These days, the options have exploded.
With the rise of social media and rich media like video, you can reach out to potential customers any number of ways.
Even though there are a lot of options, it isn’t difficult to get the hang of it all.
The easiest thing to do is organize these options into a few different categories.
You just need a little bit of information to understand how these options operate in different ways.
If you feel overwhelmed by all of the choices or want to learn more, read on.
Types of Internet Advertising
Effective digital advertising relies on many different factors: good content, good SEO, and sometimes, good paid advertising.
While many different advertising resources exist, the most important thing to know is what kinds of options are available.
The types of ads that started with the birth of the Internet are still around today.
Traditional digital ads make up a $148 billion industry in the US alone.
You are probably familiar with many of these types of internet advertising.
If you have ever seen a digital ad on a webpage (you know you have), it was probably one of these types of internet advertising:
- Webpage Ads – These ads appear directly on a webpage, usually in the form of a banner, in-text, or sidebar ad. These are old school.
They put the ad in an obvious location so website visitors are most likely to see it when visiting a website.
Many companies and search engines provide these kinds of advertising services.
Google’s Adsense, for example, will let you create an ad, select where you want it to show (ie, banner or sidebar), and how much you want to spend.
- Banner ads are probably the poster child of traditional web advertising.
They usually use large text and eye-catching images placed right at the top of the webpage.
This is the prime spot since it’s the first thing most visitors will see.
- Display Ads – Some digital ads try to engage visitors before they start reading a webpage’s main content.
- Popup and interstitial ads show up either before a visitor reaches a webpage or at the same time.
A pop-up ad will appear in a separate box or window, usually right above the webpage.
This type of advertisement requires the visitor to take action: either click on the ad or exit out of it.
Either way, the visitor will notice it.
An interstitial ad appears for a few seconds before a visitor’s desired webpage loads.
These ads usually don’t offer any way to exit out of them.
A visitor either has to click on the ad or wait a few seconds until the ad disappears on its own.
Search engines remain the most popular form of finding information on the Internet.
As a result, it quickly became obvious to companies and advertisers that search engines had a lot of promotional potential.
Revenue from search engine advertising is $33 billion in the US.
All search engine advertising uses keywords to promote an URL link when someone arrives at a list of search results.
These ads work just like any other search result. If a person clicks on the link, they will immediately go to the target URL.
Most search engine companies provide their own advertising services.
Google’s Adwords is probably the most well known of these services, however, many other services exist.
Each company usually provides backend settings where you can control things like your keywords and budget.
Most advertisers like to use a combination of search engines.
Beyond Google, advertising on other major engines like Yahoo and Bing can increase the number of people who see the ad.
Digital advertising got complicated when social media showed up.
Social media offers many types of Internet advertising, and has quickly become a $16 billion industry worldwide.
In general, social media advertising is similar to the other types of Internet advertising, especially webpage ads.
Both use text and image ads displayed on webpages.
Both also encourage visitors to click on a target link to go to a promoted product or service page.
Like search engine ads, each major social media platform offers their own version of social media advertising.
Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Linkedin, Pintrest, and many others, all offer advertising options that fit their websites.
They also offer different ways to create yours ads and to control your budget.
Paid Social Ads – Social media ads are types of Internet advertising that appear on popular social media platforms.
Many of them are similar to other webpage ads. They use text/images and appear on the most popular pages of the platform.
Some platforms offer other ad options that better fit their main content.
- Youtube, for example, offers video ads that will show either before or during a specific video.
They will typically show for a specific amount of time, like 30 seconds, or for a shorter amount of time before letting the viewer move on to the main video.
An obvious ad is not always the most effective. Many people will ignore an ad outright.
As a result, native advertising has become popular in recent years.
These types of Internet advertising are meant to blend in with their surroundings. In theory, these ads can still sell without people knowing it.
Therefore, these ads try to sell a product or service subtly.
If a person does not recognize the ad as an actual advertisement, the ad is doing a part of its job.
- Paid Promotional Posts – Many social media platforms offer other advertising options beyond displaying paid ads.
Since these platforms are all about the social, they’ve turned advertising into something social as well.
Paid social media ads most often look like other posts on the site.
Most companies will label a paid social post as an advertisement, however, everything else will match the content of the website.
A paid tweet will look like other tweets on Twitter. A paid Facebook post will blend in with other posts.
Paid social posts will also appear near or at the top of a user’s social feed so they are seen first.
- Covert Advertising – Covert advertising tries to sell something without people knowing it.
The ads try to blend in with other content on a webpage. In some cases, they might not even directly promote something.
Instead, they rely on the power of suggestion.
One popular form of covert advertising is content marketing, which takes subtle advertising a step further.
This type of digital ad isn’t an ad at all.
Most often, it’s a blog article or webpage that offers useful or interesting information to promote a brand or encourage people to use a company’s services or products.
Types of Costs
It’s no secret that most types of Internet advertising cost money.
That’s the whole point of advertising: spend some money to make some money.
Many types of Internet advertising, however, have different ways you will pay for these ads.
In many cases, you will only pay if someone engages with the ad; they either see, click, or otherwise interact with the ad.
- Pay Per Click (PPC) – You only pay when someone actually clicks on the text, link, or image in your ad.
This is a popular form of payment since it’s cost effective to you. If someone only sees and ignores your ad, you don’t have to pay.
- Cost Per Action (CPA) – This is a more broad form of PPC where you only pay if visitors take a specific action with the ad.
The action may be a click, but it can also be something like a sale, form signup (ie for a newsletter), or anything else that may influence someone to buy a product or service.
- Cost Per Mille (CPM) – You pay for a certain number of times your ad will be shown.
Usually measured in the thousands, this form of payment means you will have to pay regardless if visitors ignore the ad or not.
- Direct – Even though most forms of traditional and social media advertising use either CPA or CPM forms of payment, other forms exist as well.
Direct payment is one of the most common forms, especially for content marketing.
For example, if you want someone to write a promotional blog article, you will likely pay them a flat fee for their service.
Understanding the many types of Internet advertising doesn’t have to be complicated.
Knowing the categories can help you organize whatever specific type of ad you come across.
More importantly, you can use this information to decide what types of Internet advertising are best for you.
Just think about your own promotional needs.
If you would like more help, feel free to contact me.