What types of paid-for advertising are available?

DSM Digital School of Marketing - paid-for advertising

Paid advertising is any type of advertising that you need to pay for as opposed to owned or earned advertising. With paid advertising, digital marketers pay the owner of ad space in return for the use of that space. The price which is paid for the ad space is often paid through a bidding process between marketers and the ad space owner.

Efficient digital marketing campaigns capitalise on all channels for advertising. Although paid advertising costs more than opposed to owned or earned advertising, paid forms of advertising are an efficient way to expose your company’s name to a broad audience.

Forms of online paid-for advertising


A sponsorship can provide a good opportunity to increase brand awareness through online affiliation with an organisation such as an industry partner or related non-profit, especially in the health-care industry.

Make sure that your customers also trust the organisation that you are sponsoring and, through their goodwill, you should receive increase brand exposure. Text links, banner ads logos are the most common types of sponsorship. This can be a fantastic way of promoting your products or services through another company’s websites, newsletters, events and competitions.

Pay per click (PPC)

PPC campaigns have become a popular advertising technique in recent years for three main reasons:

  1. They are targeted to keywords so only people who are actively looking for what your business offers will be shown the ads.
  2. The return on campaigns (or conversion rate) is easily measurable with tracking codes that can be added onto URLs included in the ads.
  3. They are more cost effective than other advertising techniques such as TV commercials, banner ads and print ads. This is because you’re only paying when someone clicks on your ad.

PPC adverts are the text ads which are displayed on search engine results (in Google, these are displayed in the right-hand column of the search results). Advertisers bid a certain amount that they’re willing to pay when someone clicks on that ad which determines the position in which that listing will show on the SERPs. The higher an advertiser is willing to bid the higher up the ad will show.

To enjoy success with PPC, it is important to:

  • Set up your campaigns correctly
  • Research what keywords your target audience is using to search for your products and services
  • Set realistic budgets for your campaigns
  • Track all click sources and continually monitor and update your campaigns
  • Watch out for click fraud by keeping a careful eye on your competitors and analytics


CPC is a common cost model for PPC ads in search results and banner ads. You are only charged for CPC when someone clicks on your advert.

Cost per impression (CPM) is the cost per thousand impressions. An impression in the online world is every time a page that displays your ad is downloaded to someone’s computer. Every time an ad is displayed you are charged whether someone clicks on it or not. Often your ad is displayed far below the fold (in other words you have to scroll down to see it).

Business owners need to remember that marketing is an art, science in addition to a craft. There are so numerous variables at work in the mix that you can never skillfully categorise your approach completely. There is no replacement for testing different approaches in order to find what works best for your circumstances.

If you have never learned the fundamentals of split-testing as well as optimisation, now would be a good time to read up on the topic. Effective online marketing and advertising is a continual process of making small changes to an ad in the perpetual search for improvement. You’ll rapidly learn to drop ads that don’t work and put your resources into the ones that do.

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DSM Digital School of Marketing Paid advertising and web analyics course registration