What Is Online Advertising? (With 9 Types And Advantages)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 19 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Online advertising is using the web and other digital platforms to market a brand's products or services to consumers. As a company's marketer, you may find it beneficial to reach the target audience further by implementing advertising online. Learning about the several options you have for increasing an organisation's marketing plan may help you experience a boost in a company's sales. In this article, we discuss the answer to the question, "What is online advertising?", including nine various ad types and some advantages of implementing them into a company's digital marketing strategy.

What Is Online Advertising?

To answer the question, "What is online advertising?", online advertising is a subcategory of marketing, focusing on targeting consumers in their online space, such as website banners or social media ads. Often, the marketer's goal is to encourage the user to click through to the company's website and complete an action, such as purchasing products or signing up for email newsletters. For marketers using online advertising, it is essential to stay up-to-date about industry trends and updates, like online trending topics, to create relevant content for the users.

Another goal of online marketing is brand awareness. Brand awareness is a consumer's ability to recall a brand from memory when deciding to look for a product to solve their challenge. Online advertising may create an impression on users to not buy a product right away but to recall them when they desire to make a purchase.

Related: What Is Internet Marketing? (Definition And Types)

9 Types Of Online Advertising

Here is a list of nine types of online advertising you can use:

1. Paid search advertising

Paid search advertising is a category of online advertising in which you pay a fee to place an advertisement on a search engine results page (SERP). Also known as pay-per-click advertising (PPC), it is one of the most common and effective forms of online ads. It places an advertisement above the organic results on the SERP, allowing more users to see it and increasing the likelihood that a user may click on the link. Here are a few factors that determine how the SERP places the advertisements:

  • Landing page quality: SERP pages often consider how you have designed a landing page for visitors and if you optimised it for users to browse and complete their tasks. For example, SERPs rank pages optimised for mobile users higher than others.

  • Auction bids: Companies can bid on keywords or phrases related to the products or services they are trying to promote with the advertisement space. This way, advertisers only pay per click a user makes.

  • Keywords: If a company bids against a competitor for paid advertisement placements with slightly different keywords, the company with the most popular keyword ranks above the rest. You can research keyword popularity before paying for an advertisement on the SERP.

  • Advertisement extensions: When creating an advertisement, place multiple links, such as a link to the website and the company phone number. Ads using a link encourage users to take action, which can increase the likelihood they may click through from the advertisement to the website.

  • Search context: An advertisement may not generate each time a user starts a search, especially if it's not relevant to the company. The advertisement the company paid for may generate depending on the user's location, keywords, time and the device they used to search.

Related: What Is PPC? (Definition, Importance And Advantages)

2. Social media advertising

Social media advertising is a marketing strategy for promoting a business, product or service online through networking sites. You have several options for creating an advertisement on these sites, including video, photo and story content. Each social media platform has its method of creating an ad using its algorithm. Often, you pay a fee to create an advertisement on social media.

Related: Types Of Jobs In Social Media Marketing And Their Duties

3. Display advertising

Display advertising is marketing a brand, product or service through videos or photos published on social networking sites or search engines. The social networking site or search engines place an advertisement through a third-party source using a banner, photo, or text. You can separate display advertisements into three categories:

  • Site placement: With this category, you can choose the websites they place an advertisement on for users to see. This is effective when you can determine which pages or posts are most popular.

  • Contextual: Contextual advertising allows social networking sites to advertise on relevant websites. For example, if you are marketing makeup, the platform can advertise on a beauty store website.

  • Re-marketing: Re-marketing display advertisements appear on websites for users who left the site without making a purchase. This reminds users of the product they were considering, with the goal they return to the company's website to complete the purchase.

Related: How Does OTT Work? Types And Why Marketers Use OTT Platforms

4. Native advertising

Native advertising is paying a media company to create posts with a company's products in them. For example, if the company sells skin care products, a media company can craft a post with a list of the best skin care products at a specific price. In this post, the media companies can include the company's products among other companies that sell similar products. In addition to paying media companies to create a post with the product or services in it, you can pay them to share the post on social media, which can help reach a larger audience.

Related: Top 10 Skills For A Media Planner And Steps To Improve Them

5. Email advertising

Email advertising is sending commercial emails to consumers who have already provided you with their contact information. Often, email advertising is effective because the user already has an interest in the company's products or services because they freely gave their email address for the business to contact them. In the emails, it is essential to have an engaging headline encouraging users to open and read it. Inside the email, create incentives that make the users desire to complete an action, such as a unique discount code for email users only.

Related: 9 Email Marketing Tools To Consider (With Features)

6. Digital signage advertising

Digital signage advertising is a new technology type allowing marketers to use animated online advertisements on structures such as billboards and bus stops. The technology provides systems to have a continuous loop of specific ads. Digital signage can help you gain new customers who see the advertisement on a sign while walking or driving past the broadcast.

Related: A Comprehensive Guide To The Importance Of Marketing

7. Video advertising

Video advertising is where you feature a product, service or brand in a way that is entertaining to users. Marketers can place video ads before, during or after a video. For example, if you click to watch a video reviewing the latest makeup product, the advertisement before the video might be for a similar makeup product.

Another form of video advertising can be the video itself. For example, a creator may create a cookie recipe video. The advertisement can be a specific brand of flour in which the creator may create a feature in the baking video to discuss the advantages of using this brand's flour when making the cookies.

Related: How To Learn Digital Marketing In 9 Steps (With Tips)

8. Re-target and re-market advertising

Ads directed to consumers who have shown interest in the company are re-targeting and re-marketing advertising. Re-marketing means when a user leaves the site and goes to a different one, the banner ad may showcase the brand. Re-targeted ads remind the user of the company and may interest them enough to complete their action on the website, such as completing a transaction.

Related: What Is Brand Positioning? (With Benefits And Tips)

9. Mobile advertising

Mobile advertising is optimising a company's ads for mobile devices, such as cell phones. There are a few types of mobile ads, such as text SMS or mobile banner ads. It is vital to ensure the advertisements are compatible with mobile users because it can increase a company's leads if they reach other users who may not be using desktops or other devices. Using mobile advertisements may also increase a company's SEO ranking on the SERP, which may also enhance the company's sales.

Related: Guide: How To Become A Digital Marketing Executive

Advantages Of Online Advertising

Here are some benefits of online advertising to consider adding to a company's marketing plan:

  • Focusing on the target audience: When using online advertising, you can focus on the brand's target audience better because of implementing keywords in the ads. The keywords allow you to filter the advertisements better to the consumers compared to a billboard, which reaches a general audience who may not be interested in the brand's products or services.

  • Spending less money: You may experience spending less of the company's budget on advertising when investing in online advertisements. Spending less money occurs because the company may only pay for as many users who complete the action of clicking on the ad.

  • Improving customer interactions: Improving customer interactions is an advantage because after purchasing a product, the user can share a review online or have access to chat with the brand if they are experiencing a challenge with it.

  • Choosing various formats or platforms: There are many platforms and formats to choose from, such as social media or email, compared to traditional advertisements, such as television commercials. Other forms can include QR codes, hashtags and social media contests.


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