REPORT: Influencer marketing benchmarks and trends 2023

Types of Online Advertising

Business promotion can become a challenge for every company: you may have really nice products or services to offer but no customers, and this is a common problem for many companies. Business owners often rely on online advertising. But it has many types, so it may not be as easy as it seems to navigate right away.

If you want to understand the ways to promote on the Internet, our guide to the types of online advertising is here for you. Read further to learn more!


Leo Burnett, the Head of the Leo Burnett Company, one of the largest advertising companies, once said: "Advertising is the ability to sense, interpret... to put the very heart throbs of a business into type, paper, and ink". And there’s no need to argue about the power of influence on consumers that marketers have with convincing slogans, headlines, capacious articles, and witty phrases.

In the age of information technology, the sphere of interaction between customers and sellers has moved to the Internet. And this is understandable: according to Statista, in January 2021, there were 4.66 billion active internet users worldwide, which makes 59.5% of the global population:

Active mobile and internet users

Online advertising is rapidly moving towards a leading position in the market. It has already significantly overtaken advertising in periodicals, as well as outdoor ad placement. 

So what is so particular about online advertising? What’s the difference between online and offline ads? And what types of online advertising can you use to get the maximum attention of the customers? Below are the answers.

Online VS offline types of advertising

Offline advertising, in its traditional understanding, is a way to notify potential customers about a product that does not involve the use of the Internet. For example, advertisements on and in public transport, radio, television, press, elevators of residential buildings and offices. Before the advent of the Internet, no one called these methods of generating demand offline advertising. They just were, worked and brought in a steady income for advertisers.

Online advertising is the promotion of a product or service on the web using graphic and text materials. It includes: filling web resources with content, placing banner advertisements, e-mailing, using social networks, writing articles for a blog, and many more.

Traditional or offline advertising is classified according to the media where it is placed: press, radio, TV, outdoor structures. The types of offline advertising include:

  • Television

These are the videos on TV channels that are so familiar to everybody! According to some marketers, they help form a brand's reputation, inform people about its existence, but they are often not suitable for attracting real customers.

It is cheaper for companies to display ads on regional channels than on national ones. Nevertheless, TV advertising remains a priority for many companies, especially in the category of medicines, household goods, and personal care products.

  • Printed ads

These are colorful ads on the pages of glossy and industry magazines, newspapers, as well as posters, calendars, and more. The role of print advertising has fallen as rapidly with the spread of the Internet as it once rose with the invention of the printing press.

  • Outdoor advertising

These advertisements you have seen on billboards, city lights and other objects. This includes advertising on the means of public transport. 

The 3 main types of outdoor advertising include:

  • Media: traditional billboards, city lights, and others;
  • Image carriers: they are distinguished by exclusive design, for example, the use of neon lamps or volumetric letters;
  • Pointers: these objects are located near the points selling the advertised products or services, for example, on pillars, road signs, scoreboards.
  • Radio announcements

Depending on the choice of a radio station and prime time, such advertising can reach a wide audience. Therefore, the texts for the radio ads are often ordered from professional copywriters.

  • Distribution of leaflets

Some see this type of advertising as a printed one, but it should be considered separately because it requires a special person – a promoter – to implement. On average, one promoter is able to distribute 150 leaflets per hour.

In general, the classification of offline advertising is a rather controversial issue. For example, posters or billboards can be considered both as printed and outdoor ads.  Therefore, advertising is most often divided according to just one particular attribute or criterion, avoiding generalization and universality.

Today, online advertising competes quite closely with TV and, perhaps, very soon will bypass it. The secret is the popularity of the Internet among users. It is the main reason for placing advertisements on websites, social networks and search engines. 

However, online advertising has other perks in contrast to the offline one: 

  • availability;
  • relatively low cost;
  • precise targeting settings;
  • access to statistics;
  • possibility to update the ads even after its launch.

Below we review the most effective types of online advertising to help you find the one meeting your exact business requirements.

