Types of advertising

Understanding available advertising channels will help you make the right decisions for your business.

A successful advertising campaign will:

  • increase awareness of your business and products
  • attract customers
  • generate sales.

Whether you’re encouraging new customers to buy one of your existing products or are launching a new product, your brand is more likely to stand out if you use the right creative (images, video, or other advertising formats) in the right environment.

You may find that you get the best results by using a combination of channels.

For each advertising type, consider the:

  • potential reach
  • cost (media, creative and production)
  • call to action (how you want people to respond).


Newspaper advertising is a form of print media that can help promote your business and reach a wide audience. It typically consists of:

  • display advertisements, which are placed throughout the paper
  • classified listings under specific subject headings.

Generally, the higher the circulation (readership), the higher the advertising cost.

To decide if and how newspaper advertising will work for your business, consider the:

  • geographic coverage (national, regional or local)
  • audience profile.

Magazine advertising enables you to connect with a highly targeted audience. For example, magazines may focus on:

  • consumers with a particular interest (e.g. women’s health)
  • businesses in a particular industry (e.g. hospitality).

If your products need to be displayed in colour, a glossy magazine advertisement can be ideal.

People also tend to take more time to read magazines and keep them for longer. This means there’s more chance of your advertisement being seen.

Keep in mind:

  • Magazine advertisements are generally more expensive than newspaper advertisements.
  • Magazines are usually not local media but distributed nationally. Consider if you’ll be paying for exposure outside your target area.

Radio advertising can be an effective way to reach your target audience. It gives you the:

  • option to focus on a specific region or local area
  • opportunity to convey your brand personality through sound.

Keep your target audience in mind when choosing which station to run your advertisements on and what time of the day to run them.

Radio advertising can be a cost-effective medium. However, listeners may not easily recall your advertisement, so you many need to run them regularly.


Television advertising:

  • is an ideal way to reach a large market in a large geographic area
  • offers the unique advantage of combining visuals, sound, movement and colour
  • is a powerful tool to build an emotional connection with your brand and persuade customers to act.

TV advertising is typically sold in units of time (e.g. 15 seconds or 30 seconds) and the costs will vary depending on the station, program and time.

It can be expensive when you factor in all the production and broadcasting costs.

Because of the broad coverage and high costs, television advertising might not be a good option for many small businesses.


Outdoor advertising is a way to connect with potential customers when they’re outside and on the go. There are typically 3 different out-of-home advertising environments:

  • roadside (e.g. billboards, bus shelters, kiosks)
  • transport (e.g. airports, trains, buses, bicycles)
  • lifestyle (e.g. shopping centres, gyms, stadium).

This visual advertising can be designed for high impact. Both traditional and digital options may be available.


  • The message needs to be short and sharp with a strong call to action.
  • Prime locations are expensive.

Directories provide a cost-effective way to list your business. They can be printed or online. Online, location-based listing or directories allow you to:

  • list on specialised directories (e.g. by category or location)
  • keep your business and contact details up to date.

Check if there are free online directories for your local area.

Potential customers may use directories to compare options through online ratings and reviews.


Online advertising provides a highly targeted and highly effective way to attract new customers. It’s particularly important as most customers do online research before making a purchase decision.

There are 3 main types of digital advertising at your disposal:

  • display advertising
  • paid search advertising
  • social media advertising.

Read more about digital marketing and advertising and social media for business.

The channels and formats (e.g. video or images) will be based on the online behaviours of your potential customers and what you are striving to achieve.

Also remember that you’ll most likely be driving traffic to your website. A well-designed website can increase your sales.

Action items

Video: Developing your marketing activities

Watch our video to help turn your marketing strategy into an action plan of activities to promote your business and grow your sales.

Topics include:

  • an information checklist before you invest in marketing activities
  • how to progress from a strategy to an action plan
  • exploring activities like advertising, PR, and sales promotions
  • understanding the ‘who, why, what and where’ of marketing.

Top 10 tips for effective advertising

  1. Use your distinctive brand ‘look and feel’ and be consistent.
  2. Make sure your creative concept is persuasive and memorable.
  3. Try to appeal to the senses and connect on an emotional level.
  4. Include a strong call to action so customers know what to do.
  5. Be unemotional about channel choice – focus on the customer.
  6. Integrate channels so they work together and play their roles.
  7. Tailor your creative execution to suit the advertising medium.
  8. Double check that all information is up to date and accurate.
  9. Ensure your advertising quality reflects your business quality.
  10. Confirm that your advertising remains compliant with regulations.



MORE = https://www.business.qld.gov.au/running-business/marketing-sales/marketing/activities/advertising