18 Primary Kinds of Advertising and marketing (Examples Included)


On this planet of enterprise, there are numerous, many varieties of advertising.

To simplify issues, listed below are 18 varieties which have been developed, tried, and examined by generations of entrepreneurs from numerous industries.

It’s additionally seemingly each has a devoted annual convention someplace within the world.

Yow will discover examples of all 18 varieties round you. They’re continually copied and “remixed” to win the purchasers’ hearts. Someplace on this record may even lie the advertising success of the subsequent world-changing firm.

Every of them is totally different, however most can be utilized in parallel to type a bulletproof development engine.

On this article, we’ll cowl:

  1. Digital advertising
  2. Offline advertising
  3. Inbound advertising
  4. Outbound advertising
  5. Content material advertising
  6. Search engine advertising
  7. Development advertising
  8. B2B advertising
  9. B2C advertising
  10. Internet affiliate marketing
  11. Social media advertising
  12. Model advertising
  13. Direct advertising
  14. Influencer advertising
  15. E-mail advertising
  16. Phrase-of-mouth advertising
  17. Occasion advertising
  18. Guerrilla advertising

Digital advertising is an overarching time period for any type of promotional exercise that leverages the web because the messaging channel. Accordingly, even two totally different advertising ways, like website positioning and PPC, are thought of digital advertising.

This time period is usually used to distinguish a class of ways from offline advertising.


At Ahrefs, we use numerous digital advertising ways and instruments to share our experience in website positioning and advertising and promote our product.

Usually, a selected matter, equivalent to an website positioning guidelines, shall be utilized in a weblog put up, then repurposed on different platforms and promoted by totally different channels; all of that’s digital advertising.

Right here’s a tweet that includes the website positioning guidelines compressed into one infographic.

We’ve additionally promoted the guidelines by internet advertising. This instance is from Quora Advertisements:

Ahrefs' ad on Quora

And right here’s our Weekly Digest e-newsletter selling the unique put up:

Ahrefs' Weekly Digest email

In distinction to digital advertising, offline advertising (sometimes called conventional advertising) is an overarching time period for any type of advertising performed with out using the web.

If an commercial is printed in a paper journal as a substitute of an internet journal, that’s offline advertising. Equally, if you happen to ship a customized message by unsolicited mail as a substitute of an e mail, that’s additionally offline advertising.

Though phrases like “offline” and “conventional” might give the impression that this kind of advertising is a factor of the previous, ads in printed magazines or between TV reveals haven’t disappeared simply but.

In keeping with Statista, TV advertisements nonetheless have the strongest attain amongst all varieties of advertisements.

Graph showing TV is top medium for ads


Between 1999 and 2002, Anheuser-Busch brewing firm promoted its Budweiser beer with a TV advert that grew to become a well-liked tradition phenomenon.

The “Whassup?” marketing campaign gained many promoting awards, together with the Cannes Grand Prix, and helped the corporate enhance gross sales from 2.4 million barrels to 99.2 million barrels in 2020.


Inbound advertising is a advertising technique that goals to drag prospects in with related and helpful content material.

To higher perceive this time period, let’s evaluate it to outbound advertising.

Whereas outbound advertising tries to achieve the shopper with a message that “interrupts” (e.g., TV advertisements, PPC, billboards), inbound advertising hopes to create a state of affairs the place a possible buyer discovers an organization whereas on the lookout for an answer.

For instance, a buyer searches for one thing on Google and stumbles upon a related article on an organization’s web site.

Lady welcoming man, then lady with megaphone screaming "buy" at man


Ahrefs’ free instruments, such because the free backlink checker, are designed as a type of inbound advertising.

Ahrefs' backlink checker

They pull prospects from search engine consequence pages (SERPs) for queries like “backlink checker” or “analyze backlinks.” If the search demand is excessive, this kind of free software can deliver a major quantity of natural visitors:

Search Ahrefs' backlink checker page on Site Explorer

Outbound advertising is an “interruptive” type of advertising the place an organization pushes a message a couple of product out to a prospect by chilly calls, chilly emails, unsolicited mail, most types of promoting, and so forth.

