Internet advertising helps advertisers to achieve a high level of specificity while targeting potential and actual consumers with a promotional message. When advertising through other mass media such as radio, television, newspapers, bill boards and other outdoor media, advertisers typically send out a message to a large audience all at once. This could results in some wasted resources, as many people who are not interested in it see the advertisement. With online advertising, it is possible to zero in on a specific audience. For example, with search engine ads, your ad is only shown when someone types in a specific keyword. This is one huge advantage internet advertising has advertising in other mass media.
Here are some popular types of Internet advertising:
Banners (static online billboards placed across the top of a web page); skyscrapers (these are also static online billboards placed down the side of a web page); contextual adverts (ads that automatically intrude into users’ Web sessions whether they are wanted or not); interstitial ads (images that appear on the screen and disappear as users click from one page to the next); pop-outs (ads that appear in smaller window at the border of the Web page being read); extramercials (columns of ad content that slide down over the page’s content); intermercials (attractive, lively commercials that run while users wait for Web pages to download); targeted keyword buys (ads that appear on the screen whenever a user types in a sponsor’s name or other word or phrase); shoshkeles (also called floating ads, they are animated objects, like a car or such other representations that run across the screen); large rectangles (these are oversized ads that appear in the center of a page, over existing text); and surround sessions (this is a steady stream of ads from a sponsor which runs across the screen during users’ entire visit to a site); text ad (these are adverts that appear alongside search results that somehow relate to the search); advergames (these are free download games that center on a sponsor’s product or free download games which have intermittent commercial product placements) (Baran, 2004, p.402).
Another form of internet advertising is transactional journalism. This refers to the direct linking or placement of sales, marketing or advert link beside an online editorial content. The editorial content could be a news report, book review, feature story, or such other contents of an online newspaper or magazine. The newspaper or magazine could sell specific stories or pages to an advertiser who then has exclusive right to all the links on such stories or pages; some newspapers and magazines sell users’ search histories to advertisers, or an advertiser interested in specific users could directly pay the online content provider for the right to have its banners and pop-outs appear on that user’s screen whenever the user browses through the online content provider’s site.
These are various forms of online advertising available to advertisers that want to expand their business horizon by reaching out to the cyber audience.