What is Advertising? Is it Marketing: A-to-Z Guide for Beginners!

Today in this post I will tell you, What is Advertising? Is it Marketing? So if you want to know about it, then keep reading this article. Because I am going to give you complete information about this, so let’s start.

As you all know, Advertising is a word that you hear often, probably every day and if you’re a business or brand owner, you probably use it, but what does it actually mean?  Advertising is a part of marketing, but it is a different aspect because it’s paid for.  Plenty of marketing isn’t paid for, it’s employing clever tactics to grow an audience and while advertising comes under the same umbrella, any marketing that’s a paid activity should be referred to as advertising. 

For example, a banner on a website, a Pay Per Click advert (https://ads.google.com/intl/) on Google, a commercial on TV, a sponsored piece in a newspaper, these are all marketing techniques, but they’re paid for, so they’re termed as advertising. Or they use the power of social media, Instagram’s interaction power is number one in this regard. They may also simply buy cheap Instagram followers to grow their presence which helps them in advertising. 

What is Advertising

So let’s go without wasting any time what is advertising? Is it Marketing? Get complete information about it instantly. So let’s know about it.

What is Advertising – Is It Part of Your Marketing Strategy?

“Every business or brand needs to use advertising to get the word out there.  Most marketers include advertising spend in their marketing strategy and allocate it to paid marketing activity, putting it in the mix with other, unpaid marketing techniques” – says Denis Ristić, General Manager at AskGamblers. We’ll talk more about advertising and marketing in this piece and give you some innovative ideas for advertising your brand or business. Here you can find some advertising practices.

Why Use Advertising?

There’s a lot of psychology applied to advertising.  The main aim is to get your message across and keep your brand or business high in mind.  The other key aim is to get a customer to buy your product or use your service.  It is the oldest form of marketing.  But what makes a good advert or commercial?  Something that’s very memorable for sure! First, you need to showcase your ads to potential customers unless they’ll never see a memorable one. They may be found on social media, of course, they are on social media! So, why don’t you go online? Many brands are engaging their customers mostly on Instagram. They post their news and get likes, views, and follows. They sometimes require more likes to be seen by more users since the way of Instagram algorithm works as ‘who gets the likes gets more likes by being visible on the feed’. Therefore, they may use other methods like buying Instagram likes

How Does It Work?

It’s simple, it’s a tool that’s used to gain interest and it influences people to think about the advantages of purchasing a product or using a service.  A good advert will plant a “must-have” or “can’t live without” message, whether through text, imagery, or video.  Having an advertising campaign as part of your marketing strategy is important, no matter how small your business because it does all of the following:

  • It raises your brand’s awareness.
  • It attracts new customers.
  • It drives sales for current products and new products or service launches.
  • It introduces new products or services to your customers.
  • It creates a point of difference between your business or brand and your competition’s.

You can also advertise on social media which meets all your needs in terms of these points. Instagram, for example, has turned into one of the best advertising tools. Brands create an Instagram account, share posts as also ads, news, and more, engage their customers where they are called as followers, get responses, get visibility, fertilize their brand mission and vision. All of these can be grown organically, or they may need some extra, such as buying Instagram views, which will help their posts to be seen more, to advertise more.

Who’s Responsible for Creating Advertising?

This depends on the structure of your company.  If you’re a sole trader, it’s your responsibility.  A small business might have a dedicated marketing person who covers what is advertising or might outsource it to an advertising company. Larger businesses have huge marketing departments, possibly with a team dedicated to advertising. And those teams are responsible for creating html5 banner ads and building social media advertising campaigns.

The History of Advertising (Abbreviated)

When asking what is advertising? It’s interesting to learn a little about its background.  Advertising is one of the oldest marketing methods.  Even thousands of years ago, people wanted to promote their products to get more customers!  In fact, research tells us that the first “known” advert occurred approximately 3,000 BC.  It was actually in print and was an advert in ancient Egypt.  Is it’s topic?  To promote the capture and return of a slave who had escaped captivity!  The advert was fairly detailed, including the slave owner’s business which happened to be a rug business.  The shop owner saw an opportunity to use advertising, as the first advert posted generated a lot of interest…and other people began to adopt the idea!

We’ve all come a long way since 3,000 BC and advertising is far more sophisticated, but the message is the same. What is advertising?  It’s a way to communicate that message to an audience, whether on a local, countrywide, or global scale, and with technology, it’s easier than ever to get your message across.  Of course, advertising has changed over the years, here’s a timeline of how it’s morphed.

  • In the late 15th century, a poster was hammered onto church doors in London, UK.
  • In the middle of the 17th century, a newspaper ad was taken out by someone offering a reward for stolen horses.
  • In the early 18th century, the Boston Newsletter newspaper invited its readers to put adverts in its newspaper.
  • In the late 19th century, ad copy began to change with unique styles and getting the message across to customers in a powerful way.  At the same time, businesses started using postcards to “sell” their products and services.
  • In the early 20th century, Unilever hired an advertising company called J Walter Thompson (still in operation today) to promote its soap product.  Food advertising started to appear on airships and Campbell Soup introduced its Campbell Kids used for advertising across the board and signifying the first advertising campaign.
  • In 1922, radio advertising appeared and three years later, adverts began to transform into emotional messages, especially focussing on pleasure.
  • In 1975, the appearance of the video recorder presented a problem for TV advertising as people could skip through the commercial breaks.
  • Computers began to appear in homes in the 1990s and suddenly, people could connect to the internet, bringing with it another revenue stream for advertising.
  • In 1994, banner adverts started appearing on websites.
  • In 1995, search engines started to appear, with Google appearing in 1998.
  • In the early 21st century, YouTube and Facebook appeared.
  • A few years later, brands tapped into having an online presence tailored to their customers.
  • In 2012, the power of online video was exploding, and this stream of advertising reached 170 million views.
  • More social network sites started to appear at the same time giving more opportunity for paid advertising methods.
  • In 2020, advertising on digital platforms reached new heights with so many different areas to choose from, including podcasts, digital platforms, social media, PPC and other, plus the use of mobile technology increased as did the use of SMS advertising.

