Home Marketing Digital Advertising Top 8 Digital Advertising Types You Must Know (Overview)

Top 8 Digital Advertising Types You Must Know (Overview)

You are wondering what are the different digital advertising types out there?

Want to find out what are the top digital advertising types you must know?

We have our top 8 selection for you!

If you are not aware of these 8 digital advertising types, you must absolutely read this.

In this article, we will first understand what is digital advertising and then we’ll dive right into our top 8 digital advertising types you must be aware of and use in your digital marketing efforts to increase your brand awareness and improve sales.

We have divided this article into the following sections for your ease of navigation:

Let’s get started…

Digital advertising explained

The first question we must answer is what is digital advertising?

Digital advertising can be explained quite simply!

Digital advertising is the process of publishing promotional material through different online platforms to reach your target audience with the objective of converting your target audience.

Different platforms can include search engines, websites, mobile apps, blogs, forums, social media, you name it.

With more and more people connected to the Internet and businesses conducting business online, digital advertising is now a quintessential type of advertising for businesses.

Digital advertising is on the rise

Did you know that according to Google, there are 3.5 billion searches made by users on their platform every day!

Imagine the number of people that are surfing the web through search engines.

In 2018, digital ad revenues surpassed $100 billion for the first time!

The sheer size of the online advertising market and how much money is pumped into digital advertising makes it impossible to stand a chance to compete without having any digital advertising strategy.

Digital advertising is a must today and is the way of the future.

Let’s see why digital advertising is so effective.

Digital advertising is more effective than traditional advertising

The main difference between digital advertising and traditional advertising is in the manner that you can target your audience, track your results and calculate your return on investment.

With traditional advertising, you aim a broad target market, you prepare an advertisement message that can generally appeal to that broad market, you run your ad and you hope your audience will react. 

After all of that, you’ll need to try to figure out what was the impact of any potential sales you earned resulting from your ad campaign.

The challenge in all of the traditional processes that you don’t know how many people you succeeded in converting and how much is your true return on investment.

With digital advertising, it’s quite the opposite.

You can segment your audience with real data, you can create targeted message to appeal to your audience, you can target your audience through different channels and track your results in real-time, you can tweak your campaign to focus on what works and you can calculate a precise return on investment.

Digital advertising offers you real-time data so you can track and measure your performance as you are running your campaign.

If things are working well, you’ll do more of it.

If things are not going well, you can immediately make changes to your campaign in such a way that you earn more revenue for every digital advertising money you spend.

What are different digital advertising types

There are many ways you can run digital ads.

There are also many digital advertising types you can use to achieve the best possible results.

The digital marketing industry has evolved so much over the past decade and will continue to evolve.

To make sure you remain ahead of the game, you’ll need to regularly keep yourself informed of the latest trends and the different digital advertising types available to you so you can hit a home run.

We’ve compiled the most popular digital advertising types for you to consider.

Let’s start with display advertising.

Display advertising

Display advertising is typically banners ads appearing on landing pages or website pages, interstitial ads, rich media display ads, popup ads, flash ads on websites and blogs.

Display advertising is a basic type of online ads you may come across very often.

In most cases, we may not see their relevance as they are meant to target a wide audience online.

The audience is generally not targetted so banner ads may have a lower click-through rate.

On the flip side, you’ll be seen by a lot of people, so you’ll get a tremendous reach.

Most types of display advertising are charged on a cost per click (CPC) basis.

The advantage of display advertising is that they are not very expensive and can be seen by thousands of people.

For this reason, marketers will find it interesting to spend some money on display advertising.

Another distinguishing factor of display ads is that they do not appear on search engines.

Display ads will appear on web pages having dedicated advertisement space to this effect.

Display advertising can also be used to a more targeted way.

Businesses can use display advertising to retarget an online user.

Because display ads are not that expensive to run, marketers will see it useful to retarget users who had visited their website or had taken a specific action on their site hoping to bring them back.

Native advertising 

Another type of digital advertising is native advertising or native ads.

Native advertising is similar to display ads but they are online ads embedded into the web page in a way that they appear as if forming an integral part of that page.

While a display banner will be served to the user on the far right, left, top or bottom of the page in a clearly separate space from the content of the page, native ads will appear as part of the content of the page or form an integral part of the information presented on the page.

At the end of the day, native ads will have the same look and feel of the media format in which they appear.

Native advertising is found everywhere.

They are found in social media, search engines, blogs, web pages, ecommerce pages and so on.

There are many types of native advertising:

  1. In-feed advertising
  2. In-feed content native advertising
  3. Promoted listings advertising
  4. Social media native advertising
  5. Search native advertising
  6. Content recommendation advertising
  7. In-ads with native elements
  8. Branded content advertising
  9. Mobile native advertising

When you visit a website and you see things like “sponsored posts”, “promoted stories” or “recommended for you”, these are native ads being displayed to you.

That’s an indication that someone has paid for a piece of content or advertisement to be natively presented to you.

Be sure to check out our article on what is native advertising for beginners to learn more about native advertising.

Social media advertising

Social media advertising is another way you can advertise to your audience using social media platforms.

You can promote your brand, create awareness, reach out to a highly targeted audience and promote your products and services.

Social media advertising is a big business!

According to Source, 26% of those who click on a Facebook ad end up buying the advertised product!

According to a CMO survey, businesses will nearly double their social media advertising spend by 2023.

Using social media to advertise can be quite effective for brands to engage with their audience.

You can deliver a message in a more personal way, you can create a buzz for your product or service and actively speak to your audience to get engagement.

Businesses can connect with their ideal customers and segment their target audience based on geography, demographics, behaviour, traits and more.