Types of Online Advertising

All types of online advertising are aimed at maximizing efficiency at the lowest cost. The most granular approach to targeting makes this process possible. However, each type of online advertising has its own unique features.

Today we will take a look at the 9 most popular types of advertising on the web, their pros and cons, as well as some tips for working with them.

Native advertising

Native advertising is represented in a form of content that is perceived as native to the selected channel, for example, an article in a blog. Such advertising is engaging for the user and conveys the advantage of the product or brand in the form of a story, rather than direct advertising. 

Native advertising has four key features:

  • it is relevant to the user's experience/interest;
  • it isn’t intrusive;
  • it provides useful information;
  • it doesn’t require any interaction.

Native advertising today is a natural way for the audience to interact with the business. Everyone is very tired of the huge number of ads, and the first desire that arises when contacting with the banner format is to close it as quickly as possible.

The secret to the success of native ads in the digital space is simple – it focuses on the usefulness of content and puts the interests of the users first. 

Native advertising formats include:

  • In-feed product ads

Online stores use in-feed ads (also known as promoted ads) most commonly. This format allows placing an advertisement matching the products catalog.

World’s leading ecommerce companies, like Amazon or eBay, accept this type of native advertising:

Example of native advertising

Anothe example of native ads

  • Recommended content

This is a list, a selection of recommendations for reading articles on any media resource. This format fits well in mobile applications, programs, and games:

Example of recommended content

  • Posts, articles on social networks and blogs

Here, native advertising adapts to the format of the site's materials. For example, a user scrolls through a news feed on Instagram or Facebook and observes sponsored posts aimed at a specific target audience:

Google ads example


Search Engine Marketing, or SEM, strategy presupposes the use of Internet advertising in search results. It helps users find a website that is promoted and suitable for their requests. 

Another Google ads example

SEM helps reach the following goals:

  • Improve the website visibility

Applying this strategy, the visibility of your website for search engines will grow due to increased traffic, changes in user behavior and increased loyalty, and involving new backlinks.

  • Raise conversion rates

SEM attracts high-quality traffic. This means that those users who come to the site are ready to buy and willingly do it.

  • Increase brand awareness

The longer the website is at the top, the higher the brand awareness among the target audiences becomes. Even if the users don’t click the link the first time, they will remember the company's name or the website. Later they will remember it and will be back on your website. 

Display advertising

This is one of the first types of online advertising which appeared at the dawn of the formation of the World Wide Web. The essence of display advertising is placing banners on third-party sites and when the users click on them, they get redirected to a special landing page on the advertiser's site.

Display advertising can be placed using Google Ads, which provides all the necessary capabilities for this, as well as sites in the form of partner network member sites. In addition, you can negotiate placement directly with the owners of the resources you are interested in, and order the creation of banners from web design specialists.

Display advertising is losing popularity as the Internet continues to evolve and other more effective methods of attracting business customers arrive. In ecommerce, even market leaders are not very active in this type of advertising. But, as before, it is beneficial to use display advertising in combination with other types of online ads. It also clearly remains a useful tool for building brand awareness.

Mobile Advertising

This type of advertising is notable because it allows you to appeal to a potential audience through the most personal device for a modern person – their smartphones. The fact that the device is near a person all day long is undeniable and that is why mobile advertising is worth opting for.

Launching a campaign with impressions on mobile allows you to take advantage of the precise settings for demographics and geographic targeting. For example, user location technologies allow marketers to run ads targeted, for example, to attract visitors to local entertainment venues.

Although advertisements are displayed on a small screen, advertisers can personalize their ads to make their campaigns more effective.

Two main methods of using mobile advertising include:

  • Full-screen advertising: it is often used in free mobile apps if their developers want to monetize them this way. During certain periods in the process of using an app, a full-screen banner with the advertisement appears.
  • Product placement:  it is an integration of the marketing message into the app as a design element or content. An expensive and complex method that is used only by well-known brands.

