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10 Types of Paid Advertising to Grow Your Business

John Pratt
Thursday, 27th Jul 2023
Julia McCoy
5 min read · Jan 11 2022
types of paid advertising

Did you know that paid advertisements have a 200% ROI?

Paid advertising is an excellent tool to promote businesses, increase sales, and expand a customer base.

What are the different types of paid advertising? Here are the most popular ones:

  • Pay-per-click (PPC) ads.
  • Display ads.
  • Social media ads.
  • YouTube ads.

Let’s explore all the different types of paid advertising services available today so that you can choose the best option for reaching new customers with maximum efficiency.

Table Of Contents:

What Are Paid Ads?

Paid advertising is exactly that — businesses pay for their ads to be seen by potential customers. It’s an effective way to reach a large audience and get your message out there quickly.

To promote your product through paid ads, you must buy ad space from online publishers.

Some examples are:

  • Google Ads.
  • Facebook Ads.
  • Twitter Ads.
  • Instagram Ads.

Benefits of Paid Search Ads

Different types of paid media offer several benefits for businesses and marketers:

Immediate Traffic: The primary advantage of paid advertising is its capacity to rapidly reach intended audiences. It can deliver your message to people who are most likely interested in what you have to offer. Paid search ads offer quick results, so if you need immediate visibility for your product then this could be the best option for you.

Increased Visibility: Paid search advertising also gives you access to larger audiences than organic methods like SEO alone would allow you to reach. Increasing website visibility on search engines is especially beneficial for new websites or those struggling to gain organic traffic.

Targeted Advertising: Another major benefit of paid digital advertising is that you can target specific audience demographics that have already expressed interest in similar products or services through their online activity. These ads allow for precise targeting based on keywords,  location, and even the time of day.

Cost Control: You have total control over your advertising budget. You can set a maximum bid for each keyword and limit your daily spending, which makes it easier to manage costs.

Measurable ROI: Since numerous types of paid ads are traceable, it’s easy to measure ROI on your ad campaigns. You can track conversions, clicks, and other important metrics.

Quick Feedback and Flexibility: You can quickly see the results of your ad campaigns and make adjustments as needed. This is much faster than waiting for organic SEO strategies to bring in tangible results.

Competitive Advantage: Paid search can place your brand above organic search results, giving you an edge over competitors who rely solely on organic search.

Brand Recognition: Even if users don’t click on your ad, just seeing your brand name can increase brand awareness and recognition.

Remarketing Opportunities: Paid search platforms often offer remarketing tools that help you target users who have previously visited your website, increasing the chances of conversion.

Highly Effective for Local Marketing: For local businesses, paid search ads can be targeted to appear to users in specific geographic areas, making them a powerful tool for local marketing.

Integration with Other Marketing Channels: Paid search data can be used to inform and optimize other marketing channels, such as SEO or social media marketing.

Overall, paid search ads are a flexible, measurable, and effective way to drive targeted traffic to your website and can be an important part of a comprehensive digital marketing strategy.

Types of Paid Advertising Campaigns

There are several types of paid advertising, each catering to different marketing objectives and targeting specific audiences. Here are some common types of paid advertising:

1. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising

PPC campaigns involve bidding against other advertisers for specific keywords. Their ads are placed on search engine results pages (SERPs) when users search for those terms. The advertiser only pays when someone clicks on their ad link, hence the name “pay-per-click.” Popular platforms for PPC ads include Google AdWords and Bing Ads.

PPC ads help advertisers reach potential customers with the goal of driving traffic to websites and, hopefully, generating sales.

How PPC Paid Advertising Works

Businesses bid on keywords related to their products or services to appear at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs). The cost associated with each click depends on how competitive the keyword is — popular keywords are more expensive than less popular ones.

Here are some of the essential components of PPC advertising:

Auction System: Search engines like Google and social media platforms run PPC through an auction system. Advertisers bid on keywords relevant to their target audience. When someone searches for those keywords, the search engine runs a lightning-fast auction to decide which ads will appear and in what order.

Quality Score: It’s not just about who bids the most money. Search engines also take into account the quality and relevance of your ad and landing page. If your stuff is top-notch and relates well to the search query, you might get a leg up even if you’re not the highest bidder.

