Display Ads 101 : Understanding the Role of Display Ads in Digital Marketing

Display Ads 101 : Understanding the Role of Display Ads in Digital Marketing
Feb 1, 2024
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As a user, your eyes must have often drifted to those little attractive messages or images that show up when you are browsing a website. These are placed on the top, bottom, or on the side of the content you are viewing. It is hard to ignore these. These are what is termed in digital marketing as display ads.

The goal of display ads is to entice the user to click on them. And display ads do this through their ability to capture audience attention while users are online, viewing videos, browsing, scrolling, using an app, or even just checking their mail.

The reach of these ads is mind-boggling. Distributed through the Google Ads Network of over 2 million websites, display ads reach over 90% of online users.

Digital advertising includes sponsored and native ads, in addition to display ads. For instance, a search on Google, throws up the results, usually led by a few on top marked "sponsored." These are paid search ads.

Another type is the more inconspicuous ones—the ads interspersed within the content you may be reading. For instance, you could be reading a review about the latest security solutions, and an advertisement related to software that secures your device would appear between the articles. These are known as native ads.

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How do display ads work?

If you are looking for a solution and come across ads that are uncanny in their relevance and presence across multiple sites you are browsing, know it is no coincidence. Display ads are a deeply planned and well thought out programmed strategy. Every detail is considered. The business’s target audience traits are studied, buying behavior observed and needs identified, and only then is the ad displayed.

If a text message, an image, or a video appears, it is there because the user meets multiple qualifying parameters such as demographics, interests, and behavior. The strategically designed, timed ad is placed to grab the target user’s attention and optimize the possibility of persuading the user to execute a certain action.

Why do advertisers use display ads?

These online ads are popular among advertisers and publishers because of their wide reach and ability to drive traffic, increase brand awareness, and generate leads.

Display ads are generally images, videos, or other multimedia content, along with a call-to-action (CTA) that encourages users to click through to the advertiser's website or landing page.

The target segment is narrowed down based on demographics, interests, behavior, location, and other parameters. Advertisers ensure that their ads are delivered to the most relevant audience possible, increasing the chances of engagement and conversion.

Types of display ads

Advertisers prefer to use a combination of display ads types to promote their products or services. Here are some of the most common types:

  1. Banner ads: Rectangular images at the top or bottom of a web page.
  2. Pop-up ads: Ads triggered when a user clicks on a link or visits a website.
  3. Interstitial ads: Ads that appear within articles, games, or apps.
  4. Video: Ads run when a user lands on a page or before another video plays.
  5. Rich media ads: Ads with interactive elements like animations or games.
  6. Native ads: Native ads are also used in the display ad strategy. They look like part of a website's content and are often less intrusive than other types of display ads.
  7. Retargeted ads: Ads that are shown to users across multiple sites they visit.

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Executing a display ad strategy

An organization's digital marketing team is usually responsible for executing display ad campaigns. Some may manage it in-house using Google Ads or Facebook Ads Manager. Others prefer outsourcing to digital advertising agencies with proven specialization, expertise and experience, ensuring maximum returns.

Since these campaigns require a mix of creative skills, marketing talent, data understanding, and a good understanding of the target market, agencies with specialized skills in running these campaigns are often the best decision.

Display ads and B2B

Display ads are not limited to B2C customers. They are highly effective for B2B enterprises, enabling businesses to expand their reach exponentially and easily connect with a diverse and geographically dispersed audience.

Some of the ways display ads help with B2B businesses:

some of the ways display ads help with b2b businesses - Think ABM

There is no doubt that display ads are a popular and effective way for advertisers to reach a wide audience to promote their products or services. However, there is a factor that must not be disregarded, which is the need to comply with data privacy regulations.

In an environment with increasing focus on user privacy and secrecy needs, advertisers and publishers executing campaigns must comply with regulatory requirements. Businesses must engage with only those parties and agencies which are aware of the latest developments and execute campaigns in a responsible manner without being seen as intrusive or annoying to users. In the long run, respecting and appreciating user concerns leads to greater trust and a stronger, more sustainable, mutually beneficial relationship.

Need help setting up display ad campaigns? Looking for a responsible and experienced partner? Reach out to us at hello@thinkabm.com.

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