There are a number of ways to buy online advertising including through an agency, placement service, or content provider. The best option can depend on the type of ad and the size of the buy. In many cases, it will be necessary to provide copy information and images ready for use. These should meet any advertising standards, such as fitting within a specific size limit or not containing explicit language.
Advertising agencies can be a good option for larger companies. These organizations can develop and place advertising, including online advertising. Companies getting ready to buy online advertising may consult an agency to get advice on placement and other matters. The agency will take care of the process of contacting prospective placements and making the actual ad buy. One advantage to going through an agency is the possibility of accessing lower rates, as many agencies buy in blocks.
Placement services are another way to buy online advertising. These services allow people to contract with them directly to place their ads on partner sites. People can provide text ads as well as images, and may specify the types of demographics they would like to reach so the service can select the best placements. For example, keyword advertising allows people to sell ads that appear in web searches, emails, and on web sites in association with certain keywords.
Content providers may accept advertising buys directly. Media organizations with an online presence, like newspapers, can work with advertisers through an existing department that handles print and online ads. People can also buy online advertising on smaller websites like blogs by contacting the owner directly to determine if ad placements are available. This type of advertising can include sponsorships of areas of a site or specific content, where the sponsor's name appears prominently for viewers.
Small ad buys can be accomplished through personally contacting prospective placement sites, or entering a limited contract with a placement service. Before a company decide to buy online advertising, it can help to do some research to determine the best target demographic, so money will be spent as efficiently as possible. It is also advisable to check on any advertising standards that might affect international advertising. A firm may be able to legally advertise products on sites hosted in one nation, but not another, and could be subject to fines for violations of advertising standards if it doesn't place ads wisely.