Ad Placement: If your ad wins the auction, it gets displayed in the sponsored section of the search results or on a website. The cool thing is, you’re not charged just for showing your ad (impressions), but only when someone actually clicks on it.

Budget Control: You set a budget for your PPC campaign, so you won’t break the bank. Once your budget is exhausted, your ads stop showing until you refill the tank.

Targeting Options: PPC platforms offer various targeting options. You can aim at specific demographics, locations, or even the time of day when your audience is most active.

Benefits of Pay-Per-Click Ads

The advantages of PPC advertising are numerous.

  1. Cost-efficiency: Advertisers only pay when someone clicks their ad.
  2. Increased visibility: Ads are displayed prominently at the top of SERPs.
  3. Targeted audience reach: Ads are tailored towards specific demographics.
  4. Immediate results: You’ll see results almost immediately after launch.
  5. Trackable metrics: It’s easy to measure ROI for campaigns.
  6. Multiple platforms: Select one or several PPC platforms to promote your ads.

PPC online advertising is an effective way to reach target audiences and generate leads quickly, but social media ads can provide a more personalized approach to reaching potential customers. When running ads it is important to measure specific pay-per-click KPIs that are most important to your brand. Understanding these metrics and monitoring them can help you improve your campaign ROI.

For example, optimizing Google Ads can increase their effectiveness and reach a larger audience. Monitoring data around your PPC advertising strategy is a critical part of running a successful campaign.

google ppc ads

2. Social Media Advertising

Over 3.6 billion people worldwide are using social media, making it a prime platform for paid advertising.

No matter your target demographic, they are likely to be found on one of the many social media platforms available.

Paid advertisements on social media are great for building brand awareness without breaking the bank.

Social media ads are sponsored posts that appear on social networks. These ads help increase brand awareness while targeting users based on data collected from past interactions.

How Social Media Paid Advertising Works

Paid social ads on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube appear in the form of sponsored posts or promoted content within the user’s news feed or timeline.

Advertisers can also use keywords related to their product or service when creating ad campaigns so that they reach people who have expressed interest in similar topics online.

Here’s the lowdown on how to advertise on social media:

Choose Your Platform: First things first, pick your social media platform. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn – each has its own vibe and user base. Choose the one that aligns best with your target audience.

Set Your Objective: What’s your goal? Do you want more website visits, app installs, or maybe just more likes on your page? Social media platforms let you choose your objective to tailor your campaign.

Define Your Audience: Targeting is the secret sauce. You can get super specific about who sees your ads – demographics, interests, behaviors – it’s like crafting a message for your dream customer.

Create Compelling Ads: Time to get creative! Design eye-catching visuals, write compelling copy, and maybe throw in a dash of humor. The goal is to stop the scroll and grab attention.

💡Pro tip: you can automate this process with a smart AI writer like Content at Scale. Just choose an AI agent for the specific social media channel where you want to place your ads and voila! You get an amazing ad copy with the tap of a button!

Set Your Budget: You decide how much you’re willing to spend daily, weekly, monthly, or over the lifetime of the campaign.

Choose Your Ad Placement: Social media platforms offer various ad placements – in the news feed, on the side, or even in Stories. Pick where you think your audience will be most receptive.

Bid for Visibility: Just like PPC, you bid for ad space. The more competitive the audience you’re targeting, the higher you might need to bid. But fear not, you’re only charged when someone takes action, like clicking your link or engaging with your ad.

Monitor and Optimize: Once your campaign is live, keep an eye on the metrics. Social media platforms provide a wealth of data – clicks, impressions, engagement rates. Use this info to tweak your strategy and get the most bang for your buck.

Adaptable Campaigns: The beauty of social media advertising is that you can adjust your campaign in real time. If something’s not working, change it up.

Benefits of Social Media Ads

The main benefit of paid social ads is the capacity to reach a vast number of potential customers. These campaigns allow advertisers to track performance metrics such as clicks, impressions, and conversions which helps them measure success more accurately than traditional forms of advertising like print or radio commercials.

Furthermore, since most social networks offer detailed targeting options based on user data, advertisers can tailor their message specifically for each demographic with greater accuracy.

Finally, paid search advertising on social media is cheap — perfect for small businesses with a limited budget.

