Display ads are everywhere. They can appear on just about any type of website and are a great way for small businesses to reach relevant consumers. But what makes display advertising different from other types of online advertising, and why do you need display ads for your small business?
In this post, we’re covering what display advertising is and the benefits of display advertising (plus, how it works with other strategies to boost the effectiveness of your marketing).
What Is Display Advertising?
Let’s start with a quick definition: Display advertising is a type of online advertising that involves running visual ads that appear on websites and typically include a call to action. Display ads can appear on any type of site that a consumer visits.
Display advertising is different from search advertising or pay per click (PPC) ads, which appear on search engine results pages. PPC ads show when a consumer is searching on a search engine like Google or Bing, and display ads show on the site the consumer clicks on from search engines (or any site they visit when they’re online).
There are a few different types of display ads out there, and each serves a unique purpose. For example, you can run display ads on the USA TODAY NETWORK so you can get seen on local and national news sites to drive awareness and clicks to your website. Other display ads, like geofencing ads, allow you to target consumers based on their location and (hopefully) drive them to your storefront or website.
Benefits of Display Advertising
So, now that we know what display advertising is, let’s talk about why it’s such a powerful marketing strategy for small businesses.
1. Display Ads Are Visually Appealing
One of the first benefits of display advertising is that display ads can (and should!) be designed and styled. Regular PPC ads are text only and have to adhere to character counts, limiting how effectively and quickly you can capture attention and convey your message.
With digital display advertising, you can use graphics, video, audio, and your company’s branding to stand out to users and attract their attention.
Here’s a display ad our team created to grab attention and drive users to a specific blog post.
2. Display Ads Support Brand Awareness & Visibility
In order to get a new customer, that customer needs to be aware that your business exists. And according to Localogy, consumers must encounter a brand 10 times before they think about doing business with them – up from seven just a few years ago.
Display advertising allows you to go on the offensive and get in front of consumers before they need a specific good or service from you. By the time they need what your business offers, you have a better chance of being who they consider since they’ve encountered your name time and again online.
3. Display Ads Are Targeted
When running digital marketing campaigns, it’s important to target the people most relevant to your business. Just as with PPC and Facebook advertising targeting, you can create specific parameters for your digital display advertising: which sites your display ads appear on, which geographic area they appear in, and which demographic or niche market they appear to.
For example, a car dealership can target people of driving age who live in their zip code and are visiting auto-related websites.
The benefit of targeting your display ads is that you can maximize your spend and ensure you’re getting seen by the most relevant audience.
5. Display Ads Allow You to Retarget Interested Consumers
Display ad retargeting involves showing display ads to consumers based on their past behavior online, including those who have visited your website but didn’t convert into a customer.
This has probably happened to you. You’re browsing, say, electric drills on a home improvement store site. You go to search for something else entirely on Google, and when you land on a blog or website from Google, you see ads for electric drills on those pages, trumpeting a sale at that same home improvement store.
You’ve already expressed interest in a product they sell. Now you’re not only seeing their name come up again in your field of vision, but you’re also encountering a great deal of content that might be the final push you need to make a purchase decision. Display retargeting is a great way to engage these consumers who already know about your business and go that extra mile to seal the deal.
4. Display Ads Can Reach Consumers on the Go
Geofencing is another effective display advertising tactic. By pushing advertisements through to mobile devices based on a consumer’s current location, you can direct your advertising at people who are out shopping now and whose purchase intent is high.
Geofencing allows you to set up a virtual perimeter around a geographic area, like your business’s location or a competitor’s. From there, you can push through geofencing ads in the form of offers and deals to anyone who enters that area with their mobile device.
Geofencing can help you grab the attention of new consumers who are in the area and might be looking for exactly what you provide or entice old customers back with your timely offer.
6. Display Ads Can Block the Competition
Display advertising is a great way to interrupt consumers who are thinking about doing business with a competitor and get them to do business with you instead. Using search retargeting to go after those who have looked for products on your competitor’s website and then offering a great deal for that same product on your own site is one way to win new customers.
7. Display Ads Partner Well with Other Marketing Strategies
Display advertising works great in tandem with other marketing strategies. Let’s look at PPC and display advertising: Studies have shown that 27% of consumers conduct a search for a business after seeing their display ad, and there’s a 59% lift in conversion when users conducted a search related to a display ad.
While PPC and SEO may be your top drivers of direct traffic and conversions, it’s important not to discredit the power of building brand awareness for your business – something that display advertising does beautifully.
8. Display Ads Can be Easily Tracked to Measure Effectiveness
It’s important to measure your marketing performance so you know what’s working to grow your business. With display advertising, you can track how many times your ads have been seen, and how many users have clicked on your ads. Because display advertising is primarily a brand awareness-building marketing strategy, the number of impressions your ads are receiving will be your top metric to consider for success.
Get Started with Display Advertising
Display advertising is a powerful marketing strategy, and when you use it in conjunction with other efforts as a part of a broader strategy, it can boost your marketing’s effectiveness. From raising general awareness early in the customer journey to tempting repeat customers back yet again with targeted deals and offers, display advertising is a smart tactic everywhere along the customer journey.
Just to recap, here are the top 8 benefits of display advertising:
- They are visually appealing.
- They build brand awareness and increase visibility.
- They’re targeted.
- They support retargeting.
- They reach consumers on the go.
- They can block the competition.
- They complement other marketing strategies.
- They can be easily tracked for effectiveness.