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The 6 Most Influential Advertising Mediums

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The 6 Most Influential Advertising Mediums

Each advertising medium can help you reach new audiences and grow your brand awareness. Choosing which one is right for your business, though, depends on your goals and market. Learn about each media channel before planning your ad campaign. 

Updated January 10, 2023

No business is an overnight success. It takes time and work for companies to gain traction and bring in customers. 

To grow their business, companies must build awareness of their brand, educate potential customers, and engage with buyers. The best way to do that is through advertising. 

Of course, how a business should advertise depends on their industry, market, budget, and business goals. 

Thanks to technological advances and changes in how people consume media, there are more advertising mediums than ever before.Your challenge lies in selecting the ad formats that provide excellent reach, engagement, and conversions, while fitting your budget.

Here's what you need to know about the 6 most influential advertising mediums so you can improve your campaign. 

  1. Mobile
  2. TV
  3. Video
  4. Email
  5. Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
  6. Retargeting
  7. Podcasts

Looking to attract customers and grow your business? Check out The Manifest’s list of leading advertising agencies

1. Mobile Advertising

Mobile dominates the internet economy, as consumers spend nearly 7 hours per day on mobile devices. 

Whether checking prices online before an in-store purchase or browsing on mobile prior to completing a transaction on a home device – consumers hold the buying process in their hand.

Mobile ads enable companies to target buyers in real-time, where and when it matters. In 2021, mobile revenue set a new record, according to the IAB's Internet Advertising Revenue Report. 

Mobile ad revenues increased in 2021


This trend indicates “a marketing shift from ‘mobile-first’ to ‘mobile-only’ in order to keep pace with today’s on-the-go consumers,” says Randall Rothenberg, President of IAB.

To reach the right audience with the right message, you can use a variety of mobile advertising types:

  • Banners
  • Native ads
  • Video
  • Interstitials

2. TV Advertisements

While people increasingly favor mobile and social, most Americans still spend 1–4 hours watching TV every day. 

This classic advertising medium boasts outstanding reach and engagement.

Historically, TV has been one of the most influential of any ad format. Additionally, most consumers prefer TV advertising over other ad mediums.  

Simply, TV can better educate viewers about products while stimulating both the visual and auditory systems. Activating both senses helps boost ad impact and increases retention.

It’s also more credible, says Rob Albertson of Chicago-based creative consultancy Bandwidth Marketing.

“Consumers feel that a company with a TV advertisement takes its marketing serious enough to spend money on this fairly expensive vehicle.”

A combination of glitz and audience size makes TV advertising a dependable route to revenue. 

Pro Tip: Try fusing your TV and social media advertising.

However, as many consumers choose to disconnect cable in favor of streaming services, companies must adjust their advertising strategy. To reach these viewers, many are switching to Over-the-top, or OTT, advertising. 

Unlike traditional TV, this type of advertising is transmitted over the internet through streaming services. 

In addition to helping companies reach their audiences where they're spending the most time, streaming platforms like Netflix, Disney+, and Hulu can provide additional information about their viewers. This improves targeting and improves the effectiveness of these ads. 

Learn more about OTT advertising here

3. Video Advertising

Video is advertising’s rising star, with over 70% of marketers planning to increase their use of video.

Graph of video advertising
Source: Social Media Examiner

This rich media format is both highly informative and easy to consume, perfect for illustrating the benefits of your product in a genuine and memorable way.

Video also allows for targeted delivery. The best videos ads arrive with precision and impact, helping to:

  • Net impressions
  • Develop brand awareness
  • Feature new products
  • Secure conversions
  • Encourage organic shares

And unlike TV, video virality activates audiences. 

Organic engagement creates buzz that translates into valuable social proof for your brand. According to E-Tailing, a cross-channel merchandising company based in Chicago, 57% of consumers say videos provide them the confidence to buy products online

4. Email

Nearly 60% of B2B marketers say that email is the most effective channel for generating revenue, according to PR Newswire. 

This ad medium lets you segment, target, and trigger ads. Personalized email also helps to distinguish your brand. 

Expect a robust email campaign to:

  • Increase site traffic
  • Elevate engagement
  • Improve customer retention
  • Drive upsells and cross-sells

Carrying an average sales conversion rate of 3%, email can easily outperform your other channels.

The critical first step is crafting seductive headlines: 205 billion emails are sent daily, so you should constantly test new headline tactics to uncover what gets opened. 

5. Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Search engine marketing (SEM) lets you advertise on the world’s largest billboards – search engine results pages (SERPs). 

For example, Google Adwords reaches a staggering 80% of global internet users

Also called keyword advertising or pay-per-click (PPC), SEM allows you to bid on advertising keywords through an auction. Your banner is then placed above the top-ranked search results for those keywords. 

You pay only when the viewer clicks your ad.

Screenshot of search engine results page

Also available on Bing, SEM drives results via ad prominence and consumer search habits. Nearly all searchers chose a business on the first search page. SEM can be a cost-effective way to reach eager eyes and drive immediate traffic. 

Some effective applications for SEM include:

  • B2B awareness
  • Niche keywords
  • Product listings
  • Campaign-related support
  • Retargeting

6. Podcasts

Providing a blend of influencer marketing and on-demand radio, podcasts are an underused yet highly effective ad medium. 

In 2023, experts predict the market for podcast ads to surpass $2 billion

Podcast listeners are mostly educated, affluent, and urban. They’re also highly engaged and loyal. 

According to IAB:

  • 65% said podcast ads increase their purchase intent
  • 45% said they’re likely to visit the advertiser’s website after hearing an ad
  • 42% would consider a new product or service after hearing a promo
  • 37% use podcast ads to research brands

A recent consumer review confirms that podcasts are trusted by 45% of all listeners, more so than either social media or online advertising. 

Hosts and their loyal fanbase share a strong relationship that radiates to show sponsors in the form of revenue.

Additional reading, 'How to Advertise on Spotify.'

Trust Your Ad Campaign

Ultimately, trust begets revenue. Whether because of their personality, presence, or reach – these 7 ad mediums are the most influential in the market. 

Perhaps you think social media is missing from this list? Data shows that social media carries little trust with consumers (and lacks conversions as well).

Brands must use the mediums that earn instant credibility and achieve quality engagement.

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