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Online Advertising: 8 Main Types and Their Features

05 January, 2018

Using internet as an advertising channel is by all means an objective necessity for any company that doesn’t want to lose a competition in the nearest future. If you don’t have a website yet, because you’re still satisfied with the current state of things, it doesn’t necessarily mean that everything will keep going the same way. If a business doesn’t get clients from the web yet, it doesn’t mean there are none there.

The main advantage of online advertising is the possibility to convey information to the target audience without any geographical limits. Moreover, the possibility of clear focusing and measuring results allows to optimize marketing budgets and sales.

Payments for online advertising are commonly done by means of the following schemes:

  • cost per thousand (CPM): an advertiser pay for the amount of his ad’s impressions;
  • cost per click (CPC): an advertiser pays every time a user clicks on his ad;
  • cost per action (CPA): an advertiser pays for a certain action performed by a potential client (purchase, applying, etc.).

In case of placing an ad directly on a certain website from the relevant niche according to an agreement with the owner or somebody in charge, an advertiser can pay according to a fixed tariff, but it’s not really common.

Main types of online advertising

There are several main types of online advertising differing between each other by the way of interaction, complicacy of settings and running a campaign, placement, and other features.

Understanding their essence, advantages, and disadvantages will let you avoid the risk of wasting money. Anyway, before starting to use a certain type of advertising, you should consult with an expert.

So, let’s see what the main types of online advertising and their features are.

Contextual advertising (PPC)

This is one of the most widespread and popular types of advertising. You pay in case a user clicks on your ad and goes to your website.

Contextual ads can be shown in:

  • search results:adwords
  • on partners’ websitesad on website

In search results, ads are shown when a user searches for corresponding keywords connected to an advertising campaign. As for partners’ websites, ads are formed according an analysis of a page content and user’s interests. That’s why it’s called contextual advertising, there is no specific search query for it.

Search engines perform as providers for contextual advertising. The biggest service for it is Google Adwords.

We should admit that PPC is one of the most effective types of advertising, safe and legal. Moreover, profits from contextual advertising form the bigger part of a total income that search engines get, therefore, they encourage to use this type of advertising.

But a price per click is determined based on an auction between advertisers. It means who offers a bigger price gets the first spot. Consequently, in some niches a competition has become so tensed that only large companies can afford this type of advertising.


Actually, remarketing is one of the functions available in systems of contextual advertising. But because a range of peculiar features, it can be a separates type of advertising. The essence of remarketing is the possibility to track your website visitors and show them your ad on other resources.

For example, if your conversion figure is 1%, it means that 99% of website visitors leave the resource without making a purchase or doing any other conversion actions. By means of remarketing you’ll be able to remind them about your website, so that they can reconsider their options.

Google always improves its ways of monitoring users’ behavior, which gives bigger opportunities for running advertising campaigns. Nevertheless, remarketing’s disadvantage is that users can see the same ad again and again no matter if they are interested or not.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search Engine Optimization is a complex of ways used to increase a website’s rate in search results by means of keywords in order to get more traffic to the resource.

SEO has a range of features which significantly make it different from other types of online advertising. One of the features is that it takes a while to see the effect. It is impossible to get an immediate result from SEO.

At the same time, this is the only type of online advertising that lets you get organic traffic, which is the one you don’t have to pay for. Of course, specialists’ work is not free, but the traffic is. That’s why this is type is beneficial for a long term.

For example, an online store promotion that last for 6 month can pay off on 7th one, and then an owner gets just a clean income. SEO-specialists payments vary irrelevantly.

In this blog, we have published a range of articles regarding SEO that will be interesting for both online store owners and and entrepreneurs in other niches. First and foremost I recommend to pay attention to the following articles:

In this blog you can also find many other materials on similar topics regarding different aspects of internet marketing.

Display advertising

This is one of the first kinds of online advertising that appeared at the dawn of the World Wide Web era. The point of display advertising is in placing banners on different websites; when users click the banners, they automatically go to the advertiser’s target page. You can easily track such traffic by means of web-analytics services.

You can launch display advertising by means of Google Adwords that provides with all the necessary options. Besides, you can negotiate the placing of your ads with owners of the resources that are interesting for you. You can request banners from web designers.display ad

The main scheme of payment used in display advertising is CPM – the cost for a thousand shows (in Google Adwords – cost per click). On the one hand it might not seem beneficial, since an advertiser pays for shows whose can’t be predicted. On the other hand the cost is quite low, so at the end of the day everyone’s satisfied.

