There are many types of online advertising, and the number keeps growing every year. It can be daunting, but it doesn’t take an expert to learn the basics and make some money. If you have an app, an online product, or an online service you want to monetize, you can use third-party ads to generate revenue. And if you are a merchant who wants to market your product or services, you can find countless places and ways to advertise online.
The types of online advertising varies by platform, medium, and format. You can reach your customers through social media, search engines, mobile apps, and software installer programs. Your ads can take the form of videos, banners, text, or can be integrated into apps and publication platforms. With so many options to choose from, it can be hard to decide on the best approach.
The Many Types of Online Advertising
- Display advertising is probably what we're most familiar with. It’s one of the earliest and most common types of online advertising. Display ads include screen elements such as banner ads, pop-up ads, animations, and other graphics. The benefit of display ads is that they're very visual, and can grab the users' attention when done properly. A drawback, however, is what's known as "banner blindness," which refers to the idea that people have become so used to display advertising that they block it out altogether.
- Text ads are considered to be display ads by some, but they differ in a couple crucial aspects. Unlike many display ads, which appear outside the site or app content, text ads are often more contextual. Many ad networks that provide text ads as a service, such as Google, use algorithms to make text ads relevant to the surrounding content. This increases user engagement, click-throughs, and conversions.
- Search engine marketing (SEM) refers to increasing a site's rank in the search rankings, such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo. Higher rankings in the search engines means more traffic and more exposure to users who are searching for your product or service. Search engine optimization (SEO) is an online marketing discipline that attempts to improve your rank in the search engines.
- Sponsored search goes by several names, including sponsored links, search ads, and so on, depending on the search engine in question. These are the paid links that appear at the top or to the side of the search results page. A company who wants to ensure that they can be found for particular search terms can bid on keyword sets in, for instance, Google search results. This can be an effective method of advertising when increasing search engine rankings is too competitive or costly.
- Social media ads and sponsored social posts, such as sponsored Tweets, appear inside social media networks. If your target demographic spends a lot of time inside a particular social network, then purchasing sponsored Tweets, paying for targeted Facebook ads, etc. can be a good way of reaching your target audience. Like sponsored search ads, advertisers must bid on particular keywords in real-time auctions.
- Social media marketing isn't quite the same as other types of online advertising. Some companies attempt to engage their audience directly by creating entertaining or informative content. Companies often have an official Facebook page, Twitter account, YouTube account, and so forth, through which they promote their brand, products, and services.
- Email marketing is one of the internet's first and most effective forms of online advertising. A user may visit your site once, and then vanish forever, but if you obtain their email address, you can establish a long-term line of communication. After the hype around social media died down, research firms stood by email marketing, stating that it was still more effective than social media marketing.
- Mobile advertising is the wave of the future. As more and more users transition to mobile devices, the mobile web, and mobile apps, advertisers are also moving to mobile. Mobile apps in particular have shown promise as one of the most contextualized and engaging forms of advertising. User properly, in-app advertising offers a way to access sophisticated, targeted demographics, without resorting to interruption advertising, such as display ads.
- Affiliate marketing essentially refers to commissioned sales people. Affiliates are online marketers who promote a vendor's products or services, and receive a commission when an action or sale is completed. In this case, the merchant, who often operates their affiliate program through an established affiliate network, only pays out the commission at the time of the sale. This reduces the merchant's up-front investment to nothing, and lets the affiliate take care of all the advertising and marketing work.
Benefits that All Types of Online Advertising Share
The many types of online advertising share a few major benefits.
One of the most important is the ability to really target your customers. With the availability of consumer tracking technology, advertisers, marketers, and merchants now have access to a wealth of data.
They can learn a great deal about their target audience's behavior, and can target by location, age group, income status, and so on. Adapting to their customers' behavior allows advertisers to focus on what works and discard what doesn't. This makes online advertising one of the most measurable, cost-effective forms of advertising.