Types of Social Media Ads

We’ve got four major social media networks — Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn — each with its own characteristics and ad targeting features that make them great for starting successful campaigns.

  • Facebook Ads: Advertisements displayed on the Facebook platform and its affiliated apps (e.g., Instagram).
  • Twitter Ads: Promoted tweets or accounts targeted to specific users or based on interests.
  • LinkedIn Ads: Targeted ads that are shown to LinkedIn users based on their professional information.
  • Pinterest Ads: Promoted pins displayed on users’ Pinterest feeds.
  • Snapchat Ads: Vertical video or image ads shown to users on the Snapchat app.

If you’re looking to reach young mothers, Facebook is the place to be, as women between the ages of 18-49 make up the largest demographic group on the platform.

Pinterest also boasts an impressive user base of young females who are constantly searching for new ideas – from home decor tips to beauty hacks.

A newer player but no less significant, TikTok has over 1 billion monthly active users globally. It offers innovative strategies like influencer marketing and hashtag challenges that can greatly boost brand visibility.

Each platform offers different features tailored towards specific goals, such as increasing website visits, lead generation, or brand awareness.

3. Video Advertising

Video ads are typically 30-second short videos that showcase a product or service.

Video ads allow companies to create engaging visuals that capture attention and communicate key messages quickly and effectively.

There are three ad types on YouTube:

  1. TrueView ads (In-stream and Discovery, skippable)
  2. Pre-roll (non-skippable)
  3. Bumper ads (non-skippable)

Benefits of Video Ads

Video ads are cheaper than buying ad space in a newspaper or television broadcast.

For one thing, they’re more cost-effective since you don’t have to pay for airtime or printing costs like you would with those types of campaigns.

Video ads also tend to be more memorable than text-based advertisements because viewers remember what they see better than what they read. This means your ad is likely to stay top-of-mind longer after your target audience views it.

Finally, video ads provide businesses with valuable analytics about who is watching their ad and when so that they can tailor future campaigns toward their needs.

Instream Ads

Instream ads appear on YouTube and other video streaming platforms. These ads are often used by businesses looking to reach potential customers who watch online videos regularly.

Benefits of Instream Ads

The main benefit of instream ads is the ability to target people who are already interested in watching content related to your product or service. This means you’ll get more qualified leads than if you were targeting people with traditional PPC campaigns.

These types of paid advertising tend to have higher click-through rates than other forms of PPC advertising because they’re placed directly within the content viewers are already engaged with.

Setting Up an Instream Ad Campaign

Setting up an instream ad campaign is relatively straightforward.

First, select “video campaign” from your Google Ads account dashboard and give it a name. Then set up your budget amount and bid strategy.

Finally, choose where you want your ad to appear and who you want to target before launching your ad campaign.

4. Native Advertising

Native advertising is a form of paid content promotion that blends seamlessly with the surrounding non-promotional content on a platform.

In simple terms, it’s like a chameleon of advertising – it adopts the appearance and style of the platform it appears on, making it look like regular content rather than an obvious advertisement.

Unlike traditional display ads that stand out with bold colors and banners, native ads match the design, format, and context of the platform they are displayed. This subtlety makes them less disruptive to the user experience and increases the chances of engagement.

Native ads can take various forms, such as:

  • Sponsored articles
  • Promoted posts on social media
  • Recommended content widgets on websites
  • Sponsored videos on platforms like YouTube
  • And more

The content is often informative, entertaining, or valuable to the target audience, making it feel less like an ad and more like valuable information or entertainment.

While native advertising is a powerful tool for brands and content creators to reach their audience in a more organic and non-intrusive way, it’s essential to clearly disclose that the content is sponsored or promoted. This transparency ensures that users are aware of the commercial nature of the content and can make informed decisions about engaging with it.

5. Display Advertising

Display ads are banner images that are strategically placed around web pages containing content relevant to what the advertiser wants to promote. These ads are often targeted based on user interests or demographics. They come in various sizes and shapes, most often being rectangular banners located at the top, bottom, or sidebars.

Display ads promote products, services, or websites through banners, text links, and images. These types of paid advertising are typically placed on web pages with content related to the ad’s topic. The goal of display ads is to attract attention and generate leads.

