The Different Types of Advertisement and Their Purpose

Posted on November 29, 2019 | Updated on December 18, 2020

Advertising is simply any effort a brand makes to reach its target audience. There are some specific types of advertisement we’re all familiar with, such as a magazine or Facebook ad. However, there are some subtler types you might not have realized were meant specifically to reach an audience. Each one has a specific purpose.

Worldwide spending on advertising is expected to reach over $563 billion this year, representing a 4.4% growth. The marketplace is crowded with companies clamoring for the attention of a limited pool of buyers. If you want to stand out from the crowd, you must understand the different types of advertisement and when to use each one.

1. Dynamic Ads

Dynamic ads take into account past behavior of specific users and are most likely to be of interest to that person. These types of advertisement might use geolocation to target consumers based on where they are located, as well as looking at browsing history. You can even use the weather in an area to serve up an ad for raincoats or umbrellas.

2. Content

You might not immediately think of content as an ad, but writing the correct type drives traffic to your site and persuades people to buy your products. You can also use it as a way to create additional exposure on social media by posting a description and link to the article, or even running an ad for a free book. The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) surveyed marketers and found at least 86% use content marketing. The percentage varies between business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) marketers.

Fisher-Price offers content for parents that is relatable to its products, such as an age-by-age playtime guide. It even invites site visitors to sign up for a newsletter to get parenting tips and other advice related to their child’s age.

3. Print Ads

Print ads have been around since humans figured out they could paint a poster and possibly sell their goods. Even though digital advertising is a vital part of any marketing strategy today, print ads still have their place. For example, if you run a local service business and want to reach new clients, a newspaper ad reaches readers in a specific area. If you sell a niche product, you might take out a magazine ad for that industry. Print ads are excellent types of advertisement that introduce a wider audience to your brand and what you do.

4. Billboards

Have you ever driven down the road, saw a billboard for the most delicious fudge in the world and decided to stop in and get some? Billboards seem to work well for either impulse purchases or services people need occasionally, such as injury lawyers. You have a captive audience that drives past the billboard day after day and sees your ad. Since many experts believe consumers must see a brand mentioned numerous times before they remember it, this is an excellent way to keep reaching them.

McDonald’s came up with a billboard series that worked perfectly to show directional cues to the nearest location. By using the famous golden arches, it could direct people to get off at an exit and grab hungry travelers who otherwise might have passed on by.

5. Radio Slots

Some types of advertisement, like radio, have always been a big part of local business marketing campaigns and will likely continue to be. Much like the billboard, you have a captive audience day after day as people commute to work and home again. However, unlike billboards, you can refine your target audience a bit based on the types of shows they’re likely to listen to. If you want to reach baby boomers, for example, an oldies station or a talk radio station might be your best choice.

6. Video Ads

Around 85% of internet users watch videos each month via various devices. Nearly everyone watches video, and it sends a strong message. It offers an opportunity to share your story and reach consumers on another level. You can utilize social media platforms to get your videos out, embed one on your website and even send them to your mailing list.

Knorr does a good job with its video ad campaign featuring easy recipes using its products. It knows its audience is interested in throwing quick meals on the table on busy nights. Therefore, it shares simple, fast recipes that nearly anyone could throw together.

7. Email Campaigns

Email marketing is probably one of the most targeted types of advertisement you can offer. Anyone who has signed up for your mailing list is interested in what you have to say. You can track what they’ve clicked on during other campaigns, segment your files to make them even more targeted and send them advertisements based on past buying behavior.

8. Influencer Campaigns

Influencer marketing has become a buzzword in recent years. Influencers can either help drive traffic to your business or waste your money. The key is understanding the role of the influencer and how to find the right one for your business. First, you want one with followers who are highly engaged. Do they interact with others when they post something on their social media pages? You also want someone who reaches your same target audience.

Mondrian hotel’s Skybar is a gorgeous retreat. It teamed up with influencer Stevie Popz to get the word out about summer not quite being over yet. Since it’s trying to reach millennials with the message, using someone with that following makes perfect sense. It also took the campaign to Instagram, where its audience is likely to spend the most time.

9. Pay Per Click

Paying for clicks does still work, mainly because you can target the ads to such a specific audience. Google, for example, collects information on the people who use its search engine. It knows the location of the person, past browsing behavior and a million other little details. This allows it to send you traffic that is interested in what you have to offer and hopefully push it on to your site.

10. Social Media Ads

Another one of the highly targeted types of advertisement is social media pushes. If you choose to post an ad on Facebook, you can narrow the audience down to gender, location and even other pages they’ve liked. Social media ads are fairly inexpensive and reach a specific audience. No advertising campaign, even for local businesses, is complete without a social media push.

Nikon targets people who’ve recently searched for cameras with this Facebook ad. Not only is the advertisement highly specific to what someone recently researched, but it also pinpoints the type of camera the user might be most interested in.

11. Event Marketing

One of the types of advertisement that is often overlooked by smaller brands is event marketing. You can either sponsor something, such as a local Little League, or you can attend fairs or industry gatherings and pass out free promotional items. The goal is to get your name out in the community where you’re most likely to gain customers.

If you sell home improvement products, you might attend a show and have a presence there. If you own a restaurant, then it makes more sense to set up a booth at the local fair and pass out samples. Think about where your customer base is most likely to be.

Try Different Methods

There are many different ways to advertise and reach your audience. Knowing what types of advertisement are available helps you narrow down your efforts and seek the most affordable ways to market to your audience. Try new things from time to time until you find the perfect mix of advertising that works best for your brand.

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