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Online Advertising (aka Digital) - Definition of the Common Forms of Online Ads


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Definition: If you see an advertisement via the Internet (World Wide Web), then it is classified as online advertising. In fact, there are ads on this very page, and most other websites you visit, as they are the primary revenue driver for the Internet.

From banner ads (including rich media banners) to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), social networking, email marketing, online classified ads, site takeovers, and even SPAM, online advertising is one of the fastest growing ways to reach an audience.

Costs of Online Advertising

There are hundreds of different advertising models online, but most fall under one of the following THREE categories. No doubt every ad you have seen online today was paid for by one of these methods:

CPA (Cost Per Action) - In this model, all the risk in on the publisher of the ad. The advertiser only pays the publisher if someone clicks AND completes a transaction.

PPC (Pay Per Click) - The most common form of online advertising as it behooves both parties. The advertiser pays when someone clicks on the ad, but they do not have to complete a purchase for the publisher to get paid. Under this model, target keywords are highly important.

CPM (Cost Per Mille) - More commonly known as CPT (Cost Per Thousand), the advertiser pays for exposure based on visitors to the website and eyes on an ad. If a website gets two million visitors per day, and the ad is seen on 50% of those pages, then a CPM of $2 would be equal to $2000.

Types of Online Advertising

To list them all would take forever, but here are some of the main ways that advertisers are getting to consumers with an online buy:

  • Banners ads (these include skyscrapers, full banners, squares and buttons)
  • Adsense (these are the ads served to consumers via Google, by showing ads relevant to the information on any page).
  • Email advertising (and SPAM)
  • Facebook Ads
  • YouTube Ads
  • Sponsored Tweets
  • Website Takeovers
  • Rich Media Ads
  • Pop Up Ads(also pop-unders)
  • Pre-video ads
  • Blogging

A Quick Word About SPAM

You know doubt know the terms, and are even more familiar with the actual product. SPAM is derived from a classic Monty Python sketch in which everything on the menu in a small cafe consisted of Spam. This bombardment with Spam became synonymous with the way unsolicited emails bombard the inboxes of consumers.

When email marketing was relatively new, SPAM was rife. However, anti-spamming laws have cut down a lot of this traffic, with fines and other punishments being dished out to the guilty parties. It hasn't stopped it entirely though, with Spammers becoming more sophisticated, and also finding ways past anti-spam filters.

Another form of SPAM is phishing, which includes the vicious 419 fraud. However, this goes beyond the realms of advertising and into something that is both highly illegal and potentially life-destroying.

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