Outbound advertising tries to boost consciousness of a product or encourage actions (e.g., shopping for, subscribing, visiting a store) among the many target market no matter their curiosity.


Locations like Occasions Sq. in New York are examples of outbound advertising reaching its peak, each when it comes to the area used to get the message throughout and the price range wanted to broadcast it. A few of what you may see within the image under is outbound advertising by billboards.

Billboards in Times Square

Content material advertising is the method of making and distributing content material to draw and retain prospects.

Content material advertising is normally practiced as a type of inbound advertising, the place the content material affords an answer to an issue {that a} prospect is researching. Prospects uncover promoted merchandise by studying about their purposes.

Content material advertising is usually used to generate leads, the place essentially the most premium content material is gated behind a type requesting private data like title, cellphone quantity, or e mail. In a while, that data is used for different advertising ways (together with outbound).


Some well-liked varieties of content material advertising are:

  • Weblog articles
  • Movies and vlogs
  • Podcasts
  • Webinars
  • Case research
  • eBooks
  • White papers

Right here’s an instance of how some can be utilized in a coherent content material advertising technique:

Table summarizing content strategy

6. Search engine advertising (SEM)

Search engine advertising is a time period used to explain promotion messaging printed by SERPs. SEM divides the messaging into two classes: paid outcomes and natural outcomes.

Natural outcomes are pages {that a} search engine like Google finds, crawls, and indexes on its SERPs. The place on natural outcomes can’t be purchased, solely influenced by content material advertising and website positioning.

Paid outcomes are a type of pay-per-click promoting. Companies pay search engine firms to participate in a bid competing for the very best advert placement.

Google search page showing paid results at top, organic results at bottom


Let’s say you need to rank on the primary web page of Google for the key phrase “advertising automation” within the U.S. You may have two choices to do that: One is thru paid outcomes, and the opposite is thru natural outcomes.

A paid consequence shall be one in every of these:

Example of paid results in Google search

And an natural consequence will look one thing like these:

Example of organic result in Google search

As you may see, they give the impression of being comparable (and match what Google desires). The principle distinction is it can value the advertiser round $50 per click on to be included among the many massive gamers within the advert area.

To be included within the non-paid, natural area, the advertiser has to create related content material that matches the search intent and construct lots of backlinks.

KD score and CPC cost of the keyword "market automation"

Development advertising is the method of accelerating an organization’s income by making use of an experiment-driven and built-in method to all phases of attracting prospects.

Development advertising is one other time period that’s typically utilized in distinction to “conventional advertising.” It is because when development advertising entered the stage within the early 2000s, it was rapidly adopted by startups that wanted a distinct method that helped them:

A. Compete with established firms.
B. Get traders’ consideration by proving scalable development ways.

The desk under explains the variations between development advertising, “conventional advertising,” and development hacking.

Table comparing 3 marketing types


There are lots of wonderful and inspirational trendy development tales: Slack, Spotify, Uber, and Sq..

However I need to level you within the route of Notion’s development advertising technique as a result of it appears to get practically each facet of development advertising proper. Plus, it’s been analyzed dozens of instances, so it makes a fantastic instance for entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs to be taught from.

Notion’s success depends on many pillars: nice product, enormous and vocal neighborhood, and the “freemium” mannequin.

It does development advertising, nevertheless it’s not some black hat development hacking. It’s rising quick, however its technique is customer-centric, doesn’t compromise the model, and goals for the lengthy time period.

Many additionally emphasize the function of user-generated templates in Notion’s success. The corporate encourages the creation and sharing of usable templates for numerous paperwork and operations.

Notion Template Gallery webpage

Notion’s customers create templates that entice, interact, and retain different customers. A lot of these new customers will then create and share their very own templates, persevering with the cycle.

Right here’s a graphic from Basis that completely explains how this tactic touches the whole advertising funnel and varieties a development loop.

4-step growth loop for Saas

B2B advertising, or business-to-business advertising, refers back to the advertising of services or products by companies to different companies.

This time period is usually utilized by entrepreneurs to call and differentiate varieties of advertising methods and ways which can be particularly efficient in B2B relations (e.g., account-based advertising), versus business-to-consumer (B2C) relations.