Types of display ads:

  • Banner Ads: Image-based ads displayed on websites and typically linked to the advertiser’s site.
  • Rich Media Ads: Interactive and multimedia-based ads that may include audio, video, or animation.

These types of ads can be static images or dynamic videos that play when users scroll over them. You can also include interactive elements like surveys and polls which allow users to interact with the ad directly from their browser window.

Moreover, these campaigns are highly flexible since they can be tailored to specific demographics based on interests or location data collected from online activity.

Additionally, display ads provide an opportunity for businesses to increase brand awareness by creating visually appealing designs that stand out from other content.

Google AdWords is one popular platform for displaying banner advertisements across its network, including YouTube and Gmail.

You can also try Facebook Advertising or LinkedIn Advertising. Both of these platforms have powerful targeting capabilities which allow you to reach potential customers in your industry.

Display ads are great for customer outreach and building brand awareness, but video ads offer even more opportunities for businesses to get their message across.

6. Retargeting/Remarketing

Retargeting ads are shown to users who have previously visited a website or interacted with specific content, encouraging them to return and complete an action.

Retargeting ads are a powerful tool for PPC campaigns. They allow you to reengage with leads who have already visited your website but haven’t yet converted. By using Google’s remarketing tag, or tracking pixel, you can gain insight into what pages they viewed and create lists of potential customers based on their actions.

How Retargeting Works

To use retargeting, you must first install a tracking pixel on your website that will track user behavior and categorize visitors into different lists based on their actions.

For example, if someone visits Product Page A but doesn’t purchase anything, they would be placed in a list specifically for people who visited that page but didn’t convert. You can then target this list with display ads related to the product they were interested in. This encourages them to reconsider choosing your brand over your competitors.

7. Google Shopping Ads

Google Shopping ads give users a window-shopping experience on the internet. They can easily browse through different products from multiple companies without having to click through each website individually.

Additionally, these ads enable businesses to showcase their product images along with prices so that users know exactly what they’re getting before clicking on the listing – this helps increase conversion rates significantly.

Finally, shoppers may see additional information such as star ratings or special offers like free shipping which further entices them into buying.

Setting Up Your Campaign

To get started with Google Shopping ads, you’ll need to create a new campaign in your Google Ads account. Select “Shopping” as the campaign type and fill out important information such as budget, location targeting, and product categories.

Once this is done, you can start running your ad campaigns.

8. Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is all about collaborating with social media influencers to promote products or services to their followers.

Influencer programs have revolutionized the way brands reach their target audiences.

These influencers have the potential to build a sizable following and establish an intimate connection with their audience, making them the perfect channel for brands to promote their products or services through sponsored content.

To get started, choose influencers whose audience aligns perfectly with your brand.

Clearly define expectations upfront to avoid unnecessary headaches later.

After each campaign, pay close attention to performance metrics to ensure that your efforts are paying off.

If executed correctly, influencer marketing can significantly impact your social media strategy.

A successful partnership can increase brand awareness, drive engagement, and boost conversions.

9. Email Marketing

Email marketing campaigns are a popular form of digital marketing where businesses pay to send promotional messages or advertisements directly to a targeted audience’s email inbox. These campaigns are designed to engage with current customers, attract potential customers, and promote products, services, or special offers.

email marketing campaign example

When executed effectively, email advertising can be a powerful tool for driving conversions and building brand loyalty.

Key elements of a paid email advertising campaign:

Targeting: Successful email campaigns rely on precise audience targeting. Marketers often segment their email lists based on factors like demographics, past purchase behavior, location, and interests. This segmentation ensures that recipients receive relevant and personalized content, increasing the chances of engagement and conversions.

Content Creation: The content of the email is crucial for capturing the recipients’ attention and encouraging them to take action. Emails should be visually appealing, well-written, and include a clear call-to-action (CTA) that directs the reader to the desired action, such as making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter.

Frequency and Timing: Striking the right balance between the frequency of emails and the optimal timing of sending them is essential. Over-sending emails can lead to high unsubscribe rates and a negative perception of the brand. On the other hand, sending too few emails might result in missed opportunities.

A/B Testing: Split testing is an effective way to optimize the effectiveness of email advertising campaigns. This involves sending different versions of an email to small segments of the audience and measuring which version performs better. The insights gained from A/B testing can be used to refine the content, design, or CTA of the email.

