Online advertising

What is online advertising?

The simplest definition is that online advertising is the marketing of product and services that are presented on an internet-based platform. This broadly includes banner adverts, sponsored online content, social media content, adware, email marketing, popup ads, and various other examples, all of which require an internet connection to be seen. The purpose of all advertising is to deliver information on a product, services, or a brand to the consumer, online advertising is the same except that it is restricted and focused on web users. This has become increasingly necessary over the last two decades as the internet has grown in popularity. Websites and social media have become better-known places to find an audience than the alternatives.

What are the types of online advertising?

There are several existing forms of advertising online. In truth it is near impossible to go online and not view at least one form of advertising or another. However, here are the most popular types of online advertising:

  • Display Ads: These are arguably the best-known form of advertising on the internet. These conduct marketing using text, logos, pictures, videos, and animations. They usually draw the eye the most and are often considered annoying by web users.
  • Social Media Adverts: The popularity of social media and the number of its users make it an optimal location for advertisements. These might appear in the form of posts, sponsored content, and similar.
  • SEM (Search Engine Marketing): These are processes aimed at improving a website’s ranking on search engines. A website’s position on SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) determines how quickly it is seen by users conducting searches.
  • Native Advertising: This is a form of advertising crafted to blend in with the content in which it is placed. Its integration is always subtle and downplayed to minimise its interference with user experience. This includes: in-feed ads, recommendation widgets, promoted listings, and search ads.
  • Remarketing/Retargeting: These are ads that follow customers across the web. They make use of cookies to specifically note customers viewing a particular product, so as to later market the same or similar products to them.

What is the purpose of advertising online?

The purpose of online advertising, as with all other forms of advertising, is to transmit promotional messages to the audiences. These messages will create awareness of your product, service, or brand to audiences, which will, in turn, put you in their consideration when they require something. By advertising online, it is possible to also stimulate demand for your brand. In addition, advertising serves to elevate your business above its competitors in the minds of your audience.

What are the benefits of online advertising?

Advertising, in general, is beneficial for marketers due to its ability to attract the much-needed attention of consumers. However, specific benefits of online advertisements are:

  • Data on its effectiveness can be easily gathered
  • Advertisements can be targeted to specific audiences
  • Online advertisements can reach a global audience
  • They can be posted immediately when they are completed
  • They can be created and posted in a variety of formats
  • There are inexpensive to launch on the web

Is online advertising free?

This depends largely on the type of advertisement and its location. When advertising on social media, for instance, users are allowed to post adverts on their own pages for free. However, these adverts will only be visible to those following that page, unless the page or its posts are shared and recommended to other users. It is also possible to pay for sponsored content on social media and to buy ad space where banners and videos will be shown to other users.

Where can I advertise for free online?

There are several places online where you can advertise for free depending on the type of advert you are interested in putting up. Adverts on social media are free as long as they are put up on a page you own. Similarly, your webpages will appear on search engines if your ranking on search engines is sufficient for the search words. There are listing sites where your business will be displayed.

What is a paid search?

A paid search or search advertising is a form of advert that appears on search engines. Each search engine has a platform where publishers and advertisers can bid for select words or phrases. Selected websites will then be displayed on SERPs if those words are searched for.

What is paid social?

Paid social or social advertising are adverts placed on social media platforms. These adverts will appear on the feeds of users on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Social advertising is effective due to its ability to target specific users that meet the parameters that best fit your product. In addition, paid social helps advertisers gather information on the most attractive features sought by web users.

What is SEO?

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) refers to the actions taken within a website to improve its rankings on search engines. When a search is made, a number of results are shown, and the search engine ranks the websites shown in order of how relevant they are to the search terms and the quality of the website. SEO involves techniques that enable a site to qualify within these parameters.

Is online advertising better than traditional advertising media?

While online advertising has its advantages over traditional types of media such as radio, television, and print media; whether or not it is better overall depends on the advertiser, the audience, the purpose of the advertisement, and other factors. Various advertisers prefer online advertising for a few reasons:

  • It is relatively inexpensive. Adverts can be simply posted on the internet and require less physical equipment.
  • Adverts on the internet are easier to personalise to specific individuals. Other mass media is often restricted to one message sent to a wide variety of people.
  • The reaction of the target audience to advertisements are easier to monitor on the internet, and success or failure can be better measured.
  • The internet has a steady supply of audiences from all over the world, most of which are frequently online.