Online Advertising

What is online advertising? Online advertising is where businesses promote their products and services through mediums like newspapers and television.

Online Advertising - Types, Tools, Statistics, pros and cons

What is online advertising?

Popularly known as online marketing, online advertising is just like traditional advertising, where businesses promote their products and services through mediums like newspapers and television. But the twist is the medium used in online advertising, the Internet. Advertisers use this form of connectivity to pitch to their target audience, about their products and services, through different formats.

Types of online advertising

Email marketing

It is a very basic form of online advertising. In this, a business or promotional-related email is sent to several users whom a business may think of as potential customers. With a personal approach, email marketing targets users interested in the type of service that the business offers on the Internet. Four types of commercial emails are:

  • Acquisition Emails: Users are interested in your product. To convert them from potential customers to real ones, businesses may write emails, information, and offers related to the product. These emails are known as Acquisition emails.
  • Promotional Emails: You make offers about the product to motivate users to buy them. These types of emails are done to increase the level of sales of a particular product.
  • Email Newsletters: These are some of the best and basic forms of marketing emails. You create content around the topics related to your business and educate people about the same. You try to provide users with some kind of value.
  • Retention Emails: These are the emails that you are required to send to your existing customers. It's always best to constantly provide your loyal customers with something extra. That extra can be a special scheme, discount coupons, gift hampers, etc.


Search Engine Marketing or SEM is an interesting form of online advertising. A business tries to strengthen its presence in the digital space through increasing traffic on its official site. The target is achieved mainly through paid advertisements in which businesses compete and bid with each other for an ad-placement space in SERPs.


Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is kind of an alter ego of SEM, but the difference is that businesses do not bid with any other business to rank the website. Instead, the desired result is achieved through keyword research, meta tags, quality content, social media presence, etc. These techniques assist the business in generating organic search results on search engines like Google or Yahoo.

Social Media Marketing

According to data, 3.89 billion people use at least one social media platform like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. With that much audience comes great marketing opportunities. Social Media Marketing is a form of online advertising that uses popular webspace, i.e., social media, to promote one's commodities in the form of images, audio, and videos.  

Types of social media ads are:

  • Facebook Ads: With around 2.7 Billion monthly users, Facebook is an ideal platform for a business to execute its advertising campaign.
  • Instagram Advertising: Analysis says that most Instagram users are of the age group 18-29. It is a platform stuffed with photo and video content. Ideally, if you want to target youngsters, this platform is your best bet.
  • Twitter Ads: Twitter is a very under-rated platform. After Facebook and Instagram, it is the most used social networking site with more than 330 million users worldwide. It is still to be used to its full potential by advertisers.
  • LinkedIn ads: It's a social media platform where mainly one business interacts with another.
  • Pinterest: Among its 175 million users, most of them are females. It is a good platform for businesses to run their ad campaigns if they target a female audience.

Content Marketing

Content marketing refers to promoting through content. In this, content is created and published all over the web space to promote a product or service. The content is created in various forms like blog posts, video, audio, e-books, case studies, etc. it covers a wide range of marketing.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing works like a traditional word of mouth or referral system, but in this case, the particular person is paid for the referral he made. For example, E-commerce platforms like Amazon and BigCommerce have affiliate programs where affiliates enjoy perks like a 5% commission on the sale of referred products. Education sites like Skillshare also execute this strategy; from a commission on paid subscriptions to monthly payouts, affiliates enjoy great benefits from their single referral.

Mobile Advertising

As the name suggests, companies use mobile phones as a medium to deliver their commercial message to the target audience. Therefore, they use mobile services like SMS, MMS, advertising within mobile apps and games, etc. With the increase in the volume of mobile phones and improved connectivity, mobile advertising is only going to grow.

Tools used in online advertising

SEO tools

SEO is an indispensable part of an online advertising strategy. It's a cost-effective practice generating organic search results and improving traffic on one's site. Keyword research tools like SEMrush, Moz Keyword Explorer, Google Keyword Planner are some of the best tools in the business today. In addition, Google Search Console and SpyFu are the tools that provide analytics services that analyze the performance of the ad campaign.

