GTM Dictionary

The Go-to-Market Dictionary: Display Ad

Learn everything you need to know about display ads with our comprehensive Go-to-Market Dictionary. From ad formats to targeting options, we've got you covered.

Are you having trouble understanding the world of display advertising? You're not alone. With so many different ad formats, targeting strategies, and networks, it can be difficult to know where to start. In this article, we'll give you a comprehensive overview of display ads, from their purpose and key components to strategies for creating and measuring successful campaigns. Let's dive in.

Understanding Display Ads

Display advertising has become a popular method of online advertising, with businesses using it to promote their products and services. Display ads, also known as banner ads, are a type of online advertising that appear on websites, social media platforms, and mobile apps. They are designed to grab the viewer's attention and increase brand awareness, while also driving traffic and conversions to a website or landing page.

Definition and Purpose

Display ads are typically visual and include a combination of text, images, and/or videos. They are placed on websites and mobile apps that your target audience is likely to visit. Display ads can be used to promote various products and services, from clothing and jewelry to software and online courses.

One of the main purposes of display ads is to reach a large audience. Display ads are often shown to people who may not be actively searching for your product or service, but who could be interested in it. By reaching a wider audience, you can increase brand awareness and attract new customers to your business.

Another purpose of display ads is to drive traffic and conversions to your website or landing page. Display ads can be linked to a specific page on your website, such as a product page or a landing page. This allows you to direct viewers to a page where they can learn more about your product or service and take action, such as making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter.

Types of Display Ads

There are several types of display ads you can use in your campaigns, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Some of the most common types of display ads include:

  • Static banner ads - these are simple image-based ads that do not include animation or video. Static banner ads are easy to create and can be effective at grabbing the viewer's attention.
  • Animated banner ads - these ads contain motion, which can help grab the viewer's attention. Animated banner ads can be more engaging than static banner ads, but they can also be more complex to create.
  • Video ads - these ads include a video that can be played within the ad itself. Video ads can be highly engaging and can help tell a story about your product or service, but they can also be more expensive to produce.
  • Interactive ads - these ads allow the viewer to engage with the ad by clicking or tapping on it. Interactive ads can be highly engaging and can help increase brand awareness, but they can also be more complex to create.

Key Components of an Effective Display Ad

Regardless of the type of display ad you choose, there are several key components that will help make it effective:

  • Headline - a clear, attention-grabbing headline that communicates the benefit of your product or service. Your headline should be short and to the point, and it should make it clear what the viewer will get out of clicking on your ad.
  • Visuals - high-quality images or video that convey your message and capture the viewer's attention. Your visuals should be eye-catching and relevant to your product or service.
  • Call-to-action - an enticing call-to-action (CTA) that tells the viewer what to do next, such as "Learn More" or "Shop Now". Your CTA should be clear and easy to understand, and it should encourage the viewer to take action.
  • Brand identity - your company's logo and colors should be prominently featured to reflect your brand identity. Your brand identity should be consistent across all of your display ads to help increase brand recognition.

By including these key components in your display ads, you can create effective ads that grab the viewer's attention, increase brand awareness, and drive traffic and conversions to your website or landing page.

The Evolution of Display Advertising

Early Days of Display Ads

Display ads have come a long way since their early days in the 1990s, when they were simple text-based ads that appeared at the top or bottom of a website. These ads were often static and lacked the ability to capture the viewer's attention. However, as internet usage grew, so did the demand for more eye-catching and interactive ads. This led to the development of richer media ads, including images, animations, and video.

As the internet continued to evolve, so did the technology behind display advertising. Advertisers began to incorporate more advanced targeting techniques, such as contextual targeting and behavioral targeting, to ensure that their ads were being seen by the right people at the right time. This led to increased engagement and higher conversion rates for advertisers.

The Rise of Programmatic Advertising

Programmatic advertising is the use of automated technology to purchase and serve ads in real-time. This has revolutionized the world of display advertising by making it easier and more efficient to reach your target audience. Programmatic ads can be purchased on a cost-per-impression (CPM) or cost-per-click (CPC) basis, depending on your campaign goals.

Programmatic advertising has also made it possible for advertisers to take advantage of real-time bidding (RTB) technology, which allows them to bid on ad inventory in real-time. This means that advertisers can adjust their bids based on the performance of their ads, ensuring that they are getting the most bang for their buck.

Current Trends and Future Outlook

Today, display advertising continues to evolve. Some of the current trends include:

  • Personalization - using data to create ads that are tailored to the viewer's interests and behaviors. This can include everything from the viewer's browsing history to their location and demographics.
  • Native advertising - blending ads seamlessly into the content of a website or app to increase engagement and reduce ad blindness. Native ads can take many forms, including sponsored content, in-feed ads, and promoted listings.
  • Cross-device targeting - targeting users across multiple devices, such as desktop, mobile, and smart TVs, to increase reach and frequency. This allows advertisers to reach their audience wherever they are, whether they're at home, at work, or on the go.

