Banner ads were once particularly popular forms of internet advertising but have seen a decline in use in recent years.

However, a wide range of alternatives have sprung up since banner ads’ heyday, meaning that marketers have much to choose from when it comes to expanding an internet marketing campaign, according to Harry Gold of ClickZ.

Some of the examples offered by the expert include text links, perhaps the simplest form of online ads, which comprise about 65 characters of text that can easily be placed in lucrative positions above the fold without detracting from the user experience.

Similar to these are in-text links, which are usually highlighted in green and show ads when the user hovers over them with the cursor. According to Mr Gold, these can be particularly cost-effective as they work on a pay-per-click (PPC) basis.

He also notes the potential offered by sponsored search for integrating search marketing with other forms of online media and advertising, although marketers may first want to consider statistics published by Covario earlier this year suggesting that Yahoo! is beginning to outperform Google in the US and Asia Pacific markets when it comes to PPC before deciding on a firm strategy.

Advertorials can also be useful, as such articles tend to include a variety of links – which may enhance search engine optimisation (SEO) – as well as promotional copy highlighting the advantages offered by a particular product or service.

However, for those with limited budgets, it might be best to start with the basics – organic SEO. Chris Lake, editor-in-chief of E-consultancy, recommends that those with little to spend on advertising invest in SEO research and potentially hire outside help to keep search engine rankings high.

Less direct ways of promoting a company’s goods and services can also include creating blogs and videos – media that can be hugely successful in raising brand awareness if they are rated highly on social media sites such as Digg and Yahoo! Buzz, he notes.

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