to customize the look and feel of your app if you are using an advanced third-party provider like MagLoft. You can include an advertisers banner at the top page of your magazine app.

Alternative and Future Digital Advertising Formats

At MagLoft we continue to get super valuable feedback from our publishers and are determined to push the limits of digital publishing and advertising. We will be updating this article with more ways to promote to advertisers and to advertise in digital media. If you have any suggestions, ideas or experience with interesting digital advertising formats please feel free to reach out to us or leave a comment below.

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