The basics of online advertising

What is online advertising?

With the launch of Narcity Campaign Manager (NCM), we have given people the chance to advertise their product, service or brand to our millennial and Gen Z audiences.

In this era of online advertising, the large number of terms and metrics may come across as daunting to newcomers. So, we thought it would be a good idea to provide our advertisers with a summary of the different terminologies we use in NCM, allowing you to create great advertising campaigns.

Let’s start from the beginning, setting up your campaign in NCM.


Placement is what decides where your ad will show up on, or on both sites, with the possibility to select banner or video placements. You can see what the placement looks like by clicking “preview” after you select one from the placement dropdown menu.


Targeting is how you define your audience, or in other words, who you want your ad to be displayed to. You can target your audience by geography, i.e. specific cities. Or you may want to target your audience on based on interests or behaviours.

For example, you can select a specific location and the browser language as your targeting options to make your campaign hyper local.


The budget is where you decide how much you want to spend on your advertising campaign. The price is calculated by CPM (cost per thousand impressions), which means your budget is directly converted into a specific number of impressions. For example, if you set a budget of $1,000 and the CPM is set at $5, your $1,000 will be converted into 200,000 impressions. Don’t worry, the platform will do the math for you and you will be shown exactly how many impressions you will receive after you enter your budget.

The budget you set will be spread out evenly across the dates you have chosen for your campaign. For example, if you set a budget of $1,000 and you want your campaign to run for 10 days, the platform will attempt to deliver around $100 worth per day.


Your Creative is the part of your ad which will be displayed to your audience. It is really important that you put a lot of consideration into its design and the message you want to send to a potential audience/customer. This is your chance to grab the attention of your audience and create interest in your product or service. For example, let's imagine you are the trendiest burger joint in Quebec and selling the most delicious burgers in town, the creative should include:

  • An eye catching image that relates to the product or service,

  • A concise message that explains what you are offering your audience - we recommend a short headline (20% off XYZ today!) with a more detailed body (High quality XYZ, at prices you won’t find anywhere else),

  • A call to action. Something that tells your audience what you want them to do next (BUY NOW!, Learn more, Register, etc.), and

  • A good destination page. You need to consider where you want to send your audience once they click your ad. If you want to sell products, try to bring the potential customer to a page where they can directly buy the product you are advertising.


An impression is similar to a view, which you may be more familiar with. It signifies that your ad has been displayed to the audience you have selected in the placement you have chosen.


Clicks relate to the number of times someone from your target audience clicks on your ad and is redirected to your chosen destination page.

Click Through Rate (CTR)

Click through rate or CTR is the ratio at which your audience interacts and clicks on your ad divided by the total number of Impressions that has been delivered. For example, 35 Clicks divided by 1000 Impressions would give you a CTR of 3.5%.

In NCM, you can track your campaigns closely as the platform updates throughout your advertising period to show you how many Impressions were delivered, how many Clicks your ad received and what your CTR is. You can either track your performance through the campaign dashboard when you log into NCM, or you can generate and schedule reports that can send you updates directly to your email.

And there you have it - the basics of NCM. We wish you the best of luck and we look forward to seeing your amazing and creative ads on and


If you need any help, please reach out to us through the NCM chat on the bottom right corner of the screen.