8 Most Used Online Advertising Mediums

By NIIT Editorial

Published on 12/04/2021

8 minutes

Advertising is a big buck business. For social networking platforms like Facebook, and Twitter, advertisements are the blood vessels pumping life into revenues. Like clothes, ad formats come in a variety of shapes and sizes. These range from 300x250 banner ads to those you come across while scrolling through social networks. An appropriate mix of design and smartly chosen CTAs can do the trick and uptick sales through digital ads.


But it is vital to understand the difference between ad formats and which ones fit the bill for which campaigns. 

It is one of the basics of branding that the faculty at NIIT covers as part of the Post Graduate Programme in Digital Marketing and Branding. Without ado, let’s get to it!


Pre-roll Video Ads


When was the last time you watched 2 consecutive videos on YouTube, i.e, without being forced to sit through an advertisement. Such video ads are called pre-roll ads and have become a feature of video-based platforms. 


They give advertisers a window of 5 - 10 seconds at connecting with their viewers with an outside chance of getting relevant click-throughs. There is one thing to note however. The CTA has to come right at the beginning because when the viewers see the option to Skip Ad, they usually do. 

Banner Ads

They are also known as display ads and remain one of the most leveraged advertisement tools. Being low-cost, they can generate huge CTRs if convincing enough. Ad networks operate to broadcast your ad to relevant websites out of which the most renowned is the Google Adwords Display network. Banner ads are best for learning the ropes of the trade in display advertising. 


You can shoot the sales through the roof with a good looking ad copy and while targeting the right consumers.




Each time you search Google for a set of keywords the search engine sends back a mix of results that contains paid ad listings as well as organic search results. While the latter are stacked as per Google’s SEO algorithms, paid listings consist of ads. 


They are called AdWords Search Ads being based on the keyword inputs by the user. Creating an ad campaign of this nature requires astute skills wherein search engines rank the ad on the basis of a quality score.


Related Content Ads


Ever noticed a collection of thumbnails accompanied with quirky, eye catching headlines at the end of an article? 


These sponsored listings are referred to as Search Ads and you can bid for the top spot through networks like Adblade and Adsonar. The ads follow a 2-fold process of first persuading you to read a particular story, and then redirecting you to the product landing page. 

The content topics for the ads are usually the ones that relate to a wide spectrum of audiences such as 5 Childhood Shows to Binge Watch or 10 superfoods to Boost Immunity.

Social Media Ads

Social networks are built on the premise to bridge people to the right advertisers. Advertisers pay for access to their select-group audiences making the platform free to use for people. 


Under the masquerade of information, they operate as 24/7 advertising networks and offer immense customizability for designing ads and targeting the right set of people. Facebook ads are of two types: 

  • Video 
  • Post
  • Slideshow 
  • Carousel 
  • Lead forms 

It is easier to find relevant audiences and a better click through rate through social channels especially Facebook, than it is to operate large-scale ad campaigns spread across the internet.


Video Overlay Ads


Pre-roll ads aren’t the only type of video ads. While in the middle of a YouTube video, advertisers can showcase products through miniature boxes that appear on the screen, during streaming. They can select from a wide range of options to target their fanbase and website visitors who they wish to re-engage through retargeting campaigns. Against a video-overlay ad, in-video ads are feasible to execute on a cost per-thousand impressions (CPM) basis. 


Contextual Ads


Contextual advertisements is not a category of ads in and of itself but rather a method. For instance, you read an article on health supplements and right away begin to see ads for multivitamins, Omega-3 and other related health products. They follow you based on the context of your recent activity on the internet. 


The contextual methodology is used by each kind of ads mentioned above be it social media, video overlay or search ads. Although there may appear to be an element of browser tracking, in essence ,such ads benefit the viewers who engage frequently with content directly related to them. 


Campaigns can be run either on a pay-per site basis or on keywords. 


Retargeting Ads


A trending digital marketing tactic used by webmasters is to place tracking cookies on user devices. They serve a crucial function in showing device owners specific ads no matter their next destination on the internet. The cookies are compatible with ad networks such as Adroll and Google’s very own Adwords. 


Although users have reported such ads to be annoyingly repetitive and freakingly eerie, advertisers find them lucrative as they can target tried and tested audiences every now then.


Post Graduate Programme in Digital Marketing and Branding

An Online programme for Graduates to get them skilled for rewarding careers in the Digital Marketing Industry.

400+ hours of Online Learning

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