What are the Different Types of Advertising?

North American businesses spend 143 billion a year on ad campaigns. Although most of that goes to digital ads, there are many other ways of advertising too.

Keep reading to learn about the three most common types of advertising. We’ll also explore the pros and cons of each. Let’s get started!

Traditional Advertising

Traditional advertising is advertising that uses traditional media sources. This is the grandfather of business advertising. It was fundamental before the invention of the internet.

Here are the most common types of traditional advertising:

  • Print ads (newspapers, magazines, etc.)
  • Television commercials
  • Radio spots
  • Direct mail advertising
  • Flyers
  • Door-to-door sales pitches

Pros and Cons of Traditional Advertising

Traditional advertising outlets already have a large built-in audience, making it easy to reach your target demographic. Another advantage of conventional advertising is that it’s often tactile. You can create a more immersive experience for the consumer.

The downside is that traditional advertising is often expensive and time-consuming to produce. Its effectiveness is harder to track too.

In addition, traditional advertising isn’t as effective in reaching consumers who spend most of their time online. As a result, many businesses are turning to digital marketing strategies – and that’s our next topic.

Digital Advertising

The key difference between digital and traditional advertising is the technology used to deliver your message. The internet changed advertising forever. It’s now easier, faster, and more affordable to reach potential customers than ever before.

Digital advertising includes:

  • Search engine advertising
  • Social media advertising
  • Display advertising
  • Video advertising
  • Email marketing

Pros and Cons of Digital Advertising

Digital advertising is hands down the most efficient way to connect with your target audience. 93% of businesses and corporations are using it daily.

Why? One reason is that online advertising is more flexible with timing and message delivery. Not to mention, campaigns are easier to measure since you can easily track the number of clicks or impressions to sales.

Businesses can target specific demographics with laser precision through platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Your message reaches the right people at the right time.

Although digital advertising is a powerful tool, it’s not without drawbacks. For example, some internet users find advertising intrusive and overwhelming and use an ad blocker. In these cases, they never see your ads.

In addition, ads that are poorly designed or irrelevant can dissuade people from clicking. They tune them out. It’s essential to monitor your ads and improve the copy and visuals if it’s not performing well.

In some niches, competition is fierce in the online space – driving up the costs of ads. In these cases, figuring out the best combination of heading, ad copy, and graphics helps improve performance.

Outdoor Advertising

Outdoor Advertising is effective at reaching customers in their everyday surroundings. It’s used for both local and national campaigns and includes:

  • Billboard ads
  • Bus shelter posters
  • Taxi advertisements 
  • Street furniture ads (benches, kiosks)

Billboards are typically located in high-traffic areas, like along highways, making them hard to miss. People see transit ads as they commute to work or run errands.

Pros and Cons of Outdoor Advertising

Outdoor advertising is often effective for local businesses. These large-format ads capture people’s attention while they’re out and about. 

For example, advertising Nanaimo businesses on bus stops or billboards near your location helps reach potential customers nearby. It also encourages impulse purchases. 

However, billboards and other forms of outdoor advertising are expensive and hard to change once they’re up. Outdoor advertising also requires a significant initial investment.

It doesn’t allow you to track customer engagement in the same way digital ads do, either. It’s frequently difficult to measure your campaigns’ performance and adjust accordingly.

Final Thoughts

Traditional advertising isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore digital marketing. Digital marketing should be a part of any comprehensive marketing plan. 

Many companies find success by mixing advertising types in their overall marketing strategy. Which you choose depends upon your business goals and budget.

Now that you understand the various types of advertising don’t be afraid to try something different. Who knows? You might just find your next great marketing campaign idea!

About Charley Eves

I have been involved with marketing for nearly 30 years. Ask me anything. If I can help I will surprised. Dad of two. Husband.

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