The Most Frequently Asked Questions About Display Advertising, Answered

March 22, 2024
Posted by
Andrew Pottruff
The Most Frequently Asked Questions About Display Advertising, Answered

What is Display Advertising?

Display advertising refers to visual ad formats served via websites, apps, and social media. Display ads include a variety of ad units like banner ads, native ads, video ads, and more. These graphics and multimedia ads are placed on third-party sites or apps to reach defined audiences as they browse the web or use mobile devices. Display ads help brands promote themselves and drive traffic to their own sites.

Benefits of Display Advertising

  • Increased brand awareness and visibility - Display ads put your brand front and center before relevant audiences.
  • Targeted reach - Display networks allow advertisers to define their target demographics and serve ads precisely to those audiences.
  • Engaging ad formats - From static images to interactive rich media, display ads allow for creativity.
  • Cost-effective impressions - Display ads can generate a high volume of impressions for a relatively low cost.
  • Retargeting capabilities - Display retargeting helps brands reconnect with audiences who previously visited their site.

Best Practices for Display Ads

Follow these best practices to maximize your display advertising results:

  • Set detailed targeting parameters like location, interests, behaviors, and more to only serve ads to receptive audiences.
  • Test different ad formats, designs, captions, and placements to optimize performance.
  • Monitor metrics like clickthrough rate and conversion rate to identify best-performing ads.
  • Use retargeting to remind previous site visitors about your brand and continue the relationship.
  • Create a cohesive display ad strategy across different campaigns, seasons, and initiatives.

Types of Display Ads

There are a wide variety of display ad formats to choose from:

  • Banner ads - Traditional rectangular image ads in standard IAB sizes.
  • Video ads - In-stream, in-banner video ads to capture attention.
  • Native ads - Ads blended into the form and function of the surrounding content.
  • Rich media - Highly interactive, engaging ad units with animation, video, and more.
  • Interstitial ads - Full-screen ads that display before expected content.
  • Pop-up/pop-under ads - Appear in new browser windows over or under site content.

Programmatic Advertising

Programmatic advertising automates the buying and selling of digital advertising using supply and demand. Advertisers bid for ad impressions in real-time auctions based on defined goals, budgets, and targeting parameters. Machine learning quickly calculates the value of each potential ad impression to find the optimal combination of inventory, data, and pricing. This enables precise audience targeting, improved campaign performance, and significant time savings compared to direct ad sales.

Here are some examples of effective display advertising campaigns:

  • Travel brands using rich media display ads to transport viewers to destination scenes.
  • Retailers showcasing seasonal sales items to drive purchase intent.
  • Software companies promoting free trials and demos with targeted product messaging.
  • Nonprofits raising awareness on social causes through emotional video ads.
  • Brands remarketing to re-engage visitors who left items in their carts.

Measuring and Optimizing Display Ads

To continually improve display ad results, focus on these measurement and optimization tactics:

  • Use A/B testing to see which ad variations perform best.
  • Track clicks, impressions, conversions, and other KPIs over time.
  • Analyze metrics to identify best-performing placements, audiences, ad sizes, etc.
  • Refine targeting parameters, bids, budgets, and creative based on insights.
  • Monitor frequency caps to avoid oversaturating audiences.

Challenges of Display Advertising

Display advertising does come with a few potential hurdles:

  • Ad blockers can prevent ads from being seen by many users.
  • Breaking through the clutter can be difficult given intense competition for user attention.
  • Sophisticated bots can falsely click on ads, inflating metrics and costs.
  • Limited ad space and rising inventory costs can hinder campaigns.

Developing a Display Ad Strategy

Follow these steps to develop a robust display advertising strategy:

  • Set specific campaign goals and KPIs like brand lift or lead generation.
  • Identify your target audiences and where they are most active online.
  • Craft compelling ad creative that captures attention and conveys your messages.
  • Implement retargeting to keep your brand top of mind.
  • Continuously analyze performance data to refine and improve your strategy over time.

Display advertising provides a versatile channel for brands to connect with relevant audiences and achieve their marketing goals. By following proven best practices and optimizing campaigns based on performance data, marketers can get the most value from their display advertising investments.