Display advertising is a form of digital marketing that involves placing compelling visuals (i.e. your ads) up on display banners around the internet. These take many different forms and come with various requirements, but they can generate strong results when done correctly.
With clicks costing an average of $0.58 a piece, it’s often a very cost-efficient method—but only when done right. Done improperly, running display ads can cost money and hurt your brand recognition instead of enhancing it.
Because display advertising can be so tricky, our experts at Igloo have compiled the following tips and tricks for your benefit.
1. Choose the Right Display Ad Type for Your Needs
Plain banner ads are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to display advertising. The Google Display Network is a versatile platform that offers different forms of display ads depending on your goals.
Traditional Display Ads
These are the typical banners that you’d find exploring the internet. They’re square, landscape, or skyscraper images hosted on websites, and containing brand imagery as well as some text to drive actions (ex. “50% off for a limited time.”)
Run traditional display ads if you want to gain some familiarity with the platform, or if you feel like your brand name has strong recognition among your target audience—and a reminder that you exist is enough to drive repeat business.
Responsive Display Ads
Whereas traditional display ads are static and unchanging, responsive ads use the built-in capabilities of today’s browsers to change the scale and content of ads based on the ad platform’s insights. Put simply, they request multiple versions of your ads, then mix-and-match to best fit what your viewers like to see.
Run these ads when you’re more familiar with the different display advertising platforms, or if you have a keen understanding of your customer segments.
Remarketing Display Ads
One of the cooler things technology lets marketers do is serve ads to people who’ve visited their sites but left before making a purchase. Remarketing display advertising lets you create and serve custom visuals to leads depending on how they’ve interacted with your content online.
Run these ads if you want to try and combat a high bounce rate, or experiment with creative new things to do with your marketing funnel.
Native Display Ads
If you frequent news websites or some of the more established blogs, you’ll notice that they feature sponsored content (i.e. ads) that fit right in with how their organic content is laid out. Clicking these posts can lead you to either sponsored articles hosted on the news/blog site, or redirect you to a landing page by the company running the ad.
These native ads are a great way to piggyback off the viewership of the websites that host them, and introduce your potential leads to the value of your solutions—after all, your captions and images need to be useful or interesting to earn clicks.
Note that native ads are a bit of an outlier on this list because they’re usually run in partnership with the website hosting them, instead of through Google Display Network as an intermediary.
2. Study Your Chosen Platform Carefully
Before you commit to Google Display Network or other go-to’s for a display advertising campaign, it’s important to get to know the platforms and their limitations.
Study how the platforms work, how their pricing schemes work, what kinds of ads you can run, and how audience targeting works. Higher levels of control on a platform mean you can fine-tune your ads to achieve more precise results (ex. hit viewers who are more likely to convert). Conversely, these can also be more complicated to work with.
Before you launch your first ad, also make sure that you understand how to track its performance. Many of today’s platforms offer powerful analytics tools that give you insight into your different campaigns.
Which brings us to…
3. Track Your Display Advertising Performance Obsessively
Data makes the world go round. More to the point, data makes it possible to run smarter campaigns and improve on your work over time.
We strongly recommend studying the different possible ways to measure your ads’ performance and build a strategy that sets clear and quantifiable goals. If you’re after brand awareness and visibility, then you might want to prioritize impressions. If you’re after increased sales, then you’d want to target clicks and/or conversions.
You don’t need to be an expert statistician for these numbers to be useful. You can go a long way simply knowing how to set baselines for comparison, identify your most vital data points, and spot important trends in your performance. Some platforms like Google Display Network also offer customizable dashboard views of your most important figures for an easier time.
Knowledge is the key to success for most things in life—display advertising is no exception.
4. Design Compelling Visuals
Display ads are a visual medium, meaning that you’ll need to have a creative and technically gifted team to get people to stop scrolling and explore your solutions. You’re working against the full weight of the internet and trying to distract people from what they’re reading, watching, or doing.
The best display ad visuals are built on what you know about your customers. They feature the colors, icons, and phrases that resonate with your target market. Likewise, they’re a promise of further value to your audiences in exchange for a click.
Normally we’d say that you don’t need to be a genius to design a strong ad, but given the highly competitive nature of digital advertising, it’s important to assign the task to a person or agency with proven experience and skill.
Display advertising isn’t rocket science, but it’s no walk in the park either. To get the most value out of your investment in this form of marketing, you need to dedicate to long hours of study and costly trial-and-error.
Or, you could join hundreds of other strategic businesses and partner with an agency with a proven track record for running excellent display ad campaigns.
At Igloo, we’ve worked hard to assemble the best strategists, developers, and designers to drive unparalleled value to our clients on the Google Display Network and other high-reward platforms.
Contact us today to speak with an expert and get to know how we can connect you to thousands of potential new customers.