What is advertising? There are so many forms of advertising, here are a few:

  • In print.
  • On billboards.
  • On TV.
  • On Radio.
  • Through SMS.
  • Through social media networks.
  • On websites.
  • On search engines.
  • Through events.
  • Through direct mail.

We’ll go through each briefly.

Print Advertising relates to posters, leaflets, catalogs, flyers, and other items that are printed and you can touch or hold.  Newspapers and magazines also offer print advertising, and this is the oldest type of advertising, still popular today and often, an advertising campaign includes both online and offline (including print).

Next, it’s billboards and this involves print advertising, but these are the large boards you see along the roadside or in shopping centers with huge adverts.  They’re viewed by thousands of people every day.  Typically, there’s not much text involved as usually a viewer will only catch a glimpse as they drive by so the message is a powerful image with a couple of words to drive home a message and keep a brand high in mind.

A TV Commercial is another mode of advertising, and it happens in the break of a program or a movie.  The bigger the audience time (usually 7 pm to 10.00 pm) the more costly an advert will be.  TV ads are essentially video and sometimes they’re almost like a micro-movie telling a story and hinting at how much better life would be with that perfume or using that new lawnmower, or easting that family breakfast cereal, etc.

Radio advertising uses the power of listening and sending messages to listeners similarly to TV but without images.  It’s good for local audiences and national audiences.

Next, there’s event advertising which is when you host your own event to promote your products or services.  With the rise of online, you can also host a virtual event using a webinar.  Offline, these types of events are usually a conference or a social event with an advertising angle.  There are also sponsored events, like big sporting events.  A brand sponsors the event (and pays a sum of money) to use the event as a platform for advertising its products or services, either through print, online, TV, radio, or others.

Direct mail is another offline advertising method that uses cards, leaflets, brochures, and catalogs sent directly to someone’s home or office.  Sometimes, they’re placed in the middle of newspapers or magazines, and they may just be put through your door by hand.  This method works well for targeted, local advertising for small, local businesses.

Finally, there’s digital advertising which relates to anything online, and with over 4 billion people using the internet, it’s an exceptional method that mustn’t be missed.  Using the internet, you get access to almost half of the population in the world, half of your target audience and you can also tailor your advertising to specifics such as location, gender, age, job title, salary, preferences, etc.

It’s that powerful and there are lots of avenues, from email marketing to Pay Per Click, social media advertising to banners on websites and so much more. For example, you can drive more sales by implementing modular email design when doing email marketing, or cooperate with influencers in terms of influencer marketing.  We’ll go into some more detail on each digital advertising method in answer to what is advertising online:

Online Methods to Adopt!

  • Pay Per Click or PPC.  Search engines have their advertising method which involves placing a small add using keywords (what people might search for to find your business) that appear at the top of page one, in the form of a small “result” that’s an ad.  The benefit of this is you set your budget, you can tailor it to your exact audience needs and even set the time of day. Once you run out of your budget (you only pay each time a customer clicks through to your website), you can stop the ad, pause it, or top it up, it’s up to you and there are no contracts involved.
  • Social Media Advertising, this relates to any advertising performed on social media platforms and get your message right in front of your desired audience.  The aim is for them to click onto your website or other online content, or book in and buy something.  All the social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter etc.) have a form of social media advertising that you can use to promote your products or services.  Instagram is a good place to grow and leverage your social media presence.  You can also boost engagement through Instagram.
  • Sponsored Content, this relates to sponsored articles or sponsored blog posts written and paid for to promote a product or service.  You might choose a high-traffic website to pay for an article to be posted and therefore viewed by your audience or you might pay a blogger or Influencer to write about your product or service and post it on their blog for their followers to view.
  • Banner Ads are the images that appear at the top of a website, there are also display ads that might appear at the side or popup ads that literally popup as you use a website.  These are highly visual usually with some text placement.

Best Practices Tips for Great Advertising!

When it comes to what is advertising, there are so many super ideas that you can use and lots of best practices (that continue to evolve!).  Here’s what we advise:

  • Try to appeal to your customers’ emotions and get them to feel that by doing something with your product or using your service, they’ll feel better, or they’ll feel they’re doing something good for them, for others or their family.
  • Create an association with your brand or business, this relates to having a recognizable advertising campaign that people immediately know is about your brand or business.
  • Make your audience feel like everyone else is buying it or doing it!  If others love it – they will too!
  • Make sure you communicate the benefits; this is really important and it’s why your audience can’t live without it…tell them why!
  • Use storytelling to communicate your message, whether through words, sound or images, a story is the best way to get your message across.


Advertising is an important mechanic for any business, regardless of sector.  Through printed advertising, radio, TV, digital and social media there’s a wealth of opportunities for you to promote your product or service.  You may want to use just one method, to begin with, or a couple, and as you get to grips with each method, consider adding another to the mix.  You’ll also assess which works best for you.  We hope we’ve answered What Is Advertising! By applying the best practices above to your advertising, you’ll appeal to your audience better but don’t overload them with information, just get the key messages across.  You can educate your audience further on products or services using marketing methods such as social media – but that’s for another time!

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