Now mobile advertising is not suitable for all businesses, although in some niches it can provide a very good effect. Often, advertisements in some mobile applications are used by developers of other applications to promote their products.

Social ads

Targeted advertising on social networks is now one of the main types of online advertising. Additionally, the so-called SMM (social media marketing) is actively used, and its essence is to form and develop communities around a brand page on a specific social network.

The ability to display advertisements is available on any major social network. However, the main platforms are usually Facebook and Instagram.

Ads on social media

Instagram Stories ads

Moreover, both platforms provide the ability to use several different ad formats at once. Testing them and analyzing their effectiveness allows the advertiser to form the most successful and profitable strategy.

Today, in many business niches, it is absolutely impossible to imagine an effective advertising campaign without using the potential of social networks.


The essence of remarketing is the ability to track users who have visited your website and show them ads again, as a kind of reminder of your goods or services. Today, two types of remarketing are distinguished – classic and dynamic. 

A simple example: if the conversion rate on your site is 1%, this means that 99% of site visitors leave it for some reason without making a purchase or other conversion action. With classic remarketing, you can remind them of yourself again and, quite possibly, push them to change their mind.

Google is constantly improving its technology for tracking user behavior, opening up even more opportunities for advertising campaigns. However, a minor disadvantage of classic remarketing is that users can see advertisements of the same company over and over again, regardless of whether or not they are interested in this offer.

But dynamic remarketing is configured to generate an individual ad based on the products viewed. Thanks to this, it is possible to almost double the conversions.

Email marketing

There is a myth that such online advertising as email newsletters has become inefficient today. We want to refute this. Until now, this type of advertising on the Internet is used to communicate with potential and regular customers. Usually, an email newsletter is a bunch of interesting, useful information for subscribers. 

You can use an email newsletter as one of the options for online advertising in the following cases:

  • You are a representative of an online store or a website and the user you sent the newsletter to can become your potential customer. Thus, you can send interesting offers, current news in the area that the user can be interested in, or just useful information;
  • You represent news sites, portals, or marketplaces, so the email newsletter will help you to learn more about users and increase your traffic.

Affiliate marketing

The affiliate marketing model presupposes that the advertiser pays only in the case of certain actions on the part of the client. Thus, the risks for the advertisers are minimal, because they receive a guarantee of a profitable return on investment.

On the other hand, this type of online advertising is not so desirable for publishers, because, despite the higher reward, profit rates can fluctuate significantly depending on the type of product advertised, the quality of the advertising campaign itself, and many other factors.

To put it simpler, the cost of such an advertisement is the amount you pay if your ad leads to a sale. Of course, compared to pay-per-view or click-through rates, it can seem quite high. But conversions will be much less frequent, and the profit from each of them for the business will be higher.

Interesting fact: in ecommerce, affiliate marketing in the format of a referral program with deductions for each product sold was first used on Amazon in the late 90s. It is believed that it was the active distribution of affiliate links to products from the Amazon catalog by users that became one of the factors that influenced its formation as the world's largest ecommerce platform.

Influencer marketing

Influencer marketing is promotion through influencers, that is, people whose opinion means something to their audience. In practice, through influencer marketing you can get:

  • mentions from a popular Instagram blogger;
  • an article on the experts’ blog;
  • comment in the Facebook community mentioning your brand;
  • a YouTube interview.

Anything, if the opinion of the influencer will be spread among the audience.

This is an essential way of promotion for those building their marketing strategy in social networks as well as for those offering any digital product.

It's important to understand that you can get traffic from influencers. For example, an online store uses SEM, media advertising, email marketing to get traffic. They can buy a video from a blogger with a link to the site, they can order a review through barter, they can conduct a contest in their social networks and order bloggers to mention this contest and the number of potential customers increases.

By the way, if you don’t know where or how to find an influencer who will suit your exact business goal, you don’t have to spend hours and hours searching on social networks. There are special tools that can help you to explore influencers and build your ad campaign on social media.

