Internet Marketing 101: What Is Internet Advertising?

Advertising has evolved over the years and with the advent of internet it seems every business is talking online advertising and you may be wondering what it is all about. Well, internet advertising is all about placing adverts on websites, and there are millions of these websites. The technology and media is so advanced that any business can advertise online and reach new customers.

Advertising Networks

Internet advertising is driven by a handful of big players with many small players. The big players are Google, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. These companies have advertising networks such that by using their services one can place ads on websites and apps that are not owned by the networks, e.g Google. The significance of this is that an advertising campaign can reach a greater audience. Take for example Google Adwords, the network reaches over 90% of internet users.

Social Media

The last decade has seen an explosion in social media networks with Facebook being the leader, having crossed 2 billion monthly active users in June 2017. Other notable social media networks are Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp owned by Facebook, YouTube owned by Google and SnapChat. These platforms are not only for the young but everyone uses these social media platforms, some to the extent people do not realise it like YouTube which is integrated across the internet. These platforms make money by placing adverts on websites.


It seems the internet is now on mobile devices. If a business wants to advertise online they have to consider if their website is mobile friendly. Mobile is now driving more searches for Google than desktop search. Africa is skipping desktop internet straight to mobile and as people browse on these devices they get adverts on the devices.  Mobile apps are also getting a lot of engagement on these devices mainly because they give a native experience when using the apps and communication networks in developing countries offer pocket friendly bundles to use the apps.


The familiar banner ads are still the most known format when we talk internet advertising but there are also text ads, video adverts and content writing.  As internet cost continues to decline in developing countries video consumption will grow. Currently text ads and banner adverts seem the norm.

Internet advertising is certainly the future of advertising. Media consumption is changing and consumption will be driven by the internet. Internet advertising offers the ability to reach the right audience and not waste money on the wrong audience. Businesses need to think internet advertising if they want to grow with the times.