In this digital world where everyone is always looking at a screen, advertising can often seem annoying and irrelevant. However, this is not always the case. Digital advertising is as popular now as ever. The latest eMarketer research forecasts that digital ad spending will grow by 21.1% in 2021. These compelling statistics are proof that not all online advertising is white noise.
The vast landscape of digital advertising can often feel overwhelming, though, and the prospect of staying competitive can seem daunting. One of the easiest ways to start is with display advertising. Display ads can appear on any type of website and are a great way for businesses to reach their target audience. Recent research by eMarketer, which shows that worldwide display advertising will grow by 18.5% in 2021, is proof that display advertising is effective.
But what exactly is display advertising and how is it different from other types of online advertising? Here are the details, and also some tips on getting the most out of your display advertising efforts.
What is display advertising?
Digital display advertising is a way to attract the audience of a website, app, or social media platform to take a specific action. It is basically visual advertising in the form of banners or other formats like text, images, flash, video, or even audio, often encouraging users to click-through to a landing page or a website to take an action (like making a purchase or signing up to a mailing list). The ads can encourage various types of action, depending on the goals of the ad campaign. Some display ads educate people about a product or a brand while others entertain the audience through simple puzzles or games.
Display ads are a form of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, but they aren’t the same as paid search ads. Rather than appearing on search engine result pages (like search ads), display advertising focuses on planting messages on individual websites that the users are already visiting. Most display advertising campaigns are charged on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis, meaning that every time a user clicks on your ad, you’ll get charged an amount based on your bidding strategy.
You can run such campaigns through ad networks like Google Display Network (GDN) or Facebook advertising that provide powerful audience targeting features and advertising formats. You could also run your campaigns manually by selecting and approaching websites yourself.
Types of display ad
Display advertising is a blanket term that covers any visual advertisement on a website or other digital platform. But this broad term can be divided into several types. Banner ads are a type of display advertising, and so are desktop and mobile leaderboard ads. Display ads can also be divided into a few main categories based on their targeting techniques:
- Site placement advertising:Rather than letting an ad network choose the sites your ad will be displayed on, you can make those selections yourself.
- Contextual advertising:This type of targeting uses keyword research to determine site placements. That is, the ad for your product or service would appear on a website with similar content.
Finding the best ad formats and targeting methods will take some experimenting, but your campaign goals and target audience can guide your decisions.
Benefits of display advertising
When done well, display ads can reap more rewards than you may expect. Here’s what makes display advertising a great option:
It is visually appealing
One of the first benefits of display ads is that they can be designed in the style of your business or brand. Since display advertising is usually graphic content, you are free to be as creative as you wish with bright colors, large text, video, audio, or even interactive ads. This is a major benefit over search ads, which are text-only and have to adhere to character count, limiting how effectively you can convey your message. With creative display ads, you can stand out among the crowd.
It facilitates brand awareness
Research suggests that it takes a customer seven interactions with a brand before they think about doing business with them. Display advertising is a simple way to get in front of consumers before they need your products or services. So, by the time they need what you offer, you have a better chance of being the brand they pick. In fact, a 2018 study found that digital display ads increased brand awareness by 21%.
It can be targeted
When running marketing campaigns, it is crucial to get in front of people relevant to your business and avoid the people who might never need what you offer. Using a marketing network like Google Display Network (GDN), you can create specific parameters for your display advertising campaign, controlling what kind of sites your ads will appear on, which geographic area your audience should be in, and which demographic they need to target. This helps you optimize your ad spend and ensure that your ads are not wasted on the wrong audience.
It allows for remarketing opportunities
Display ad retargeting involves showing your ads to customers who have already visited your website but didn’t convert. It allows you to target customers who have already expressed interest and require an extra push to make the purchase. Providing such interested customers with relevant content or personalized offers is a great way to engage them and encourage them to seal the deal. Retargeting has yielded great results so far, with customers 70% more likely to convert with retargeted ads than average digital ads.
It can be easily tracked to measure effectiveness
It’s important to measure how your marketing is performing so you know what’s working and what’s not. If you use a marketing network like Google Display Network (GDN) or Facebook Advertising, they offer detailed reports that include how many times your display ads have been seen, which ones have the most clicks, and how many of these people converted into a customer or a lead. GDN also allows you to monitor who has seen your ad in a specific time frame and whether or not they converted later. This allows you to stop guessing if your ads are contributing to conversions.
It is less expensive than other advertising channels
Unlike other advertising strategies, like television or radio, which require large investments, display advertising is relatively inexpensive. All you require is an image and some text or a short video or animation to create display ad campaigns that will help you generate leads. Pricing is inexpensive as well, with rates as low as 50 cents per thousand impressions for highly targeted campaigns.
Display advertising best practices
Since websites, social media, and other channels are filled with ads, people might ignore them. So, it’s important to stand out from all the noise and provide worthwhile content that will not annoy your audience. The design and content of your ad make a huge difference, and so does the audience you target. Here are some best practices to help you get display advertising right.
Get your targeting right
Targeting can make or break your campaign. If you target the wrong people, you risk wasting your ad spend. So, you need to make sure you target the right people. Apart from this, there may be times when you don’t want your ads to appear on certain websites, like those containing mature content, gambling, error pages, and so on. These are called display targeting exclusions, which enable you to exclude your ads from websites that contain certain keywords or topics or attract a certain demographic.
Make your ad creative and compelling
All the targeting in the world will make no difference if your ads are not creative, relevant, and compelling. Make sure you tailor your message to the audience using animations, puzzles, video ads, or graphics, depending on your audience. You also need to use the right language that mirrors that of your ideal customer, and make your ad copy as catchy as possible.
Make your landing pages effective
Your work doesn’t end with creating the ad and targeting the right audience. You need to ensure that people who click on your ad actually convert. So, your landing page needs to be as compelling and effective as your display ad. Keep in mind all the best practices of creating any landing page, and also ensure that your landing page copy matches the message conveyed by the ad.
Measure your ads
After you set up your display ads and campaigns and see results, it’s time to measure your results. This will allow you to improve targeting, optimize your creatives, and increase conversions.
How to get started
To get started with display advertising, you need to first decide whether to go through an ad network like GDN or decide placements manually, set up your campaign, set targeting parameters, create the ad, and optimize regularly. This can seem overwhelming if you’re new to digital advertising. If you don’t have dedicated members on your marketing team to work on display ads or the resources to hire them, you can always outsource the work to freelancers. Gigmela’s display advertising freelancers can help you with everything from setup to campaign management to attract your audience. You can also hire freelancers to help with content creation, like short video editors, or web banner designers.