7 Types of Paid Online Advertising

Digital advertising is vast, with many different types of online ads being produced based on target audience, website content, and call to action.

This article was provided for republishing courtesy of AdSkills.com.

Online advertising has evolved since its humble beginnings as a static image that pops up at the top of a website.

Now, there are a wide variety of advertising types you could use – we’ve listed the seven top types here (and tried to give you the quick definition for it).


1. Display Ads

The original form of online advertising, these are visual ads that appear on third party websites (usually ones that are related to your content or service in some way).

Display ads have evolved from the basic form of banner ads. Nowadays, display ads come as:

  • Static images – these are your basic banner or square ads that appear around the content.
  • Text – these are text ads that are created by algorithms to make text ads relevant to the surrounding content.
  • Floating banners – these move across the screen or float above the regular website’s content.
  • Wallpaper – these appear and change the background of a website, filling the whole page.
  • Popup ads – these are new windows that appear in front of the website content; newly opened window displays the full ad so visitors can see.
  • Flash – these are moving ads that “flash” different content at the viewer.
  • Video – these are small video ads that autoplay or wait for the video to be played by the visitor.

Display ads are usually very affordable. If you contact the third party site directly, their rates will vary from site to site. If you go through a marketing site, they will charge you a base rate.

Some third party sites, like the Google Display Network, allow for demographic, geographic, contextual and/or behavioral targeting – all of which help you target the audience that would be most likely to be interested in your product or service.

2. Social Media Ads

In 2015, Social Media commerce totaled $30 billion in the US. It’s a marketing arena that is not only efficient but effective. Very similar to Display Ads, Social Media ads can be anything from a simple banner or image to an auto-play video.

Social Media advertising is great because you can target your audience perfectly. For example, Facebook’s targeting options include age, region, interests, educational background and more.


Here are two types of Social Media advertisements:social-midia-ads

  • Organic – creates loyalty and gives you feedback from your target audience; new form of Word-of-Mouth
  • Paid – leverage promoted posts and reach specific people

The best platforms to target are:

  • LinkedIn for B2B sales
  • Facebook for display and top of funnel marketing
  • StumbleUpon for amazing, attention-grabbing content

Other platforms to hit up if you have the budget for it:

  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram
  • Tumblr
  • Reddit

You can prepare your Social Media campaigns yourself or you can work with a marketing agency to prepare your campaign.

3. Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

The most dependable form of online paid advertising (and also the most common). SEM works based on keywords – you and other businesses like yours bid on keywords through search engines in an effort to get your website up higher on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

All SEM ads that appear in Google, Bing and other search engines are text ads. They’re listed at the top or sides of the SERP.

Paid ads can either be Pay Per Click (PPC) or Cost Per Thousand (CPM).


  • PPC
  • You bid on keywords and your results appear at the top of the SERP based on bid value.
  • This is the best value package because you’re only charged when people click on the ad.
  • Also, it’s the easiest to track during the campaign.
  • CPM
  • You’re billed a flat rate for 1,000 impressions.
    • This makes it easy to apply a budget and you’re guaranteed a number of “shows” on the SERP.
    • However, you risk overspending – if no one clicks through you’re paying for wasted results.
    • Also, you can’t assess or track the campaign until it’s over.

You can also use SEM in the unpaid form by optimizing your website for keywords (also known as SEO). Search engines list the unpaid results based on relevance so improving the SEO of your site means you’ll be able to get more hits for free if you improve your site’s SEO.

The best platforms for SEM are Google AdWords, which allow you to create highly targeted campaigns; to make the most of your Google AdWords campaigns. Another platform that’s great for SEM is Bing, which has less competition than AdWords.

4. Native Advertising

Native advertising is those sponsored listings at the end of blog posts, appearing on your Facebook feeds and posted to other Social Media.

These pieces of content are integrated and camouflaged into the platform on which they appear. You can promote and post your Native Advertising through networks like Adblade, Adsonar, Outbrain and Taboola.

There are several forms of Native Advertising:

  • In-feed
  • Search ads
  • Recommendation widgets
  • Promoted listings

5. Remarketing/Retargeting

The best way to market to people who already know about your product and service is to remarket to them. Or retarget. Depends on who you’re talking to.car-dealer-remarketing-example

When people visit your site, you drop a cookie on them so that, as they travel around the web, your ads will appear over and over to remind them about your product or service.

This form of advertising is inexpensive and, if done right, can be more effective than PPC. It increases conversions because it reminds people of you who already know who you are.

You can try to set this up yourself on Facebook Remarketing, Google Remarketing and more. Or, you can use a third-party platform or provider to set up your remarketing campaigns – read our Retargeting Cagematch for the 4-1-1 on all of the available platforms you could use… and which are best.

 6. Video Ads

While YouTube ads are the most popular and well known of video ads, there are actually several different formats, types and content options.

You can go the route of educational/informative. Or maybe you want to post a how-to. Try to pull on the emotional strings of your viewers by creating a visual story. Ideal for branding, especially if you have a product or service that is best demonstrated visually.

Whatever you choose, Video Ads are gaining in popularity because they avoid blatant advertising while also attracting the limited attention span of many YouTubers.

Once you’ve created your video, you can post to:

  • YouTube/Google
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Vimeo
  • Brightroll
  • YuMe
  • Hulu
  • Live Rail
  • Adap.tv
  • Specific Media
  • Tube Mogul
  • Tremor Video
  • AOL
  • Auditude

YouTube also have the fun little Pre-Roll ads (those short… sometimes long… ads that appear before the video you actually want to watch starts).

7. Email Marketing

downloadHanging out with Display Ads back near the start of online advertising, Email Marketing is a cheaper, faster and effective form of advertising.

It’s a great way to build customer loyalty and boost sales; when you use an email campaign manager (see the list below) to prepare and send your emails, you can easily track how well they do and monitor your ROI.

Email Campaign Managers:

  • MailChimp
  • Constant Contact
  • AWeber
  • ConvertKit
  • GetResponse
  • Campaign Monitor
  •  Active Campaign

In order to succeed at email marketing, you first need to build a list of email addresses. You can do so by using quizzes, or you can put a simple Newsletter sign-up on your site.

Then, you can send email campaigns that focus on promotions, discounts, features or content you’ve posted to your blog. Most emails are short, sweet and to the point. A concise message makes it easy to get your point across and increase conversions.

Just don’t forget to check your region/country’s spam rules.

Justin Brooke
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