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June 26, 2019

With online shopping becoming more popular, there are endless ways to advertise your business online.

You can easily reach your target audience through engaging ad formats and let people take action directly from the search results using ad extensions. That’s not including the social media ads, pre-roll videos, banner ads, and retargeting or remarketing ads you can use, too.

Anyone can promote their business online, but the type of online advertising you should use really depends on the nature of your business. 

Types of online advertising 

In this article, we will cover social media advertising for five major companies who do it right as well as other means of online marketing outside of the social media sphere! 

Social media advertising

Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and Snapchat. We’ve got you covered!


Facebook has one of the largest social media platforms, with almost 1.5 billion daily active users spending an average of 41 minutes browsing every day. 

On top of that, it adds 500 thousand new users every day. The reason? It’s getting easier to use. Not only for consumers, but also for advertisers. There are several targeting options you can use to expand your reach and catch your customers at the exact moment they’re willing to buy. 

There are two popular ways you can do this: paid ads and boosted posts

Paid ads

Facebook’s microtargeting features allow you to reach your exact target audience based on demographics, location, interests and behaviours. All you need to do is think about your ad objectives, choose your ad placements and set your budget and format.

You can then track your ads using Facebook’s Ads manager, and make any tweaks or adjustments based on your performance.

Boosted posts

Pay a fee to increase the reach and visibility of your post. Set your own budget depending on how many people you want to target, and the price you pay will depend on the number of impressions your post gets.

Boosted posts give you guaranteed visibility, increased engagement, and exposure to people who aren’t already subscribed to your page. 

Facebook advertising statistics


While Facebook has the largest number of users, Instagram is the top social media platform for engagement. So, how many people interact with the content?

Facebook owns Instagram, so their ad objectives are pretty much the same: awareness, consideration and conversion. Similar to Facebook, you can edit and view your campaigns in Instagram’s Ads manager to ensure you’re getting the most out of your budget.

You can also reach the right people at the right time based on location, interests, demographics, behaviors, custom audiences, and lookalike audiences.

Instagram offers five ad formats: story ads, photo ads, video ads, carousel ads, and collection ads.

Story ads

Instagram story ads appear between users’ stories and expire after 24 hours. You can make use of face filters, video effects and other creative features to make your story memorable and add call-to-actions in the form of a swipe-up.

Photo ads

Photo ads allow you to showcase your brand through compelling, engaging images. They’re particularly effective if you sell visually pleasing products, such as furniture, jewellery or clothing.

Video ads

Video ads are ideal for promoting successful ad campaigns, demos of your product in action, or even a sneak peek of something that’s coming soon. Whatever your business, you can use them to interact with your brand and keep users engaged.

Carousel ads

Carousel ads let users swipe through a series of images of videos with a call-to-action button linking directly to your website. They can be used to highlight one product or showcase multiple different items.

Collection ads

Collection ads are one of the newest ad formats and allow users to purchase products directly from your ad. They bring together photos, videos and direct-response, making it easier for users to buy.

collection ads


Unlike Instagram, Twitter is more focused on written content than visual posts.

Still, it’s one of the most popular social media platforms. There are 500 million tweets sent each day. The good thing about advertising on Twitter is that you only pay when you’ve achieved your marketing objectives.

There are five main goals you can choose from: awareness and reach, tweet engagements, followers, website clicks, and app installs.

Whichever one you choose, you’ll only pay when people take that action.

You can also work with one of Twitter’s Official Partners to identify which audience you should be targeting, ensuring you get maximum results for your budget.

There are two main advertising options: Twitter ad campaigns and Twitter promote.

Twitter ad campaigns

Simply start by setting up your ad group, your target audience and selecting your bid type. Choose the tweets you’d like in your campaign and customise the locations if you want.

Your business profile will be visible on several platforms, such as Twitter timelines, at the top of relevant search results, tweet detail pages, and through official Twitter clients and third-party Twitter clients.

Twitter promote

Promoted accounts allow you to gain more exposure for your business by making your profile appear in the Twitter streams.

When it’s enabled, your organic tweets that pass Twitter's quality filter will automatically be added to a daily campaign targeting your desired audience. Depending on your marketing objective, your profile will be shown in places such as the “Who To Follow” section or the “Similar to…” section on people’s timelines. You can also create a more advanced targeting solution by pairing the two together for maximum reach. 

PPC advertising

TIP: Check out our comprehensive guide to Twitter marketing and advertising!


YouTube is a great way to get the most from your budget as you only pay when someone interacts with your ad.

Plus, there are over 1 billion unique visits to YouTube each month with visitors watching over six billion hours of videos. The best thing is YouTube ads run on a cost per thousand impressions (CPM) basis, which means they’re a cost-effective way of increasing visibility.

You can also connect with users in a more interactive and memorable way than other social media platforms via TrueView ads.

TrueView ads

TrueView ads come in two types.

