Types of Advertising Media Channels and their Pros and Cons

Types of Advertising Media Channels and their Pros and Cons

Communicating a message to as many people as possible is the goal of advertising. The most common techniques are TV, radio, and social media. Professionals in marketing, advertising, and media planning are constantly developing strategies to explore the benefits and drawbacks of different types of ads and marketing communication.

The Definition of Advertising Media

Advertising media is just a fancy way to say “all the ways in which businesses can promote themselves.” Successful businesses need to be knowledgeable about which channels work best for them.

For newcomers in business, perhaps the most difficult thing is to determine the most suitable types of media for effective promotion.
A successful go-to-market strategy should involve a thorough understanding of the target audience, their media consumption habits, and the budget available for advertising. By carefully selecting the appropriate advertising media channels and creating impactful ads, businesses can effectively reach their target audience and achieve their marketing goals. Currently, there is a service that allows you to build a go-to-market strategy based on artificial intelligence and knowledge about markets and various industries in just a few minutes. To get the result, you just need to answer a few questions and click on one button. Learn more.

What Function Does Advertising Media Serve?

Advertising media simply show brand’s messages to its potential customers. All advertisers know that the best way to get results for a campaign is by selecting the right advertising channels. Each channel should complement its short-term or long-term goals, and reach the intended audience.

Examples of Advertising Media Channels

Media planners must assess the core objective of their campaign and how to achieve it before running any commercials or advertisements.

Every media source has its own benefits and drawbacks, which can be narrowed down by considering the following aspects:

Video Advertising: TV & YouTube

With the invention of online video, advertisers have been able to reach viewers in new and innovative ways.


  • A YouTube ad can be a very personalized way of communicating with its viewers.
  • The development of CTV and OTT allows for a more targeted advertising. Also ads are guaranteed to appear next to a high-quality content, so there is no need to worry about brand reputation.
  • Television’s extensive reach makes it a very effective medium for boosting brand awareness among a broad audience.


  • Commercials on TV are usually more expensive than online advertising media.
  • With cable TV there is little guarantee an ad will be watched by brand’s target audience, unless it’s a show that specializes on a particular topic.

Audio Channels: Radio & Podcast Advertising

54% of consumers are more open to buying products they’ve heard mentioned on podcasts. What’s great is you can get in front of this high-engagement audience quickly with your podcast ads.


  • Almost all cars have radios in them.
  • Radio is significantly cheaper than television, making it a more budget-friendly choice.
  • Some studies suggest that listeners tend to stay tuned during commercial breaks on radio shows, which means they will hear your ads.


  • If a listener is distracted and decides to change the station, they may miss your message. Media planners should keep this in mind while developing their campaign and should repeat the same ad multiple times so listeners don’t forget about it. If you’re an advertiser, it may be best to book the first or last slots before or after the commercial break. That way, you can reach more people with your message.


Print mediums, such as newspapers, are one of the oldest media channels for advertisers. The newspaper is still an effective channel that commands approximately $15.9 billion in advertising spend within the U.S.


  • Newspapers are super targeted because they’re delivered to a specific geographic location.
  • Newspapers are one of the most trusted advertising mediums with 82% of customers trusting them. 7 out of 10 readers feel less anxious about reading a story coming from a reputable newspaper than on social media.


  • In 2000, 59.4 million households received Sunday newspapers, and in 2018 the figure dropped to about 30.8 million.
  • Only 5% of 18–29-year old’s read a newspaper.
  • One downside of newspaper content is the editor’s guidelines, which can suppress your branding efforts.
  •  It is difficult to measure the effectiveness of newspaper adverts because they often do not carry ads in the same way as digital ads.

Print & Digital Magazines

In the 20th century, magazines became popular for addressing specific audiences and presenting ads in color. In 2019, magazine advertising spending was reported as $15.6 billion.


  • Magazines target groups of people interested in a specific industry or hobby, allowing marketers to more easily find potential clients.
  • Print ads are generally easier for readers to remember. After a week, study participants from Temple University had a greater response to the printed ads than digital ads. In 2019, 228.7 million people were reading digital and print magazines (for comparison, 210.7m people were in 2012).
  • Have a long shelf life compared to newspapers. Readers usually keep a magazine for a while before throwing away.
  • Easily generate leads and build email marketing lists. Digital magazines provide you with an easy way to grow your list of contacts.


  • Publishing the information necessary to create ads takes time. To be published on time, the content and graphics must be ready weeks or months in advance.
  • Little flexibility: adverts can’t be changed or retargeted mid-campaign.
  • Depending on the industry, you may not have access to granular details needed for a hyper-targeted campaign.

Out-of-Home Advertising

Though billboards have been around for a while, they are continuing to evolve and adapt. Billboards are now a part of our daily lives.


  • Less costly in comparison to other forms of advertising.
  • Billboards and other outdoor advertisements can be personalized. Take location and target audience into consideration when considering the type of advertisement to use.
  • Similar to TV, OOH advertising also plays a significant role in brand campaigns, effectively driving awareness across diverse audiences.


  • Can be very difficult to segment an audience and target a specific type of consumer. Your team must figure out how to create a personalized experience to reach your audience.

Social Media

Social media advertisements have changed significantly over the decades. Previously limited to banner ads, but by 2006 that all changed with the first social media advertisement on Facebook.


  • Social advertising can be very targeted. Media planners can reach viewers based on demographic information. On average, a single impression on Facebook costs less than a cent, while a click costs an average of 28 cents.
  • If an advertising campaign isn’t working, media planners can pause the campaign or reallocate funds to more effective ads.


  • Each social network has its own specific requirements and guidelines. To make a good impression, brands need fresh, compelling content.
  • It’s important to keep profiles up-to-date since an inactive social media profile can create mistrust among potential customers.

No single channel is perfect, but you can create an ideal media mix that will make the most of each ad media and generate the desired KPIs.

Considerations When Selecting Advertising Media

Consider the following factors when selecting advertising media:

Overall Strategy

The ideal media channel for your campaign depends on its ultimate goal. Media planners should begin by building a framework for their overarching strategy.

Budget Constraints

Before we create media plans, it’s important to clarify the campaign budget and determine how to allocate your funds.

Rating Information

Ratings directly correspond with viewership in a specific demographic, so marketers should examine their target audience and place advertisements during programs with satisfactory ratings.

Messaging Frequency

Media planners should examine the overall budget, and determine how it can be best allocated. Frequency is a significant determinant of how well campaigns perform.

Efficacy of Previous Media Purchases

When deciding on a media plan and budget, it can be useful to look at past campaigns to see what worked well.

Marketers need advanced analytics to develop media spend that is well-targeted and highly engaged.

Integrating an Advertising Media Mix

You cannot effectively promote your goods or services utilizing only one or two channels. Modern marketers have access to a wide variety of channels that transmit marketing messages in distinct ways. Including different advertising media in company’s marketing mix is the only way to achieve the desired results. Advanced analytical tools can help media planners find an optimal balance for upcoming campaigns and make data-driven decisions about optimal budget allocation.