In digital advertising, standing out is the name of the game. Display ads offer an effective solution to raise the attention of your audience outside “tried and tested” social media and search channels. Read below what benefits display advertising can bring to your marketing strategy, and how to implement it in a few steps.
If you want your company’s products or services to be known online, you’ve got to advertise them. And if you work in digital marketing, you’re probably creating a lot of ads for social media or search.
The two channels above are especially popular with cost-savvy marketers. They historically yield the highest CTR and conversion rates - a.k.a. the golden metrics of advertising success.
But with these metrics inevitably decreasing due to increasing competition, smart marketers should aim for something different: namely, to have their ads stand out and be remembered by their audiences.
To that end, including display advertising in your marketing strategy is highly effective.
Display advertising can not only complement your existing social media and search tactics, but it can also increase your ad frequency, readying your audience before they engage with your higher conversion ads.
Stick around to learn more!
Before we begin, let’s make the SEO gods happy and define what display advertising is.
In essence, display advertising is a coverall term for every visual ad placed on a third-party website, which when clicked on will redirect to a web page of your choice where the customer can learn more about or buy products/services.
Display advertising uses a push approach: rather than popping up to users searching for similar offers to yours (as in the case of paid search), display ads target users purposefully, either because of remarketing campaigns or because they’re browsing a website that’s relevant to your offer.
Finally, display ads can take many formats and feature multiple visuals. Some examples include:
Banner ads. Rectangular or square ads are typically displayed at the top, bottom, or sides of a webpage. (see example)
HTML5 ads. Interactive ads that incorporate elements like animation, audio, video, or expandable features.
Video ads. Ads in video format — often inserted before, during, or after online video content.
High Impact ads. large-canvas, scalable ad formats with rich media features.
Pop-up ads. Ads that appear in separate windows or overlays on top of the main content.
Reward ads. Ads that offer users incentives, such as in-game rewards or access to premium content.
Interactive ads. Ads that allow quizzes, games, or product configurators.
Okay, search gods happy. Let’s move to the juicy bits.
You’ve probably read a lot of articles describing how cool display advertising can be. And while all of them are fine and dandy, none of them really take the time to flesh out the benefits of display advertising from an overall strategic point of view.
You’re going to discover that now.
Display advertising can help you increase consumer awareness by reaching a much bigger slice of your target demographic outside your social media and search channels. This will help you:
Access different channels. Display advertising gives you a foothold on every web page your average consumer visits. According to Google, with display ads, you can reach 90% of all users on the internet.
Slash your CPM. Display advertising contributes to the greatest source of impressions throughout your marketing campaign. With display ads, you can reach every member of your target audience multiple times per day for a CMP that’s 90% cheaper than traditional paid search and social media advertising. This makes display advertising one of the cheapest forms of online advertising as well.
Boost conversion efforts throughout the funnel. With more eyeballs on your products and a higher ad frequency, display ads nurture your audience across all stages of the funnel:
It widens the top of the funnel by making more prospects aware of your brand/offer.
It speeds up your middle by reminding your leads of your offer.
It strengthens the bottom of your funnel by familiarising your audience with your brand and offering when they are ready to buy.
Since display advertising is the most effective source of impressions, you can streamline your advertising strategy and make it more cost-effective.
For example, by focusing on CTR on your paid and search channels, you can leave the impression heavy-lifting to display advertising and save a lot of money by placing less frequent, more tactical high-conversion ads on your other channels.
With more eyeballs on your ads, display advertising increases the frequency at which your ads are seen by your target audience.
That means you can quickly scale ad frequency at a low cost. Still, you might want to put a cap on your frequency. You should not overbear your audience by displaying your ads repeatedly over the course of a day, or they’ll become disaffected and actively disengage with your offerings (and you REALLY don’t want that).
For reference, here’s how daily ad frequency impacts your CTR and CPC.
As we have established, the majority of your impressions should come from display advertising. Therefore, you can use display advertising as a cost-effective lever to reach your optimal ad frequency capping.
Display advertising will boost your CTR from your higher conversion channels (i.e. social media and search).
That’s because - and we’re going to be honest here - the CTR coming from display advertising is nothing to write home about. Historically, static display advertising has yielded a CTR of roughly .1%, about 10 times lower than the average CTR of social media ads.
Does that mean CTR from display advertising should be flat-out ignored? Of course not! According to our findings, by personalising the content of your ads and by inserting animation and video elements, you can increase your conversion rate by up to 300%.
By this point, you might want to know how to create scroll-stopping display ads quickly and inexpensively. So let’s go through the anatomy of an effective display ad and share some tips to create display ads at scale.
If you're looking for a full-blown guide on how to create a high-performance advertisement, check out our 9 must-have ad elements.
Headline. The ad headline should be clear and have the power to get users excited about the offer you’re promoting. Avoid generic headlines and go for something that catches the user’s eye and makes them want to find out more.
Sub-headline (Optional). In case you are unable to deliver 100% of your message in the headline, don’t worry! You can still use some supporting copy to make your value proposition clear.
Bonus tip. When using the headline + subtitle combination, try to maximise the impact of your headline with your value proposition, and describe clearly the main offering in your subtitle.
Visual. Whether you’re using a feature image, an image background, or an animation in your display ad, make sure that the media is visually appealing, is on point with your branding and is relevant to the offer.
CTA. The display ad call to action button should be able to stand out from the rest of the ad elements and have copy that is clear in explaining to the user what they should expect after the ad click. The CTA button should have the same message as the landing page headline.
You don’t need to create all your elements from scratch. For example, you can repurpose your main campaign assets into bite-sized content. If you have a massive campaign video lying around, crop that into multiple snippets, and use those to build the bulk of your display advertising visuals.
Compile all your ad iterations in one datasheet. This will give you the backbone of your production process, and it will speed up ad creation. Furthermore, you can fully automate your ad creation process using a creative management platform and a templated data sheet, cutting your ad creation time down by an estimated 90%.
Lastly, with a creative management platform, you can simplify the process of creating display ads. These platforms streamline the design process, enabling you to create engaging, personalized ads with just a handful of essential elements. This approach is a game-changer for creative designers who want efficiency without compromising quality.