Wrapping Up

Online advertising has become a necessity today. Such advertising can be effectively used not only to sell products and get customers for services, but it is also an excellent channel for spreading information about your brand and increasing awareness.

Some "old-fashioned" companies, for some reason, continue to avoid going online and actively working in this direction. But, as practice shows, sooner or later, the clients themselves lead the business to such a step.

It's simple. If a dozen customers asked you if there is detailed information about your products or services online, but you don't even have a website, isn't it an argument to finally go and make it?

Well, with the help of the listed types of online advertising, you can attract many new customers and retain your existing ones and, thus, take the first step towards bringing your business to a new level.

If you don’t know how to build your ad campaign on social media, BuzzGuru experts will gladly help. Contact us through the form on our website, and we will find the solution to meet your exact business requirements.


Here are primary types of digital advertising:

  • Influencer marketing. This type of digital advertising utilizes influential people, often with large social media followings, to promote a product or service. It's a kind of word-of-mouth marketing that amplifies your brand message to a larger market in an organic way.
  • Display ads. They are composed of images and text that usually appear as banners, pop-ups, or flash ads on websites.
  • Social media advertising. This is advertising carried out on social media platforms and can include both paid and organic strategies.
  • Native advertising. These are ads designed to match the look and feel of the media format in which they appear, creating a less intrusive experience.
  • Search engine marketing (SEM). SEM involves tactics such as pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and search engine optimization (SEO) to increase visibility in search engine results.
  • Video ads. These are promotional videos used to showcase a product or service.
  • Email marketing. This digital advertising strategy entails distributing promotional materials via email to a collection of opted-in subscribers.

Display ads appear on third-party websites in various formats including banners, pop-ups, or flash ads. These are often placed through ad networks that use algorithms to target ads based on a user's browsing history, demographic information, or interests. However, the targeting can sometimes be broad, and the ads may not be as relevant to the user. Despite this, they can be an affordable option and they have the potential to reach a large number of people.

Native advertising refers to ads that are designed to blend in with the regular content on a platform, creating a less obtrusive experience for users. These could be sponsored posts on social media feeds, promoted listings on e-commerce sites, or sponsored content in a digital publication. Native advertising uses audience online habits and history to present ads that are relevant to them, which often results in better engagement and conversion rates.

The effectiveness of an online advertising type depends largely on the business's objectives and target audience. However, generally:

  • Influencer marketing. Utilizing influencers who have a strong connection with their followers can be incredibly impactful. They can provide authentic promotion, boosting credibility and trust in your brand.
  • SEM can be particularly effective as it targets users who are actively searching for specific keywords, implying a higher level of intent.
  • Social media advertising can also be very effective due to its ability to reach a broad and diverse audience and the availability of sophisticated targeting options.
  • Video ads are effective because they are engaging and can convey a large amount of information in a short time.
  • Email marketing can be highly effective for nurturing relationships with customers who have already shown interest in a business or product.

SEM includes tactics like PPC and SEO that increase a brand's visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs). With PPC, advertisers bid on keywords, and their ads appear when users search for those keywords. SEO involves optimizing website content to rank higher in organic search results for specific keywords. SEM is effective because it targets users who are actively searching for related information, products, or services, making them more likely to engage or convert.

Social media advertising is effective because it leverages the extensive reach and the detailed user data of social media platforms. This allows for highly targeted advertising, ensuring the ads reach relevant audiences. Social media advertising also benefits from the interactive nature of social platforms, encouraging direct engagement between businesses and their customers.

While traditional display advertising can sometimes serve ads that are not relevant to the user, targeted display advertising uses specific data about users, such as their demographic details, online behavior, or interests, to serve them ads that are more likely to be of interest. This makes the ads more effective, leading to higher engagement and conversion rates.

Try BuzzGuru today! Submit for a free trial and check out platform’s capabilities by yourself.