Skip to content
What Is Advertising?


Start selling online now with Shopify

Start your free trial

What Is Advertising?

Advertising is a promotional activity which aims to sell a product or service to a target audience. It is one of the oldest forms of marketing which attempts to influence the actions of its target audience to either buy, sell, or do something specific. Using a highly tailored message the advertisement can be niche (targets a small audience) or general (targets a large audience).

Advertising is a lot older than most other marketing activities like email marketing and Search Engine Marketing. Since the internet has become the norm, advertising has been divided into two fields: traditional advertising and digital advertising.

→ Click Here to Launch Your Online Business with Shopify

Traditional advertising relates to print, TV, and radio advertisement that has been popular for over 150 years. Print advertising is the most effective advertising for businesses as it revolves around a target audience personally receiving the advertisement through flyers, newspapers, and the mail.

Digital advertising revolves around any advertising activities online like display advertising, PPC, Social Media advertising, etc. This form of advertising is cheaper and easier to track so it has become a more widely used form of marketing.

Why Is Advertising Important in Marketing?

  • Product Advertising

Creating product advertisements is an important first step in a product lifecycle. It acts as an introduction to a product and can be a great way to get your brand name out into the world.

  • Creating demand

Before a product is produced, sales projections are calculated in order to rationalize the cost of production. Once a product is created sales need to become reality and effective advertisements are the way that businesses can introduce the product to the world.

  • Control and Track

Digital advertising has become a science today. Companies can be highly targeted and can track every conversion from an ad with the click of a button. This control and traceability make advertising super important in marketing for the likes of attribution modeling and conversion rate optimization (CRO).

  • Competition

Advertising allows you to pit your business against your competitor on a public stage. How you and your competitor react is hugely important as it shapes the market. As part of an aggressive marketing campaign, promotional advertising alongside your competition can equal big wins quickly.

McDonalds vs Burger King Advertising

Types of Advertising

Traditional Advertising

  • Print Advertising

Whether in a magazine, newspaper, periodical, or a flyer, print advertising is an effective way to get your name out there.

  • Billboards

Towering over cities across the world billboards can be static or moving product advertisements for almost anything.

  • Television Advertising

Television advertising was the most popular way of getting a product in front of people for over 50 years. Its appeal has only declined slightly since digital and mobile marketing hit the scene. This makes it a great channel to get your brand name out there.

  • Radio Advertising

Radio advertising, although solely audio, with no imagery to pair with it, is still very effective. There are two distinct audiences: the older audience and those who listen to the radio on their work commute. Creating ads that are short and straight to the point will keep listeners interested; anything more will overwhelm them.

Digital Advertising

Social Media platforms have grown in popularity and, with this new trend, came advertising on the platforms. Placing promotional ads on these well-liked sites is great as you can target demographics more closely than ever before. You can choose your age bracket, interests, locations, and so much more with only a few clicks.

Search Advertising Search engines have capitalized on effective advertising also with the use of search and display ads that are tailored to keyword searches. This form of promotional advertisement is great for retargeting and remarketing to people who have already been on your website.

  • Mobile Advertising

Mobile use has grown tenfold in such a short period of time that it is no surprise that advertising has been introduced as part of it. Mobile-first advertising could include SMS ads, app ads, and website advertisements aimed at mobile users. The options are endless when you are marketing to an audience who are always on their device.

Websites are always trying to get more conversions and sales in the pipeline. Effective ads are the way to achieve this. Using popups that include calls to action are a great idea. Entice someone back to a page when they are about to leave through an exit popup. Popups that provide discount codes or a link to the exact product you are searching for can make all the difference to a potential customer.

Advertising Examples For Ecommerce Merchants


Advertising Example: Ikea Ad

For ecommerce stores to appeal to as many people as possible you need to identify a solution to an everyday problem. Using effective ads, the solution should be easy to see. Depending on the platform you are advertising on, people might only have a few seconds to decode your message. The above image of an IKEA advertisement is a great example of an easy to see solution to the issue of space and clutter. It is location specific and acts as a two subject advertisement as IKEA is also launching a new store in Sheffield. Both messages are clear and do not overlap.


Advertising Example: Lego Ad

Lego uses minimalist advertising to unleashed creativity. If your brand is looking to grab your audience’s attention maybe the best way is to create simple imagery. Showing how basic or advanced your product can be for customers can be the reason why they do or don’t buy from you. If you provide a product or service with many levels to it that not everyone will use, try to make it simple. You can always build on this depending on how advanced your audience becomes.

Start selling online now with Shopify

Start your free trial

Want to Learn More?