Companies prefer to promote on LinkedIn. Purpose: Its customers go to the platform for work-related functions. LinkedIn takes benefit of that (by design) and affords an assortment of promoting merchandise.

By far, LinkedIn holds a 3rd of all U.S. B2B digital show advert income. As you may see under, even giants like IBM use LinkedIn advertisements to draw prospects.

IBM's ad on Linkedin

This B2B advert factors to a lead-capturing type providing free credit in IBM Cloud’s service.

Lead-capturing form with steps to get credits

B2C advertising, or business-to-consumer advertising, refers back to the advertising of services or products by companies to customers.

This time period is usually utilized by entrepreneurs to call and differentiate varieties of advertising methods and ways which can be particularly efficient in B2C relations (e.g., influencer advertising), versus B2B relations.


B2C advertising is all over the place. I don’t even must hyperlink to a examine that may show how a lot we’re bombarded with advertisements. You simply want to go searching you.

All the stuff that you simply personal was purchased due to B2C advertising. That means, both you noticed some type of B2C promotion that satisfied you to make a purchase order or another person did and advised you ways nice that product was.

Let me begin this auto-therapeutic train with myself. 

In the future, I used to be simply minding my very own enterprise. Out of the blue, I received an e mail from Vans saying that it had this enormous sale of its outlet stock. OK, Vans. I’ll click on.

Vans ad with guys playing guitar, young woman singing, little girl excited

That e mail (it’s in Polish) led to this touchdown web page, the place I noticed these sneakers.

Cartoon excited about purple, gray shoe with green stripe

It was precisely what I wanted this fall. So just a few days later, the sneakers materialized at my place.

Purple, gray shoe with green stripe on top cardboard shoebox

And that’s the quick story of how B2C advertising made me purchase sneakers in seconds. I didn’t even go to the shop to attempt them on. I used to be doing one thing fully totally different and never even fascinated about shopping for sneakers.

However not each e mail can try this. You’re wanting on the energy of the model—Vans being one in every of my favorites.

With emails like these and on-line buying alternatives, a model can capitalize on each different exercise it has invested in, making me know, like, and belief it.

Internet affiliate marketing is a sort of promotion the place an organization pays fee to an exterior web site for visitors or gross sales generated by it.

You may spot affiliate hyperlinks totally on blogs. These are the hyperlinks that comprise monitoring parameters like “tag,” “hop,” or “customid.”

The word "tag" in a URL

Meaning the proprietor of the web site receives a fee each time somebody clicks that hyperlink or buys one thing by way of that hyperlink. This manner, the paying firm rewards associates for influencing their backside line.


This cooking weblog explains the way it elevated its meals weblog revenue by fivefold in three months, one of many ways being online marketing.

Somebody purchased mushroom capsules price $3,240 on Amazon after clicking a hyperlink on the weblog. Identical to that, the house owners received $145 that day, 24 hours after posting an article that includes these mushrooms capsules.

6 bottles of Umi No Shizuku mushroom capsules

Everybody’s a winner on this story—the producer, the retailer, Amazon, that weblog, and the one who purchased these capsules (I presume).

There’s one other type of online marketing that’s generally referred to as associate advertising (albeit associate advertising has at the least two totally different meanings).

It’s when resolution suppliers maintain a associate program for different firms to drive the demand and adoption of a services or products utilizing the market capabilities of this system attendees.

Right here’s how Microsoft pitches its associate program: “The Microsoft Associate Community is a hub of individuals, assets, and choices introduced collectively to present you every little thing you might want to construct and ship profitable options on your prospects.”

Be a Microsoft Partner CTA

11. Social media advertising

Social media advertising is using social media like Fb, Twitter, or LinkedIn to market an organization’s services or products.

The aim of social media is to develop an viewers and interact with them. This results in elevated model consciousness, web site visitors and, finally, gross sales.

Social media advertising entails a mixture of ways, together with publishing content material, responding to feedback, and operating social media ads.


Wendy’s Twitter account has grow to be one thing of a legend. Right here’s why:

The story started with epic Twitter roasts that spared nobody. It began by accident with an easy reply to a not-too-bright remark from a buyer and rapidly progressed to the spotlight of this Twitter deal with.