Graphic tools

Along with a great SEO strategy, an advertiser also requires eye-catchy graphics to grab the attention of his target audience. For this purpose, he may use the facilities of graphic tools like Canva, Adobe Photoshop, Pixlr, Pablo, etc., to create an eye-appealing piece of content.  

Social Media Marketing tools

Building a great online presence has become more of a necessity for businesses to make their ad campaign a success. Social media is also a platform that provides marketers with great marketing opportunities. Marketers should use the facilities of tools like Buzzsumo, Biteable, MeetEdgar, Hootsuite, AdEspresso, etc., to research and create content.

Email marketing tools

As discussed above, Email marketing is an interesting online advertising option largely if you want to please your existing customers and lure new customers. One may use tools like HubSpot Email Marketing, Sendinblue, Mailchimp, and Moosend are some of the best tools in the market to create and manage a relevant email marketing campaign.  

  • More than 60% of the advertisers are involved in search engine optimization.
  • 49% of Internet users use Google to search for a new product.
  • Around 70% of marketers take an active part in content marketing strategies.
  • More than 85% of the businesses believe that video content has significantly increased their site's traffic.
  • Mobile optimization has remained a top SEO strategy for the past few years.
  • Since 2017, mobile web traffic has attained around 50% of the global web traffic every year.
  • In 2019, the number of email users rose to 3.9 Billion.
  • Small businesses should opt for email marketing for their promotional campaign as data shows that it results in greater ROI.
  • Out of all SEO tools, Google Analytics has given the best results possible.
  • More than 30% of the marketers vote for paid advertising for promoting their name in the web space.
  • Video ad spending may rise to around 5% by 2024, as data suggests.
  • For early-stage lead generation, email marketing is the best, say 53% of Advertisers.

Pros and cons of online advertising


  • Connectivity

Reach that the Internet facilitates us with is truly insane. No one would have thought that people from Caribbean Islands could chat daily with a person living in Australia. Advertisers use this connectivity and reach to communicate about its product and services to many audiences that were not possible even through television ads.  

  • Target Audience

With online advertising and great strategic tools, it's quite easy to plan a campaign specifically for the audience that can be potential customers. As the target audience is cleared, creating marketing strategies and ads becomes quite an easy task.

  • Economies of Scale

Online advertising is nothing like traditional TV advertisement that burns the hole of a business's pocket but facilitates economies of scale.

  • Clarity through Statistics

With tools like Google Search Console, SpyFu, SEMrush, etc., you have statistics related to your ad campaign in your hand. With the analysis of the same statistics, you can have a crystal clear image of your performance and amend accordingly.  

  • Mobile usability

According to Statista, 48.33% of the world's population uses smartphones. Therefore businesses may pay attention to build their online advertisement campaign mobile-friendly. And with technical advancement, it has become a reality.

  • Multiple Formats

Advertisers may market the same product or service in different forms like images, videos, blog posts, audio, etc. Multiple formats make a marketing campaign quite interesting as the audience reacts differently to each of the formats.


  • Real Impact

Isn't it common with all of us that we just click the 'Skip ad' button with no haste? However, in the past few years, the volume of online advertisements has increased to an insane level. Naturally, this has got internet users annoyed. And with changing times, the attention span of internet users has also gone down to scale.  

  • Competition

As discussed above, the Internet is full of ads. With more businesses coming online to build a strong web presence, the level of competition is increasing with each passing day. Hence it becomes difficult for a marketer to grab the attention of the target audience easily.

  • Complicacy

As the connectivity expands, so does the technicality related. With each passing day, the complicacy of online advertising is growing to new heights. It is such that businesses have to hire required personnel for managing their online presence that adds up to their marketing cost. 

About the author

has been working as a web developer and in online marketing since 1998. After building up a marketing agency and the exit in 2013, he consulted international groups as a freelance consultant. Since 2022, he and his team now offer staffing services in this field.

Dennis Hoinkis CEO, GLOMASTCO Ltd.

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