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What is display advertising and how can it help your business?

A Complete Guide to Display Ads in 2021

We are sure you have heard the term ‘Display Advertising’ but maybe it’s not clear what that actually means. There are some common misconceptions around the understanding of ‘Display Advertising’ some of which suggests that any and all online marketing is considered display, which in fact, it is not.

Getting familiar with display advertising can be a slightly daunting task, which is why we have created this complete guide to digital display advertising. We understand the complexities of running an effective digital display ad campaign and the benefits it can have on businesses who do it successfully.

Whether your goal is to increase traffic to your website, build brand awareness or simply learn more about display advertising and its different forms, you will find all you need to know in this article.

What is a Display Ad?

In their most basic form, display ads are the boxes that you will notice on websites and social media platforms that are doing just that, advertising. They can be found on different positions of a web page e.g. a traditional banner ad will be located along the top of a web page, a large text billboard ad can be seen here also.

Display ads can consist of text, video, and image-based content. Although you can advertise with plain text ads and still call it display advertising, businesses get a lot more value and engagement using videos, images, and HTML animation. Regardless of what they look like, all display ads are a method of attracting your audience and encouraging them to click through to a landing page and take your desired action.

The majority of display advertising campaigns are charged on a CPC basis. CPC stands for cost per click. When a user is searching the web and clicks on to your ad, you will get charged an amount for that click. The amount you get charged will depend on your overall bidding strategy.

Most ad networks accept various display ad formats, including PNG, JPEG, GIF and JPG, however, not all ad networks are compatible with HTML5, but the largest and most popular ones are.

The best way to ensure your display ads are complaint and are compatible with ad networks is to use a digital display advertising platform to create your ads. Fluid Ads have a large selection of digital ad templates ready to go, making the process of creating and deploying a digital advertising campaign simple.

The size of a banner ad can also increase the overall impact on an audience. There are several different pixel sizes that banner ads can be displayed in. It is thought that the highest achieving display ads are:

  • 336×280 or 300×250-pixel rectangles
  • 300×600 pixel half-page ads
  • 728×90 or 320×110-pixel banners.

We shouldn’t confuse other formats of content marketing with display advertising. When it comes to online content resources such as blogs and articles, these don’t count as display advertising. This kind of online content is to create a value exchange with its audience and provide targeted, useful information.

We must also not confuse native advertising with display advertising. The term ‘Display Ads’ is used as a term for most ads we see online, however, it does not apply to native ads, which is a term used to refer to advertising that matches the content/design of the place it is located. This is done to make the message more digestible for the user by showing ads in a non-intrusive way, whilst Display Ads often aim to do the opposite by standing out and demanding attention.

How does a Display Ad work?

Imagine a banner outside a shop advertising some sort of deal on a product you like, they are usually eye-catching and informal to attract the customer in to buy it. Display ads do the same thing, just online.

If you do any kind of online shopping, you will notice offers on particular aps with their latest product deals, bright and bold to entice you to click and shop the sale.

When a potential customer clicks onto your display ad, this then generates traffic to your website by linking to it and from that moment, hopefully the purchase will be made, whatever that may be.

Why you should incorporate display ads in your marketing campaign.

Display ads allow businesses to showcase their offering in a wide variety of formats and provides a large amount of choice as to where to advertise. Additionally, when you create a display ad campaign on a digital advertising platform, your ads have the potential to reach millions of people all around the world.

Display advertising is also an excellent way to build brand awareness, increase customer acquisition, increase traffic and ultimately conversations.  The true success in digital display campaigns lies in the ability to target the right users, at the right time, with the right display advert.

Display advertising can also do wonders for retargeting campaigns. Retargeting is the process of serving ads to people who have already visited your website, whether they abandoned a cart or simply browsed through a few pages, you can now serve ads directly to them based on what it was n your website they showed an interest in.

Types of Display Ads

There are several forms of display ads and the type of advertisement you would go for, will depend on your campaign. It’s really important to consider things like the colour scheme you might use for your ads and where to place them to ensure they are clickable and not irritating to an audience.

You have probably, subconsciously seen so many types of display ads and after reading this, you won’t be able to not see them. Let’s have a look at some of the different types below.

1. Expandable Banners

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Expandable banners are banner ads that automatically expand into the majority of the screen; they also allow users to ‘’click to expand’’ from the banner. These types of banners work particularly well because they create a bigger canvas for a brand to present their story.

2. 360 Display Ads 

360 display ads are spherical with flat content allowing the user to view in 360. These types of ads respond to the movement of the users’ phone, this creates more of an ‘experience’ when viewing the ad. This seems to be a style of display advertising that not a lot of brands are using. It is one of the best! Simply because the way the ad pans 360, this instantly grabs the attention of the user. It also works the same when desktop viewing, the pan is just slightly slower.

3. Rich Media 

Rich Media is viewed as quite a broad term, but in its simplest form it is a type of display ad that is a cut above the standard video or photo. Think more along the lines of GIF’s, animated graphics or a game you can play in a banner ad. Rich Media is good because it allows brands to get creative and not be constrained by a format or file type.

4. Interstitial 

Interstitial ads fully take over the user’s phone screen or browser window. This means that users are more likely to see your advertisement. The only potential disadvantage for this kind of ad is that it is very easy for a user to click ‘X’ on the ad screen which means they might not pay too much attention to it.

