Your Complete Guide to 5 Types of Digital Advertising Channels

Knowing these five types of digital advertising channels can help you best find your audience. Here’s how digital radio, email, and more play into marketing.
types of digital advertising: visual of social media platforms

Have you ever told a story to someone and kept talking without realizing they had walked away?

Perhaps you were so lost in thought that you didn’t see them step out to take a call or get pulled into another conversation. Yet, you continued.

That’s a lot like marketing on the wrong digital advertising channels.

One of marketers’ biggest tasks is not only producing the right content but publishing it on the types of digital advertising channels their customers are using. If they don’t, their digital marketing efforts just won’t work well.

In this post, I’ll highlight the five types of digital advertising channels that your customers are using and how you can reach them most effectively.

Before we dive in, let’s take a look at why you should take advantage of the different types of digital advertising channels to drive brand awareness and sales.

Why you should harness the power of digital advertising

Star Wars character unleashing his unlimited power

The main goal of marketers is to reach their customers and nudge them to convert at the lowest cost possible. To do this effectively, they have to create engaging content and deliver it on the channels they are using.

As the world becomes more connected through digital channels, it makes more sense for marketers to take advantage of the many different types of digital channels available.

Digital advertising tactics are often:

  • Low cost: Compared to other marketing techniques like billboards and TV commercials, digital advertising channels are cheaper.
  • Easy to execute: There is often a low barrier for entry to get a digital ad campaign running. In just a few clicks, you can launch an ad.
  • Hyper targeted: Depending on the digital channel, you can likely use advanced targeting parameters to reach your audience.

Digital advertising is a broad term, so let’s break it down and highlight a few of the digital advertising channels you should consider using.

A deep dive into digital advertising channels

Two scuba divers swimming in the sea

Do you have your wetsuit on? We’re about to go to the “depths” of the various digital advertising channels to include in your marketing strategy.

There are many digital advertising channels available at your disposal, but the five you should concentrate on include social media, email, display, search engine marketing, and streaming radio.

1. Social Media

types of digital advertising: woman scrolling through social media on her phone

Social media advertising is one of the most popular ways businesses connect with their target audience. More than 4.8 billion people use a social media platform, connecting with their friends and engaging with brands.

Each platform has its own types of digital ads that businesses can use to impact their bottom line. Popular social media platforms include:

  • Facebook: One of the biggest social media platforms with an entire Facebook Ad Manager suite built-in for brands and businesses.
  • Twitter: The “blue bird” app offers businesses the chance to create Twitter Cards, engaging visual links on the platform and promoting them to a specific audience.
  • Instagram: Brands and businesses can run Instagram Post and Story ads that get featured in user’s feeds.
  • TikTok: The new player to the social media marketing scene is encouraging native content by instructing its users to “Make TikToks, not ads.”
  • Snapchat: The youth-focused platform has rolled out a variety of branded content and promoted post features.
  • LinkedIn: This business-focused platform offers Sponsored Content, promoted posts, and targeted InMail campaigns.

A tip: It isn’t enough to just post content on the right social media platforms. You need to amplify it. One way to do so is by partnering with relevant influencers in your industry. With an influencer on your side, they can help promote your own product or publish their own co-branded content on their channels.

No matter which platform you choose, you can begin to reach relevant customers with the right targeting and the right piece of content used in your social media ads.

2. Email

types of digital advertising: checking email on a laptop

Email is an effective digital channel because you can speak directly to your customers. By launching an email campaign, you’re delivering mail directly to your customers’ inbox.

With email campaigns, you can market to your own database or purchase a banner ad in a third-party’s email newsletter. 

This is usually an incredibly lucrative digital advertising channel for businesses, because if you’ve captured the prospects’ email, you can continuously re-market to them at a very low cost. That’s why email marketing campaigns can be so effective. This type of investment should not be overlooked in your marketing strategy.

3. Display and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Ads

Illustration of paid digital advertising

Social platforms are one one avenue of digital advertising to explore. The other dominant part of a sound digital advertising strategy is display and PPC ads.

Display advertising is a form of online ads that can bring new customers to specific landing pages and drive them to convert. The ads are static images or video ads that appear on different sites on the web.

These ads lure internet users to your site through a variety of targeting and retargeting measures. Display and PPC ads are effective, because you are showcasing your brand to a relevant buyer while they browse the internet. You are going to them instead of simply relying on them to come to you.

4. Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

types of digital advertising: person typing and using the search bar

One of the most obvious digital channels is your website. Your homepage is one of your most important brand assets. 

In addition, search engines are an amazing way to reach your customers — if you know how to effectively use them to your advantage.

One way to get your brand in front of your customers on the internet is through search engine marketing (SEM). SEM is the process of running Google ads, Yahoo ads, or Bing ads to make sure your brand appears at the top of a search engine results page (SERP). 

Unlike search engine optimization (SEO), which is an organic tactic that can take months to see results, SEM can be executed almost instantaneously. 

You can launch an online advertising campaign with search ads that shows up when your potential customers search for relevant keywords. SEM campaigns target prospective customers who are actively searching for relevant keywords. Pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, on the other hand, use interest-based and behavioral based targeting parameters. 

With so many people conducting daily searches on the web, SEM is a popular type of digital advertising that you should consider using.

5. Streaming Radio

Beth and Rick talking about the radio inside the car

More people are listening to streaming radio and podcasts. With Spotify, this type of activity is becoming a daily habit for general listeners.

That’s why it’s so important to take advantage of this capture audience and integrate advertising campaigns into popular streaming radio channels and podcasts.

There are many different types of streaming radio ad formats, including:

  • Pre-roll ads: This is a custom, 30-second ad that plays before the broadcast.
  • Banner ads: These can be paired with an audio voiceover and appear on the device that is playing a podcast.

With a captive audience waiting for their desired content to play, you can promote your brand before the programming starts.

Connecting through digital advertising

types of digital advertising: person using laptop and phone

No matter which type of digital advertising you choose, there are plenty of ways to reach relevant consumers who will be interested in buying your product.

Social media, email, display, SEM, and streaming radio are just a handful of digital channels that you can use to begin to morph your digital marketing strategy. Once you find out which channel works best for you, you can double down and adjust.

With more consumers engaging on digital channels today, the world really is yours for the taking with all the types of digital advertising at your fingertips — but only if you capitalize on it.Take advantage of engaged customers on digital streaming radio channels by launching your own radio campaign with Decibel today. We make it easy to create audio ads, with script templates and voice actors ready to promote your brand. Create your audio ad in less than five minutes.

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