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8 Forms of Advertising & How to Use Them

Every business needs a solid advertising strategy, but it all starts with knowing what each type is and how to use it. Get all the details here.

Illustration/image of person seeing a billboard, hearing something on the radio, and looking at an ad on their phone
June 13, 2023
Kathleen Crampton
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Reading time about 7 min

Ads are everywhere, but do you know their types and how to use them for your business?

There are several forms of advertising, from paid search to print to SMS ads, and we’ll cover them all here. But first, let’s clarify a common misconception: marketing and advertising are the same. (Hint: They’re not!)

Marketing is the umbrella that encompasses every aspect of engaging with and understanding your current and potential customers. From brand management to digital marketing to product development, marketing is how your business strives to meet customer needs and make sales. Advertising is one aspect of marketing that involves promoting your company’s product or service through different methods.

Now that we have that cleared up let’s chat about the various advertising types and how to use them for your business.


Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising

PPC is a form of online paid search advertising that involves paying search engines (like Google, Bing, and Yahoo) to place your ads higher on the search engine results pages for specific keywords or phrases. Only when someone clicks your ad do you pay.


How To Use PPC

Did you know there are more than 8.5 billion Google searches daily? With stats like that, it only makes sense to incorporate PPC advertising into your marketing strategy. Though Google PPC ads are more expensive and the keyword landscape more competitive than other search engines, like Bing, you’ll get a much larger audience.

PPC is cost-effective because you can bid on keywords and never have to pay more than you’re willing to. Choose keywords and phrases that your customers and client base are more likely to search for, making this form of advertising a great way to target the right audience. Then, conduct tests for different PPC ads to see which ones bring in the most clicks. Just make sure to align your SEO strategy with your PPC ad strategy because the quality of your website’s landing page plays into your ad’s quality score.


Display Advertising

Another type of paid search advertising is display advertising. These ads look like boxes or banners across or on the sides of websites or social pages, like Facebook. That’s why they’re often called display banners.

The goal of display advertising is to stand out from the content of the page while still being relevant in some way to the reader. Sometimes display ads can become irksome or overwhelming to users scrolling through content, but if done right, they can be quite effective.


How To Use Display Advertising

First, make sure that your display ads are consistent in look and feel across sites and reflect your brand. Then, you can choose from three types of advertising for display banners:

  • Site placement includes selecting specific websites, pages, and apps on which you want your display ad to appear.
  • Contextual means that your display ad will be placed on relevant sites and pages determined by the keywords, context, and so on.
  • Remarketing means that your display ad will appear on sites, pages, and apps for customers that have interacted with your brand before. This advertising type is super effective because it personalizes the online experience for your audience.


Social Media Advertising

The kinds of advertising you see on social media vary greatly; what works on one channel might not work on another. With social media ads, you can engage with your audience authentically and in real-time.


How To Use Social Media Advertising

Each social media channel has different ways of displaying and incorporating ads. For example, on Instagram, you can create posts that are ads or incorporate ads into users’ stories with links to products (learn more about how to sell on Instagram). On Facebook, you might incorporate sponsored posts on the app version and/or display ads on the web version. On TikTok, you should include videos that advertise your brand while incorporating the current trends on the app. If you use LinkedIn, your ads should cater to professionals.


Native Advertising

Native advertising falls under PPC and social media advertising, but we’re calling it out here because it’s a special ad. When you think of types of advertising, you probably envision those that include specific branding, a call to action, brand colors, and on.

But native advertising is sneaky. It’s a type of paid ad, either on a website, social channel feeds, or search engine results pages, that looks “native” to the page, or seems to fit right into the look and feel. Readers might not know that they’re ads at first glance, which makes this form of advertising effective because people are more willing to click.

There are some questions of ethics regarding native advertising, but you can often spot which content is an ad by small text that says “sponsored,” “suggested,” “recommended,” and other similar words or phrases, which all help to separate paid ad content from blog or editorial content.


How To Use Native Advertising

Native ads are increasingly valuable to customers because ad blockers don’t identify them. To create an effective native ad, avoid mentioning your brand in the headline, graphics, or image. If you do, customers will see this as an ad and might be less likely to click on it. Then, ensure continuity between what users click on and where the link brings them to boost audience trust.


Print Advertising

Of all advertising types, this one has been around the longest. Print advertising utilizes any form of print publication, like newspapers, magazines, brochures, etc., to promote a product or service. But part of print advertising also includes direct mailers, like postcards or magazines that you get in the mail for specific brands. All are excellent methods for brand marketing.


How To Use Print Advertising

Before you say, “But print is dead!” think about this: 82% of consumers trust print ads the most when deciding on a purchase. That, paired with high conversion rates for digital ads, means you should complement your digital advertising with print. You could even consider adding QR codes to some of your print ads and direct mailers to bridge the gap between print and digital.

You can pull out ad placements in places like newspapers, national magazines (like Vogue or The New Yorker), or local magazines. Pricing differs based on how large the ad is and where it’s located in the publication.


Broadcast and Video Advertising

Broadcast and video advertising examples include TV, online video, videos on streaming subscriptions, and even radio. While it’s harder to track conversion rates with broadcast ads, they’re still important because they can reach millions of people, increasing awareness of your brand. Pricing differs greatly based on which type of medium you use, with TV ads being the most expensive.


How To Use Broadcast and Video Ads

If you’re starting your business, it might be a good idea, to begin with online videos on YouTube. These are generally less expensive and easier to create than ads for TV or streaming services. Plus, user views and clicks are easy to track. If you have the budget for TV or streaming video ads, incorporate these into your advertising plan to widen your audience awareness.


Outdoor Advertising

You’ve probably noticed big, colorful ads on buses, benches, and billboards throughout your city. These forms of advertising are outdoor, or out-of-home (OOH), advertising. While it’s a traditional type of advertising in marketing, outdoor ads have evolved with the times, with digital OOH ads and even interactive installations.


How To Use Outdoor Advertising

The big takeaway with outdoor advertising is to use it wisely. Graphic design and content are crucial with these types of ads because the odds are that people will pass by them quickly. Keep content short and engaging, and ensure the design catches people’s attention. For example, what will make drivers look again for a billboard ad?


SMS Advertising

SMS advertising involves sending text messages to customers and leads (who have opted into your contacts list) regarding promotions, sales, and more.


How To Use SMS Advertising

With 98% open rates for text messages, it makes sense to incorporate SMS advertising in your marketing strategy. Utilizing email and text marketing, along with other forms of advertising we’ve mentioned here, is crucial to enhance your brand reach.

Use a text marketing solution, like EZ Texting, to quickly build contact lists, conduct effective customer segmentation, create and send automated or campaign-related messages, and boost ROI. Take a look at some SMS marketing examples to help you get started.

With all of these advertising types come many questions. How do you know when to use them or if you should use every single one? Your advertising strategy should be based on your marketing campaign, your strategy for generating leads, how your customers generally interact with your brand, and so on. Thankfully, we’ve got some ideas. Take a look at these marketing campaign ideas to help spark some creativity and start developing your advertising strategy.

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