3 sassy tweets from Wendy's

That type of “model voice” gave Wendy’s messages a sense of authenticity that made its rivals sound like heartless companies.

As extra eyes turned to the subsequent factor Wendy’s mentioned, this tweet got here alongside, aka the third most retweeted tweet in historical past:

This man didn’t get these 18 million retweets (solely 3.1 million). However Wendy’s hooked him up with a yr of free hen nuggets anyway. Wendy’s proved not solely can it get folks’s consideration, however it will possibly additionally maintain its promise (one thing fast-food chains will not be recognized for).

There are extra wonderful Wendy’s social media case research (see GroupNug or March Insanity). However whereas pushing the boundaries of company advertising, Wendy’s doesn’t overlook social media can be about customer support or just selling its enterprise from time to time.

Tweet promoting products, another tweet helping unhappy customer

Model advertising is a time period to explain actions that promote a services or products in a method that highlights the model and shapes its picture.

However what’s a model?

Within the trendy area of selling, it’s fairly laborious to present a definition that’s exhaustive and passable. In spite of everything, model advertising is practiced in so many types.

Let me offer you some examples of sturdy manufacturers. Do take discover of what you affiliate with them.

  • Apple
  • Mastercard
  • The Avengers
  • Fb
  • BMW
  • Coca-Cola

So what did you get? Did these names spark some type of picture in your thoughts or an affiliation with an individual? Perhaps it evoked a sure feeling and reminiscence and even made you thirsty. That’s what manufacturers basically are: cognitive and emotional triggers.

So it’s much less vital what manufacturers are. Reasonably, it’s extra vital what they do. And that’s the intention of name advertising: to strengthen the impact that manufacturers have on customers and make them:

  • Acknowledge the product (and distinguish it from the remaining) – In any other case, you’d be asking your self the query, “Is that the scrumptious chocolate bar I had final time?”
  • Affiliate it with a constructive expertise – Chances are you’ll not have tried the product. But when the fantasy of you consuming the product offers you a constructive feeling, then that’s all it takes.
  • Rationalize the price of the product – BMWs will not be the best-built vehicles on the planet. And they aren’t the most affordable both. But, a BMW continues to be mentioned to be the “final driving machine.”

Shoppers will not be the one attainable targets of name advertising. Firms might also use this kind of advertising to extend their inventory market valuation or to draw expertise to their firm (employer branding).


I’ve to be sincere. I fell in love with this advert instantly. It made me need to purchase some LEGOs and “rebuild the world.”


The advert reveals somewhat little bit of LEGO’s product. However extra importantly, it highlights the model and shapes its picture.

I don’t know if you happen to’ll agree with me, however this advert frames LEGOs as constructive, non-violent, and cognitively stimulating toys for everybody.

Furthermore, that is the toy for the builders of tomorrow. A world constructed on range, respect, and mutual assist; a non-zero-sum world.

And it doesn’t matter which LEGO set I’ll purchase—they’re all like that. And thru model advertising, LEGO managed to get that message throughout in 60 seconds.

Direct advertising is a technique the place the corporate instantly communicates with the target market as a substitute of utilizing mass media.

Direct advertising is normally chosen for its decrease value (in comparison with mass media), the flexibility to personalize the message, and the potential of the viewers responding to the message (e.g., by an included type).


All of us are recipients of direct advertising. The proof of that’s the little metallic field subsequent to the mailbox many people have, designed to maintain undesirable flyers and catalogs in a single neat place. It will also be seen within the ubiquity of those sorts of indicators:

Mailboxes with "no junk mail" signs

However let me offer you a constructive and efficient instance of direct advertising: Ikea’s first few catalogs.

That’s how the enterprise of Ikea began within the first place. Ikea was somewhat bit totally different in these days. It didn’t promote largely furnishings; it offered largely every little thing.

That is an instance of an Ikea mail-order catalog from 1950:

Slightly faded catalog of bags, wallets, pens

These days, we will simply go to the Ikea retailer and decide one thing up. No person must mail us something. Higher but, we will see the stock on-line and make a purchase order with out leaving the home.