In-stream ads/pre-roll ads: These ads play before or during a YouTube video. Viewers can skip the ad after 5 seconds or continue watching, but you only pay when someone watches at least 30 seconds.

Video discovery: These ads appear on YouTube’s homepage or on the results or recommendation section. When your ad is clicked, a banner display ad will appear prompting viewers to learn more about your business.

Bumper ads

Bumper ads are the shortest but most memorable type of YouTube ad. They are six second videos that help increase brand awareness with brief, memorable messages. They work well alongside TrueView ads and are particularly effective on mobile when people are watching videos on the go.

Related: Mobile advertising isn't only tied to smartphone users. Learn how brands are leveraging mobile ads to target smartwatch owners


Advertising on Snapchat is quite different from other social media platforms, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t effective. The number of daily Snapchat users reached 190 million in 2019, with a total of 2,1000,000 snaps being sent. 

snapchat geofilters graphic

You can promote your business to millions of these users simply by utilizing the following features: story ads, Snapchat filters, discover/collection ads, and commercial ads.

Story ads: Dive right in and get noticed in the Discover page with a collection of 3-20 engaging ads.

Snapchat filters: Engage with your audience and drive brand awareness in a creative, memorable way.

Discover/collection ads: Showcase a series of products and give users a quick, tappable and frictionless way to make a purchase.

Commercial ads: Drive brand awareness with an effective 6-second, non-skippable video using Snapchat’s high-quality premium content.

snapchat statistics graphic

Other types of online advertising

Now let’s take a look at PPC, native advertising, remarketing/retargeting, and SEO!

Pay per click (PPC)

Pay per click (PPC) advertising is a form of online advertising where you pay a fee each time someone clicks on your ad. Google Ads is the most popular PPC service, but there are others you can use.

Tip: Check out the 4 ways to enhance your PPC system with artificial intelligence!

When someone searches using one of your keywords, your ad will appear at the top of the results page. When they click your ad, you pay. This method is more hyper-focused than social media advertising as you’re only paying for targeted users to see your ad rather than a bunch of people who probably aren’t interested.

It also allows you to track how many people have seen and shown interest in your ad, which you can’t do with other forms of online advertising. On top of that, you can enable ad extensions to include extra information and increase your chances of converting. This could be your business address, phone number, or opening hours, which can prompt users to make an inquiry straight away. 

Related: Learn the difference between PPC and CPC!

Native advertising

Native advertising is a form of advertising that blends into your original content rather than standing out as an obvious ad.

Because they’re designed to be seamless, they’re generally consumed much better than banner ads, pop-ups, and pre-roll videos. In fact, purchase intent is 53% higher when consumers click on native ads instead of traditional ads. There are various native advertising formats, including: in-feed units, promoted listings, paid search ads, and recommended widgets.  

In-feed units: These promote sponsored content in a non-intrusive way. They blend seamlessly into the publication they’re in and can help to provide a better user experience.

Promoted listings: Promoted listings are usually found on sites that don’t have editorial content, but often look almost identical to the products already listed on the same site.

Paid search ads: These are similar to promoted listings except they appear at the top of search results.

Recommended widgets: These ads are usually placed underneath or alongside content in the form of a widget, rather than being integrated within the page. They’re usually found in the “recommended” or “users also like” sections, and are useful for publishers that want to increase their traffic.


Remarketing allows you to connect with users who left your site without converting by re-engaging them with subtle ads on different websites. Because you’re advertising to people who’ve already shown interest in your brand, it’s more likely they’ll take a second look or revisit your page to complete a purchase.

In fact, the click-through rate (CTR) of a retargeted ad is 10 times higher than the CTR of a typical display ad. 

It can also be highly effective in increasing brand awareness, as previous viewers will be reminded of your brand, product or service as they’re browsing other sites.

retargeting remarketing graphic

Search engine optimization (SEO)

While not strictly a form of advertising, search engine optimization (SEO) is vital. It’s how you increase your organic traffic.

Find the best keywords for your business: Your keywords make it possible for people to find your site, so they need to be relevant. There are many keyword suggestion tools you can use to help you choose short tail or long tail keywords.

Link to relevant pieces of content: You can do this by using anchor text, which is a word or phrase that is linked from your page to another page of relevant content. This can have a huge impact on your SERP (search engine result page) rankings.

Focus on your page speed: Page speed is extremely important for SEO as a fast site helps you rank better and can boost your conversion rate. It also improves user experience, as 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in two seconds or less.

Add meta title tags in your web pages: Meta tags make it easier for search engines to determine what your page is about, so they can highlight the most important parts and help you rank higher. You can use features such as Google’s Title Tag Preview Tool to see how it’ll appear to users.

Find the best online advertising solutions

No matter the type or size of your business, there are several ways you can advertise online. You don’t have to be an expert, as you can often set up an ad campaign quickly, easily and cost-effectively. Or if you don’t want to use paid ads, you can optimize your site simply by making a few changes.

Want to learn more? Download our advertising statistics roundup today! 

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