Display ads are graphic advertisements that appear online. They can appear on websites, social media platforms, or any other digital medium. The main purpose of this type of ad is to get your audience to take some sort of action on your website, or the channel the ad is displayed on.
One of the first display ads went live in October 1994. The banner was purchased by AT&T on www.hotwired.com and this is what it looked like:
As you can see, display advertising has come a long way in the last 26 years.
Advantages of display ads
Display ads generally have a low click-through rate (CTR) which makes some agencies skeptical about using them in their digital marketing campaigns. But there are definitely a few stand out advantages to using display ads:
They work great for remarketing
With remarketing, you are able to create display ads and target them to a defined audience that has previously been on your website. You can go as far as creating a display ad that includes a specific product your potential customer viewed on your website but did not make the initial purchase or inquiry on. Once your display ad is seen by your potential customer, it may remind or encourage them to go back to your site and buy your product.
They are visually appealing
Your display ads can be created to match your brand which is great because your ad can then be used to not only advertise your product or service but also to create brand awareness. You can include color, video, audio as well as texts. Make sure that your call to action (CTA) is clear to your intended audience.
They cost less than text ads
The actual cost involved in creating display ads is very low, all you need is an image, some text, and an audience to target your ads to. The pricing for display ads is usually calculated according to the number of impressions the ad gets. The metric used for this is called Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM) which means you will pay per thousand impressions the ad receives.
Key challenges of using display ads
Like any form of digital marketing, there are a few challenges with using display ads. This form of advertising requires a lot of monitoring and testing to achieve successful results. Below are some of the challenges many agencies have faced when using display ads:
- Low CTR: Many agencies take the performance of this metric as proof that their display ads are not effective, but this is not the case. There are so many other metrics that should be looked at to measure performance such as reach and Engagement Rate.
- Maintaining consistency: This is extremely important when it comes to monitoring the results of your display ads. Agencies struggle to keep their ads consistent across channels and end up losing the ‘’brand” aspect of the ads.
- Adblocking tools: There are many software programs out there that have the sole purpose of preventing ads from being shown on websites. Adblockers will affect how often display ads are shown, especially on mobile devices.
Types of display ads
Banner ads are images that can be embedded onto a web page to advertise your brand or a product. The ads will link to your website. Banner ads can be designed in many different sizes, depending on where you plan to advertise them. Make sure your banner ad is placed correctly on the space you will be using to advertise and that it contains your company logo, good quality images of your product or service, clearly defined text as well as a CTA.
Rich Media is a type of display ad that includes advanced features such as audio or video. The aim is to encourage the viewer to engage with the content. These ads are generally created using HTML5 technology and are a lot more advanced and complex than the normal text and display ads.
Interstitial ads are interactive ads that take up your entire screen. These ads are generally shown in apps or in games. The user will have the option to either click on the ad to go to its destination or close the ad and return to the app or game.
Video ads are any ads that have videos in them. They can be seen on many different platforms including Google and Facebook. The great advantage with videos is that people are likely to share them which can broaden your audience reach and increase the chances of a sale.
How ads follow your audience between devices
Ever wondered how the website you saw on your desktop at work is now popping up on your cellphone while you scroll through Facebook? Well, this is remarketing! The ad will target users across multiple devices. This makes it extremely important to make sure that you have created your display ads using the correct and recommended sizes so that your ads will appear correctly across all devices.
Display advertising is here to stay!
Display ads are not going anywhere, it is in fact becoming more and more crucial that we use them in our digital marketing strategies to increase the results of our digital marketing. Display ads are able to grab a potential customer’s attention much easier than any text ad so, in turn, they are the better choice when it comes to increasing brand awareness of your business.
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