And that was the thought behind the primary Ikea catalogs staged in a world with out the web and only a few TVs. It was an ingenious resolution (however not precisely unique) to achieve many potential prospects and “decrease the friction” of buying merchandise.

Additionally, for folks dwelling in distant areas of Sweden, the catalogs represented selection and elegance delivered to their doorways.

An influencer on this regard will be anybody with a major community, or “following,” of individuals and/or authority in a selected area.

Affect mechanisms leveraged in this kind of advertising can take many varieties: inspiration, belief, perception, and imitation. Influencer advertising is efficient as a result of following others’ examples or recommendation helps folks to make selections.

Furthermore, since affect is a phenomenon of human relations, influencer advertising works each in B2B and B2C conditions.


Right here’s an instance of an influencer advertising super-production.

YouTuber Meredith Foster was one of many few rigorously chosen influencers to advertise Motorola’s new smartphone product line.

Right here’s what Meredith got here up with:


Sentences of Meredith thanking Lenovo, promoting Motorola's new smartphone line

Meredith’s channel has 4.8 million subscribers. Examine that with the typical attain of reports programming within the U.S., and it’s simple to see why influencer advertising generally is a highly effective technique.

Average number of TVs tuning to ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC affiliates respectively

E-mail advertising is any type of advertising messaging performed by the channel of e mail.

That mentioned, e mail advertising is not only sending emails. It entails:

  • Constructing an e mail record.
  • Designing and sending emails to the subscriber record.
  • Monitoring the outcomes.
  • Curating the e-mail record.

The sort of advertising serves 4 predominant functions:

  1. Generate visitors – You may talk along with your viewers by emails with the aim to take them from the e-mail to a particular web page, e.g., your newest content material.
  2. Lead nurturing – This consists of so-called drip campaigns used methodically e mail by e mail and touchpoint by touchpoint, main e mail subscribers to a purchase order alternative. This course of additionally “qualifies” results in several types of subscribers, e.g., potential enterprise alternatives and model followers.
  3. Onboarding – This refers to a sequence of emails despatched by the “lifecycle” of a buyer to make them uncover and expertise the worth of the product and finally retain them. A standard use of e mail onboarding is inside a trial interval of a SaaS product.
  4. Generate income – Like Vans did with me. Manufacturers typically supply prospects an incentive to enroll in a e-newsletter, equivalent to 20% off the subsequent buy. Then it’ll ship particular affords to e-newsletter subscribers.


Since I’ve proven two examples of emails earlier than, and because you in all probability get a ton of emails your self, right here’s an illustration of an e mail advertising workflow.

Example of email workflow

On this easy e mail drip marketing campaign, recipients are robotically despatched emails primarily based on their engagement.

If recipients react positively to the emails, they get extra in-depth academic supplies and even a product demo.

But when they don’t open the following emails, they’re placed on a path of much less time-consuming academic supplies and shall be finally taken off the drip marketing campaign workflow.

This type of e mail advertising workflow will be designed by a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor in lots of at the moment’s e mail advertising instruments with out coding abilities.

16. Phrase-of-mouth advertising (WOMM)

Phrase-of-mouth advertising is the method of influencing and inspiring pure discussions a couple of product, service, or firm.

In on a regular basis use, it will possibly describe two varieties of conditions:

  • WOMM as a naturally occurring “facet impact” of an organization’s operations, equivalent to exceeding customers’ expectations of a services or products. In such situations, the corporate might not intend to actively affect the unfold of discussions. But, the best way it’s doing enterprise creates such a powerful expertise that purchasers need to share it with pals, household, social media followers, and so forth.
  • WOMM as ways used to deliberately and actively affect the unfold of discussions in regards to the firm or its services or products. This type of WOMM would be the focus of this quick chapter.

The essence of WOMM is to present folks a cause to speak. The rationale why this technique works is that individuals typically belief what others should say.

That phenomenon has even been studied:

A Nielsen examine from 2015 revealed that 83% of respondents from 60 nations trusted suggestions from family and friends. However when a advice got here from an opinion posted on-line, the belief ratio was right down to 66%.

The aforementioned “cause to speak” doesn’t should be a advice of an organization’s companies. It may be something that provides an organization publicity, creates “buzz,” and will increase its model consciousness. Because of this, WOMM is usually referred to as “buzz advertising.”

