The Four Types of Online Advertising (and What They Can do for You)

The Internet brings an abundance of advertising opportunities that your business should take advantage of. People spend more and more time online and being able to promote your business on the sites they are visiting makes it possible for you to increase brand awareness, sales and site traffic, benefiting your entire business.

There are four main types of online advertising and each has its benefits and should be used in different situations.

Online Display Advertising

Display ads on Yahoo! Lifestyle.

Online display advertising is the process of showing ads on the websites that your market visits. One very effective way to do this is to join a network, such as the Google Display Network, which lets you target your ads based on demographical information about your market.

This form of advertising is widely used and could benefit your business if your market spends a lot of time on the Internet and if you have information that can help you target your ads to the right websites and right people. Studies have shown that this form of advertising can boost conversion rates, brand awareness and site traffic.

Search Engine Advertising

Google search ads.

To do search engine advertising, you will work with a search engine to buy ads for certain keywords. For example, if you know your market uses certain keywords to search for your products or solutions, you could pay to have a link to your business appear at the very top of search results, above the regular results, when people type in those words.

Search engine advertising is beneficial if your market actively uses the Internet and search engines to look for products or services. These ads can be combined with search engine optimisation campaigns for even better results.

Social Media Advertising

Facebook offers sponsored posts and ads.

Social media advertising is the process of buying ads on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and other social media sites. Most social media sites allow businesses to target their markets using demographical information, so with this strategy you can make sure your ads get in front of the right people.

You should use this form of advertising if your market uses social media. The power of social media advertising lies in the sheer number of people that use, and spend considerable amounts of time, on these sites. Before you start social media advertising, determine which networks your market uses the most so that you can get the best results.

Affiliate Marketing

Apple’s affiliate marketers have access to tools, like this link generator.

Affiliate marketing is the process of encouraging other website owners or bloggers to link to your website or product pages in an effort to help you drive traffic or sell products. You can set up your own program where you accept affiliate marketers and compensate them according to the number of sales they generate or the amount of traffic they direct to your website.

This can be a very effective form of advertising if you believe your market reads blogs or online articles and views these sources as trustworthy and helpful. If your potential customers spend a lot of time reading online content, setting up an affiliate program could be beneficial for your business.

It’s likely that your business could benefit from one or more of these online advertising options. The key to choosing the best advertising opportunities is to do market research and understand your target market well enough to know what kinds of ads you should use and where you should display them.