Search engine advertising

Search engine advertising is a paid type of advertisement through search engines.

Search engine advertising is also referred to as search advertising, Internet search advertising, online search advertising or search engine online ads.

With search engine advertising, you pay search engines so they display your advertisement to searchers on the search engine results page.

Typically, search engines like Google and Bing will present your advertisement on top or at the bottom of the page in places where users will be more likely to click on your search engine ad.

Search engines will collect a fee for users who click on your search engine ads for a specific keyword you’ve targeted.

This is commonly referred to as a cost-per-click or CPC.

Depending on how many advertisers are bidding for the same keywords, you may pay a different cost-per-click.

What’s great about search engine advertising is that depending on the keywords you target, you can generate a lot of quality traffic to your website.

You can even select keywords with transactional intent behind it.

Video advertising

Video advertising is promotional content that will be served to a user either before a video is played, during the video or at the end of the video.

Video advertising is a popular way to reach an online audience.

According to SearchEngineJournal, video advertising will dominate the next decade of digital advertising.

Video advertisements can be prepared by anyone with any budget.

Unlike traditional TV commercials or video advertisements, online video advertising can be literally filmed using your smartphone.

You can effectively reach your target audience as you can create video content that will be related to the type of videos searched by users.

According to IAB’s April 2019 report, video ad budgets are up 25% year over year.

Used effectively, you can keep your video users interested and have them tune into your message.

There are different types of video advertising:

  1. In-stream video advertising
  2. Non-linear video advertising
  3. Native auto-play video advertising
  4. Shoppable video advertising
  5. Video in search advertising

Depending on your digital advertising objective, you could leverage different types of video advertising strategies to achieve the best results.

Email advertising

Email advertising is a type of advertising performed using email where you send your subscriber or email target a promotional message to entice them to make a purchase from you.

Email advertising is one of the most popular and one of the most effective digital advertising types.

According to Statista, 3.7 billion emails were sent and received every day around the world in 2017.

This number will only increase with time.

Nearly half of the world’s population is sending or receiving emails on a daily basis.

The reason why email marketing is so popular is that it is quite lucrative for businesses.

According to Campaign Monitor, for every $1 spent on email advertising, businesses expect to generate a return of $44 in revenue, that’s a 4,400% return on investment.

Who in the world would say no to that!

Email marketing implies you must have someone’s email to send them an email.

To get someone’s email, you may have offered a lead magnet, hosted a webinar, offered some free content or resources in exchange for that email.

You have already built a certain level of trust high enough for a user to give you their email address.

When using an email advertising campaign to target your users based on their interests, you can increase your overall conversion ratio.

This will not apply to cases where you buy email lists and target random people with your promotional content. 

Sending cold emails is an outbound marketing with its own strategies and plans.

Be sure to read our inbound vs outbound marketing article giving you some insights on that.

You will see a much greater level of engagement when someone has actively taken steps to share with you their email address and is genuinely interested in your newsletter or email information you share.

Affiliate advertising

Affiliate advertising is a type of digital advertising where you advertise the products or services of another company to earn a commission for every client you send their way.

There are three main types of affiliate advertising setups:

  1. Pay-per-click affiliate advertising
  2. Pay-per-lead affiliate advertising
  3. Pay-per-sale affiliate advertising

The common thread between all the different types of affiliate marketing advertising is that you can get paid more the better you perform.

You will earn a commission when a user has taken a profitable action with the company you are advertising for.

If they consider a click to be a profitable action, you’ll get paid per click.

If it’s a lead or a sale that is considered a profitable action, then you’ll get paid when that happens.

You can find companies with affiliate advertising programs and become an affiliate on a case-by-case basis or you can work with affiliate advertising networks who deal with many advertisers in their network.

The way you’ll do affiliate advertising is by either making informational video’s, writing something in your blog or finding ways to bring traffic to the advertiser’s website so you can get your click, lead or sale.

Affiliate advertising is a type of digital advertising where the company extends its marketing capabilities beyond its own means and leverages the influence and traffic of others to make a sale.

Remarketing or retargeting

Remarketing or retargeting is another way you can present digital ads.

Remarketing is therefore another component of digital advertising types.

With remarketing, you are serving targeted ads to online users who have visited a website or have taken a specific action on your website.

If you went to an ecommerce site and put a product in your shopping cart but did not purchase it, you will then see a ton of remarketing type of digital ads served to you to entice you to buy that thing you were looking to buy.

The idea behind remarketing is that you are targeting a user based on actions they have taken or reminding them to do something that they started.

You know that this particular user had advanced in your marketing funnel but for some reason they dropped off.

Your goal is to incentivize them to come back and move to the next stage of your marketing funnel and hopefully to become a customer.

Remarketing can be personalized to fit the user’s preferences and can be tailored to specific customer segments.


There you have it.

You were looking to read more about different digital advertising types, and we’ve presented our top 8 picks.

Businesses thrive on digital ads.

For many, digital advertising is their primary marketing channel used to drive sales.

You no longer need to have a heavy advertising budget to be able to compete with the big players.

With effective online ads and strategic delivery of your digital ads, you can compete with anyone, anywhere and with any budget.

Digital advertising types provide you with different digital channels and platforms to target your audience.

Consider what may work best for your business and give it a shot.

We hope you enjoyed this article. Do you have any feedback to give us on digital advertising types? We would love to hear from you, drop us a comment!

Editorial Staff
Hello Nation! I'm a lawyer by trade and an entrepreneur by spirit. I specialize in law, business, marketing, and technology (and love it!). I'm an expert SEO and content marketer where I deeply enjoy writing content in highly competitive fields. On this blog, I share my experiences, knowledge, and provide you with golden nuggets of useful information. Enjoy!

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