Compliance with Regulations: Businesses must comply with email marketing regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe or the CAN-SPAM Act in the United States. These regulations require obtaining explicit consent from recipients before sending them marketing emails and including a clear opt-out mechanism in each message.

Email Service Providers (ESPs): Companies often use Email Service Providers to manage their email campaigns efficiently. ESPs offer features like list management, email templates, automation, analytics, and tracking, which make it easier to run successful email marketing campaigns.

Paid email advertising campaigns are a valuable marketing strategy for businesses to engage with their audience, promote products and services, and drive conversions. When executed with proper planning, personalization, and compliance, email marketing can yield impressive results, fostering stronger relationships between businesses and their customers.

10. Paid Content Promotion

Paid content promotion is a strategic marketing approach where businesses invest money to increase the visibility and reach of their valuable content.

Whether it’s a blog post, video, infographic, or any other form of content, paid promotion involves using online advertising platforms to target specific audiences and showcase the content to a broader group of people beyond the usual organic reach.

By paying for sponsored posts, display ads, or other forms of online advertising, the goal is to attract more potential viewers, readers, or customers who might have otherwise missed the content. This increased exposure can lead to higher engagement, more shares, and ultimately, a greater return on investment for the content creator or business.

Paid content promotion complements organic marketing efforts and helps content creators tap into new audiences, amplifying their message and increasing the chances of creating a meaningful impact with their content. It’s an effective way to ensure that great content doesn’t get lost in the vast sea of information online and reaches the right people who will appreciate and benefit from it.

Remember that the effectiveness of each advertising type can vary based on the nature of your business, target audience, and overall marketing strategy. A well-rounded marketing campaign often combines several types of paid advertising to maximize reach and engagement.

Now you know the secret sauce behind leveraging influencer marketing effectively.

But what about the challenges?

In the next section, we’ll discuss common hurdles faced by marketers when running paid ads.

Overcoming Challenges in Paid Advertising

Paid online advertising can be an effective way to reach a target audience and achieve marketing objectives. However, like any marketing strategy, it also comes with its own set of challenges.

  • Cost: Paid advertising can be expensive, especially in competitive markets. Costs can quickly escalate, making it challenging for smaller businesses with limited budgets to compete effectively.
  • Ad Fatigue: Over time, audiences may become desensitized to ads, leading to ad fatigue. This can result in lower click-through rates and reduced engagement as users start ignoring or blocking ads.
  • Ad Blocking: Many internet users use ad-blocking software or browser extensions to avoid seeing ads altogether, reducing the potential reach of paid advertising efforts. To counteract ad-blocking software, advertisers may try alternative formats or techniques, but these can sometimes lead to negative user experiences.
  • Ad Placement and Visibility: Where you place ads on websites or social media platforms can significantly impact their visibility and effectiveness. Poor ad placement might lead to lower engagement and click-through rates.
  • Targeting and Relevance: Ensuring that paid ads reach the right audience at the right time with relevant content is essential for a successful campaign. Inaccurate targeting can lead to wasted ad spend and low conversion rates.
  • Competition: In competitive industries, multiple businesses may be bidding for the same ad space, driving up costs and making it more challenging to stand out.
  • Ad Fraud: Advertisers may encounter fraudulent practices, such as click fraud, where automated bots or malicious actors artificially inflate clicks or impressions, leading to wasted ad spend.
  • Ad Approval and Compliance: Ad platforms often have strict guidelines and policies, and ads must comply with these rules. Failure to meet the requirements could result in ad rejection or account suspension.

Despite these challenges, paid advertising remains a valuable tool for businesses to reach their target audiences and drive growth. Overcoming these obstacles requires careful planning, ongoing optimization, and a willingness to adapt to changes in the advertising landscape.


Want to increase your brand visibility and grow your business? Paid advertising is the way to go!

With the right types of paid advertising, you can reach your marketing goals faster than organic methods alone.

Don’t know where to start? Let Content at Scale help you brainstorm ideas for different types of advertising platforms. The app has more than 40 AI agents that specialize in writing ad copy for search engine ads, display ads, remarketing ads, video ads, social media ads, and more! Sign up today.

Written by John Pratt

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