9 Types of Digital Advertisements

Written by Allison Herrera

Edited by Brittany Prats

Digital advertising is constantly growing & evolving into a variety of forms. You probably already read our blog about the seven benefits of digital advertising; but, how does one choose which type of digital advertising channel to hone in on? Social media ads are the perfect opportunity for highly targeted & engaging visual ads. But, paid search advertising offers advertisers an opportunity in grabbing online users’ attention who are actively searching for relevant terms. But, what if you’re focusing on increasing brand awareness? Perhaps native advertising or display advertising is the option for you.

When it comes to digital advertising, it’s up to you, when strategically picking your poison. There are many different types of digital advertising channels you can utilize in reaching your audience, & each channel can yield effectiveness based on what outlet(s) you choose, your goals, the nature of your business, & how you utilize each feature towards the nature of your business. Let’s talk about the nine types of digital advertising below!

Native Advertising

  • Native advertising is often called the “anti-ad”, because it integrates with the content or the platform where it is published without interrupting the navigation.
  • The purpose is creating useful & engaging content for your target audience that doesn’t feel like an advertisement.
  • Native advertising focuses on a positive & seamless user experience, because the ad’s design matches the function, feel & look of the media platform it appears on.
  • This in turn build customer trust, as advertisements appear genuine & authentic, rather than spam or a nuisance.

Email Marketing

  • Email marketing creates quality databases & offers opportunities for a segmented audience.
  • Strong email campaigns use content that entices users to “click to download”, which can vary from ebooks to checklists. This creates a database or interested leads, as it requires users to add in their information (name, email, etc.). As your database grows, you can separate your list of users into specialized groups based on each user’s specific behavior & interests. Then, you can deliver relevant email campaigns their way.

Social Media & Social Media Advertisements

  • Back in 2019, internet users spent an average of two hours and 22 minutes per day on social media, which means social media provides a huge opportunity for marketing your business.
  • Social media & social media advertising is a great strategy in reaching a specific & engaging audience at a low cost.
  • Let’s break this category into two aspects – social media (organic marketing) & social media advertisements (paid digital advertising).
  • Social media is organic marketing, in the sense that it’s free to have a page on a social media platform, although you would only grow with a professional’s guidance or management.
  • Although organic marketing efforts are free, you can implement paid digital advertising through social media advertisements for an extra push in attracting online users.
  • Think of social media as your vehicle & social media advertisements as the gas that keeps your wheels rolling.
  • When you feel as if your business is rolling, but you want to attract a new demographic, paid advertising can assist & is an affordable strategy.
  • Social media advertisements increase brand awareness, sales, & revenue through segmenting your target audience.
  • Social media ads depend on millions of users and they allow you to segment to arrive to your target audience.
  • Each social media platform has different features & options, which help segment your target audience.
  • Of course “everyone” is on Facebook, but that doesn’t mean it is necessarily the best platform in reaching your target audience.
  • The platform you decide in ultimately placing your ads on depends on a number of factors, such as your audience’s online habits & where your target audience typically spends most of their time. Here are a few of our favorite social media platforms:
    • Facebook
    • Twitter
    • Instagram
    • TikTok
    • LinkedIn
    • YouTube
    • Pinterest
    • Snapchat


  • From there, you focus on ad formats, which takes into account messaging, budget, & the platform itself.
  • Social media ads also have more than one goal in mind. From building brand awareness to increasing sales, a professional marketer can help properly craft a clear goal based on strategy backed up by research.


Display Advertising

  • When most people think of online advertising, display ads are what typically comes to people’s minds in terms of traditional digital marketing.
  • Display advertising is a published visual element that is found on a designated area of a website, blog, social media platform, etc. Great examples of display advertising are banner ads, promotional images, & pop-ups on websites.
  • These ads are often placed on websites with relevant subject matter, in hopes of targeting a similar audience.
  • Display advertisements generally have a lower CTR than search ads, since the placement is not always relevant to users & disrupts a user’s website experience – appearing intrusive or annoying, from a psychological standpoint.
  • This sometimes yields into low engagement rates, & internet users sometimes ignore display ads.
  • The CTRs & engagement rates of display ads are also affected by the growth of ad blockers, but there is a great potential in re-marketing options when it comes to this type of advertisement.
  • Display advertisements also build brand awareness in a highly targeted environment.


  • Remarketing displays personalized ad online based toward a user’s online behavior or users who have previously interacted with your website, brand, or similar websites & brands.
  • Remarketing ads are always appropriate & relevant to users’ latest interactions through using information about users collected through cookies.
  • This type of advertising is a key driver of ROI for e-commerce business (& so much more), because it focuses on engaging with users who interacted with your brand in the past & demonstrated interest in your products/services. This strategy shows a higher conversion rate rather than targeting customers who have never heard of your brand or company before.
  • Remarketing reignites a consumer’s interest & encourages him/her to return & finalize a purchase. Either way, the goal is remaining top-of-mind with users & increasing the likelihood of a sale

SEM (aka “paid search advertising”)


  • Paid search advertising are the ads that you see at the top of any search engine’s results page – such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo. It blends in as a search engine result, but says “Ad” next to the URL.
  • Paid search advertisements have a high CTR & drive more conversions than display advertising, because they seamlessly blend in as a search engine result, although they say “Ad” next to the URL.
  • Users are also highly likely to read & engage paid search advertisements because not only do they sit at the top page of search results, but you’ll capture your target audience when their attention matters the most – when they’re actively searching for a product or service you can offer them.
  • SEM quickly & easily responds to the needs of users based on keywords & phrases in what they are typing in the search engine.
  • Like social media ads, you can also target customers through SEM according to age, location, & interests
  • Google Ads also offer the option of designing search engine ad campaigns combined with with retargeting lists, which boosts the effectiveness of paid search advertising campaigns.

Mobile Advertisements

  • Mobile advertising is focused on the appearance of ads on mobile devices, such as a smartphone or tablet.
  • This type of advertising includes promotion texts sent via SMS, banner ads on mobile-enabled sites, and ads that pop up within mobile apps.
  • As more & more online users spend most of their time on their mobile devices, digital campaigns should definitely also focus on mobile.
  • According to Google, searches are significantly higher on mobile instead of desktops. As a result, Google does not index a page if it doesn’t have a mobile website.

Video Advertisements

  • Video is the king of content. Due to its effectiveness, video ads receive a better CTR than traditional advertising.
  • Video platforms, such as YouTube & TikTok, continue growing in popularity, as smartphone users spend a majority of their time engaging with video content online.
  • Videos also provide an authentic connection for consumers, which expands reach, promotes engagement, makes boosting campaigns easier, & drives clicks/sales.
  • Hearing & seeing someone in real life generates a genuine feeling from the screen to the target audience.

Audio Advertising

  • Audio advertising targets audio streaming service listeners.
  • This type of advertising involves recorded messages that are placed between songs on podcast episodes, unless users are paying a subscription fee on streaming devices.
  • Audio advertising is a great opportunity for brands to reach a large audience, & can be strategically placed based on users’ interests. For example, a podcast focused on dogs is the perfect opportunity for a dog groomer to advertise himself/herself.
  • With professional marketing, advertisers can also create memorable, high-impact messages for listeners, while ensuring audio ads yield a target audience.

Now that you’ve read about the nine main types of digital advertising channels, what’s holding you back? You’ll want a professional on your side when navigating this ever-changing digital world. Contact one of our team specialists today – we can help you find the perfect channel that’s right for your brand, while providing an effective & efficient digital advertising strategy.



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