If an advertiser uses Google Adwords to launch display advertising, he gets much more options for setting then if he negotiated it directly with a resource owner. The main point is the possibility to use geographical and demographical targeting, and you stop the campaign anytime if you feel like it.

Display advertising loses its popularity because internet keeps progressing, and there appear new effective methods of attracting clients. In ecommerce, even leaders on the market don’t use display advertising much. Bi it’s still beneficial when combined with PPC and remarketing. And it surely stays a useful tool for making a brand recognizable.

Advertising in social networks

This is one of the main types of advertising in the internet. Besides, SMM is actively used, this is marketing in social networks that aims to create and develop groups around a certain brand page.

The possibility of showing ads is available in any big social network.facebook ad

Besides, you can use different formats for ads. Testing and analyzing them will let you build the most successful strategy.

The difference between target advertising and SMM-promotion is that in the first case you actually pay for clicks, and in the second one you work with a group and develop a brand page. Marketing in social networks can be complex and use ads.

Nowadays, it is hard to imagine running an advertising campaign in some niches without using social networks.

Teaser campaign

It’s a mix of display and contextual advertising, that has a range of features allowing it be a separate type. Teaser is an ad that consists of a headline, a short text describing a product, and a picture. Here’s how teasers typically look like:teaser

A bright headline, an intriguing text, and an appealing picture are used. As a result of CTR-teasers performance, there can be an increase of contextual advertising on partners’ websites.

Creating and placing teasers is done by means of interaction between website owners and advertisers through certain teaser networks. Search engines have nothing in common with such advertising, they don’t show it in search results and, in some cases, drop the rating of websites actively using teasers.

Despite the low cost for advertisers, such a type of advertising is rarely used for promoting products and services of medium and high prices. But there are cases of its effective usage for products of emotional demand and cheap goods.

Cost per action (CPA)

This format of online advertising is often called affiliate marketing.

The model of CPA applies such a mechanism when an advertiser pays only in case a user performs an action. Consequently, risks for the advertiser are minimal, since he get a kind of guarantee of investments return.

On the other hand, CPA is not in big demand for publishers, since, despite the big reward, figures of profits may vary depending on the type of product you advertise, the quality of advertising campaign, and many other factors.

As a matter of fact, the cost of CPA is the amount you’ll pay in case an ad causes a sale. Of course, comparing to the CPM or PPC it may seem quite high. But conversions will happen more rarely, and profits from each of them will be also higher.

For example, you’re placing a banner on a website due to the condition that you’ll pay the website owner $15 from every purchase made by a user who comes to the advertiser website from that resource.

An interesting fact is that in ecommerce, at the end of 90’s, the world-known online store was the first to start using affiliate marketing. It is believed that the active usage of partners’ links to products from Amazon built a steady ground for it as the biggest ecommerce platform in the world.

Mobile advertising

This type of advertising is interesting at least because it allows to appeal to the potential audience by its most personal device – smartphone. The fact that this gadget stays with a person all day long is an obvious advantage of mobile advertising.

Google has created a special platform for mobile advertising – AdMob. Besides, you can create ads for mobile devices in AdWords. Anyway, launching mobile advertising campaign will let you use all the advantages of contextual advertising listed above.

For example, technologies of detecting a user’s location allow marketers to launch focused advertising.

There are three main methods of using mobile advertising:

  • an ad on the whole screen. Often used in free mobile apps, When a programme runs, a banner with an ad appears in certain moments;
  • product placement. A marketing message is integrated in an app in the form of element of design or content, an expensive and complicated method used by famous brands only;
  • PPC on mobile devices. Ads are shown in mobile search.

Nowadays, mobile advertising isn’t applicable to all advertisers, although it’s effective in certain niches. Very often advertising in mobile apps is used by developers of other apps to promote their products.

More than a trend

Online advertising – is not a trend anymore, although some entrepreneurs keep seeing it like that. Nowadays, it is a necessity. It can be effectively used not only for selling products and services but for promoting brands too.

Some old-fashioned companies for some reason keep avoiding moving to online and working in this direction. But facts tell us that clients make a business take such a step sooner or later.

By means of the types of online advertising listed above you’ll be able to attract a lot of customers and bring your business to a new level.

You can test each type separately, tracking a conversion reasonability of investments and then distribute more budget for the maximum effect of the chosen channel.

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