5. 3D Display

3D display ads are banners that have an animated 3D object in it to present your product realistically, this encourages more interactivity from the user. Users are able to click and drag on the ad to explore the product as they wish.

What are the benefits of using Display Ads?

Using Display Advertisements in support of any marketing campaign these days, is a must. People are continuously bombarded with information on the internet which has arguably decreased our attention spans and how much time we want to spend digesting content. This means that if you are trying to reach a wider audience and get them to engage in your product, it has to be the best it can be to invite people in and keep them there.

Digital Advertising tools aim to do just that with their highly targeted and massive audience reach capabilities. They allow you to target specific people based on their interests in products and services that align with your company and in addition to this, you are able to select what sites your ads are shown on that are relevant to you.

Targeted ads also have the huge benefit of flexible costing. There are two available payment plans for advertisers using display ads. There is no contract in place for these plans, you set the price you want to pay when your ad is displayed online, it will then go to auction. In traditional auction-style, your ad price is then compared to other companies advertising price and whoever wins, gets the ad spot.

As mentioned at the beginning of this blog, there is the option of ‘cost per click’ bidding, you will get charged for each click on your advertisement. There is also CPM (cost per thousand impressions) bidding. This means you will be charged based on the number of impressions that your ads receive.

Display ads allow you to measure the success of your campaign. There is an ability to receive regular weekly updates that go into detail about the performance of your ad. By tracking your ad, you are able to make any necessary changes to enhance its impact. It’s extremely useful to understand if you are using the right keywords and if your ads are reaching your desired target market. If not being monitored correctly, your ad could be being missed by your audience.

Our Top 3 Tips to succeed in Display Advertising:

  1. Create visually appealing display ads.

To attract the right audience and get them to engage with your call to action, it is important to create effective and visually appealing ads. The imagery on the ad should be clutter free and in accordance with your brand. Illustrations can be a great way to get your message across and a good way to grab the user’s attention.

Just like all ads, you will need a call to action on your display ad. Creating a button can be a time-consuming process, especially for those of us that do not really have a flare for design, luckily, here at Fluid Ads we have you covered. Our large range of templates has everything you need to create visually stunning ads with compelling call to actions, all within one platform.

  1. Effective landing pages

Now that you have created an attractive and attention-grabbing display ad with a compelling call to action, it is time to analyse the landing page and convert the extra traffic into customers and leads. Landing pages are the lifeline of any digital marketing campaign and it is where the desired action will take place. Here are a few tips to help you create the perfect landing page.

  • The landing page should have one purpose and one message.
  • Include social validation in the form of testimonials on the landing page.
  • Only include necessary information
  • Remove navigation to avoid the user going off the page.
  • Only ask for the necessary information on forms.
  • Make sure the message on the display ad matches the message on your landing page.

You may get some benefit form sending all the traffic from your display ad, but it is more much effective to send it to a dedicated landing page aimed at converting the most traffic into sales or leads and will greatly improve the performance of your display ad campaigns.

  1. Measuring the success of Display Ad campaigns

Now that you have your ad created and launched, the landing page optimised and the campaign has been active for a while, it is time to measure the success and look for areas you can improve.

There are four key metrics you can use to measure the success of your digital display ad campaign, these are:

  • Impressions

Whenever your ad appears on a website or the number of times it gets served to a user it is called an impression. This metric helps you quantify the number of times your ad appears on any website and allows you to measure the performance versus the click-through rate (CTR).

If the number of impressions grows and your display ads start reaching a wider audience and the CTR does not grow with it, it is time to analyse your advertising funnel. There could be a targeting issue where your ads are getting served to the wrong audience, in which case it is time to re-optimise your campaign.

  • Reach

While impressions tell you the number of times an ad is served, reach tells you how many people saw your display ad, in other words the number of unique views on your ad.

Monitoring and optimising reach ensures that you are not wasting any of your advertising budget by showing ads to the same people repeatedly. You can also run the risk of showing your ads to the wrong people more than once. Therefore, it essential to optimise your ad targeting frequently to make sure you get the best value for your advertising budget.

  • Click-through Rate.

To put it in simple terms, click through rate is the number of people who saw your ad. It is calculated using the ration of impressions to clicks. For example, if your ad gets 1000 impressions that generate 36 clicks, the click through rate is 3.6%. This metric helps us understand the effectiveness of ads. Another thing to take into consideration when calculating the effectiveness of your ads is the intent behind the click, and remember, it’s all about conversions.

This metric helps you measure the effectiveness of your ads. But you should also take into consideration the intent behind why someone clicked. At the end of the day, it is all about conversions.

If your click-through rate seems quite low, then you should test new ad creatives, experiment with different colours and A/B test to see if the new version increases clicks.

  • Conversion Rate

Conversion rate is often considered the key metric of display advertising. Conversion rate is the number of people who click-through to your landing page and then take the desired action, this could by purchasing something or making an enquiry.

A low conversion rate could mean one of two things:

You are generating low-quality traffic and your ads are not optimised effectively or your landing page has not been optimised.

If it is the first, then go back to your targeting settings and go into more detail. Perform audits to see which websites, demographics and audiences are acting and which websites and placements are performing badly.

If it is the latter and you believe your targeting is right, run A/B tests on your landing pages. Make a change to your headline, call-to-action or even the entire offer and constantly monitor until you find the one that performs the best.

If you need any further advice on anything digital display advertising related or would like a demonstration of our all-in-one ad platform, contact us today and one of our friendly customer success mangers will be happy to help.

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