Phrase-of-mouth advertising can take many varieties. It will probably begin as a social media marketing campaign, a PR marketing campaign, or a referral marketing campaign with incentives for spreading the corporate’s message.


It’s one factor to “earn” word-of-mouth advertising within the type of constructive evaluations and uninfluenced social media threads. It’s one other factor to design and management the entire present.

In “Buzzmarketing: Get Individuals to Discuss About Your Stuff,” Mark Hughes describes how he managed to alter the title of a city within the U.S. to the title of a startup e‑commerce platform he was selling.

So a city referred to as Midway was renamed Half.com. For a yr. That actually put the brand new e‑commerce platform on the map.

Welcome sign of the town half.com

That act was so exceptional that it drew the eye of the Related Press, Reuters, USA Immediately, Good Morning America, amongst others. So think about how a lot publicity that e‑commerce firm received by this single act—all in time for the platform to launch.

In return, the city of Midway acquired new computer systems for the college, a brand new web site, and $110,000.

And 6 months later, Half.com (the e‑commerce) was offered to eBay for $300 million.

Occasion advertising is a advertising tactic the place branded occasions are used as a approach to talk with the target market and promote services or products.

The intention of occasion advertising is to create a memorable expertise by partaking occasion individuals, encouraging them to instantly work together with a model.

Interactions might take totally different varieties: making an attempt out a product, watching a product demonstration, watching a live performance, attending launches, networking, collaborating in a seminar or convention, and so forth.


Since 2003, Salesforce has organized an annual occasion referred to as Dreamforce. It brings collectively “the worldwide Salesforce neighborhood for studying, enjoyable, neighborhood constructing, and philanthropy.”

The occasion is a giant, three-day annual pop-up theme park for every little thing Salesforce. This yr, the occasion was additionally streamed on-line.

Crowded entrance to dreamforce National Park

It permits Salesforce to create a multifaceted product expertise: Attendees can find out about Salesforce product bulletins, uncover superior makes use of of the CRM, and acquire some Salesforce certifications.

However like all theme park, there should be totally different sorts of points of interest. The occasion doesn’t simply promote Salesforce’s CRM. Dreamforce is a chance to hearken to talks from celebrities, thought leaders, and politicians. Final however not least, attendees can have some enjoyable at a social gathering.

What’s additionally attention-grabbing about this instance of occasion advertising is it’s open to different manufacturers. A whopping 103 different manufacturers assist Salesforce make this occasion attainable by sponsorships, scoring their piece of name consciousness.

Guerrilla advertising is a promotion tactic that entails utilizing surprising and unconventional interactions to evoke sturdy feelings and provoke phrase of mouth.

Traits of guerrilla advertising:

  • Low value
  • Inventive
  • Easy and quick messages
  • Use of public locations like streets or buying malls as a medium of commercial
  • Creates a powerful, memorable impression


I imagine this instance ticks all packing containers of exemplary guerrilla advertising.

Balloon tied and hovering above storm drain near sign saying, "It's closer than you think."

This is likely one of the many situations of the “IT” film’s guerrilla promotion marketing campaign. Even if you happen to haven’t heard of the lethal clown from Stephen King’s novel, this signal is so weird that it’s assured to make you at the least Google the film.

Furthermore, I guess you’ll inform different folks what you noticed that day and even tweet about it (I do know I would).

And if you happen to truly went to see the film and watched that scene with the balloon popping out of the storm drain, recalling this guerrilla advert would make the film a lot extra actual and scary.

As for the price range of this marketing campaign, it’s fairly apparent. It’s the price of some balloons, string, and white paint.

Remaining ideas

With all of these 18 varieties of advertising, it makes one marvel: The place’s Occam’s razor once you want it? May you simply use one sort of selling and cease worrying?

Effectively, the entire varieties we’ve mentioned have been developed for a cause. Some are used to distinguish from rivals and others to accommodate prospects’ life.

The purpose is you may take a look at these varieties of advertising as ready-made options for reaching your aim.

Understanding these tried and examined varieties makes work somewhat simpler. You simply want to decide on properly.

Obtained questions? Ping me on Twitter.