Looking to the future, it's clear that display advertising will continue to evolve and adapt to new technologies and consumer behaviors. As more and more people turn to mobile devices for their online activities, we can expect to see a greater emphasis on mobile advertising. Additionally, as virtual and augmented reality technologies become more mainstream, we may see new opportunities for immersive advertising experiences.

Creating a Successful Display Ad Campaign

Display advertising is an effective way to reach your target audience and promote your brand, products, or services. However, creating a successful display ad campaign requires careful planning, targeting, and optimization. In this article, we'll explore the key steps you need to take to create a display ad campaign that delivers results.

Setting Campaign Goals

Before creating your display ad campaign, it's important to define your goals. This will help you choose the right ad format, targeting strategy, and metrics to measure success. Common goals for display ads include:

  • Brand awareness - increasing the visibility of your brand among your target audience
  • Lead generation - capturing contact information from potential customers to nurture and convert later
  • Conversion - driving immediate sales or sign-ups from your target audience

Defining your campaign goals will also help you determine your budget and allocate resources effectively. For example, if your goal is to generate leads, you may want to invest more in creating a compelling offer and a landing page that encourages visitors to fill out a form.

Targeting Your Audience

The success of your display ad campaign depends on your ability to target the right audience. This includes demographics such as age, gender, and location, as well as interests and behaviors such as website visits and search history. Some common targeting strategies include:

  • Retargeting - showing ads to people who have already expressed interest in your product or service by visiting your website or social media pages
  • Lookalike targeting - using data to create a group of people who are similar to your existing customers or website visitors
  • Contextual targeting - showing ads on websites or apps that are related to your product or service

When targeting your audience, it's important to consider the stage of the buyer's journey they are in. For example, if you're targeting people who have already visited your website, you may want to show them ads that highlight specific products or features they viewed. On the other hand, if you're targeting a broader audience, you may want to focus on building brand awareness and establishing your unique value proposition.

Designing Engaging Display Ads

Once you have your goals and targeting strategy defined, it's time to design your display ads. Some best practices to keep in mind include:

  • Keep it simple - use clear, concise messaging and avoid clutter
  • Use high-quality visuals - images or videos should be eye-catching and relevant to your message
  • Include a strong CTA - tell viewers what action to take next
  • Optimize for mobile - make sure your ads are mobile-friendly and can be easily viewed on a smartphone or tablet

When designing your ads, it's important to consider the platform where they will be displayed. For example, if you're creating ads for Facebook, you may want to use a square or vertical format that takes up more screen real estate. If you're creating ads for a website, you may want to use a standard banner size that is widely supported by ad networks.

Measuring and Optimizing Performance

Finally, it's important to measure the success of your display ad campaign and make adjustments as needed. This can include tracking metrics such as impressions, clicks, and conversions, as well as testing different ad formats, messaging, and targeting strategies. Ongoing optimization will help ensure you're getting the most out of your display ad budget.

One way to measure the performance of your display ad campaign is to use A/B testing. This involves creating two versions of an ad and testing them against each other to see which performs better. You can test different elements such as the headline, image, or CTA to determine which version resonates more with your target audience.

Another way to optimize your display ad campaign is to use retargeting. By showing ads to people who have already expressed interest in your product or service, you can increase the likelihood of conversion and reduce the cost per acquisition. You can also use retargeting to upsell or cross-sell to existing customers, encouraging them to purchase additional products or services.

In conclusion, creating a successful display ad campaign requires careful planning, targeting, and optimization. By defining your goals, targeting the right audience, designing engaging ads, and measuring performance, you can create a campaign that delivers results and drives business growth.

Display Ad Platforms and Networks

Google Display Network

The Google Display Network is one of the largest ad networks in the world, reaching over 90% of internet users. It allows you to show your ads on a wide variety of websites and apps, and offers robust targeting options and reporting.

Facebook Audience Network

The Facebook Audience Network allows you to extend your Facebook ads to third-party mobile apps, giving you access to a large audience of mobile users. It offers a variety of ad formats and targeting options, as well as detailed reporting.

Other Popular Display Ad Networks

Other popular display ad networks include:

  • AdRoll
  • Amazon Advertising
  • The Trade Desk

There you have it - a comprehensive guide to display advertising. By understanding the purpose, types, and key components of display ads, as well as the strategies for creating and measuring successful campaigns, you'll be well on your way to reaching your target audience and achieving your marketing goals.