By Berta Campos, on 25 November 2019
A good marketer must have a good variety of tools in his tool belt in order to adapt to different brands, campaigns, and target audiences. Display advertising is one of the most “classic” digital marketing tools, but it is no less effective. In this blog post, I’ll explain what it is, its advantages, and its most common formats.
What Is Display Advertising?
Display advertising is an online advertising format in which ads are displayed in the form of banners on landing pages. In their most basic form, these banners are a combination of images and text. They can also include audio, video, or other interactive formats. Banners usually appear at the top or side of the landing page.
There are three actors in the online advertising market: advertisers, web pages, or blogs (in which banners, affiliate platforms, and networks appear). Affiliate networks are the intermediaries between webmasters and advertisers. If a webmaster wishes to post advertising on his website or his blog, they only have to sign up for one of these social networks (Google Adsense in the case of Google), which will manage the process in exchange for a percentage of the profits. On the advertiser’s side, affiliate networks allow them to easily manage the process and choose the type of websites and blog where they want to advertise. Naturally, the ads are more effective when there is greater relevance between the type of product or service advertised and the website where it is shown.
There are four basic models of display advertising payment. Choosing one or the other will be based on the advertiser’s preference, the recommendation of the marketing professionals carrying out the campaign, and the expected behavior of the ads:
- Cost per thousand impressions (CPM): The advertiser will pay a pre-determined amount each time the ads is displayed 1000 times on the platform. It can be interesting for awareness campaigns, where the goal is related to visibility.
- Cost per click (CPC): As the name implies, in this model the advertiser pays each time a user clicks on their ad.
- Cost per action: Even more specific than CPC, in this model the advertiser will only pay each time the user performs a specific action, like buying a product, for example. Since it is closely linked to the conversion and online performance marketing models, this option can bring very good results regarding ROI.
- Flat rate: This model consists of agreeing to a fixed amount per day or per month of campaign activity, regardless of the results. You should make a detailed analysis of the expected results to gauge whether this option suits your needs.
The Advantages of Display Advertising
- It is measurable: Display advertising allows us to control our key metrics at all times (impressions, frequency, CTR, etc.). This is great for optimizing results on the fly, if you ever need to make any changes. If you want to get the most out display, use A/B testing and test different elements of the banners: text, image, color, etc.
- It has great segmentation options: Affiliation networks allow advertisers to segment their campaigns with a wide range of options, ensuring that they reach the right audience in the right places. If you want to customize to the fullest, you can also reach agreements with blogs or individual high-traffic websites.
- It has a great visual impact: Banners have been around for many years, and one of the reasons is because they are a visually appealing format. Human beings are very visual, so it’s hard to resist a good display when something is well designed and potentially saving us money. In recent years display advertising has begun to incorporate videos and interactive elements that make it a more entertaining experience.
- Customize the payment method: As we mentioned earlier, there are several different payment options for display campaigns. A big advantage is that you can choose the one that best suits your budget and objectives.
- It is ideal for remarketing campaigns: The road through the conversion funnel can be long, so you need to make sure you don’t lose any potential customers along the way. Display advertising is especially beneficial in this aspect because you can use them to activate remarketing campaigns. Remarketing is focused on recovering users who have already visited your website but have abandoned it without buying. Display remarketing campaigns allow you to reach these contacts with personalized messages encouraging them to return.
- It is contextual: The best advertising is the one that harnesses all the power of its surroundings. Not only can you (and should) post ads on relevant pages, but you can take this customization to the next level by making the banner integrate and interact with the page it’s on. If you take advantage of the possibilities, you’ll see your click-through rate grow through the roof.
- It’s adaptable for mobile: Finally, display advertising had adapted to the times and is effective for mobile advertising. How? Combining the usual banners with customization options to offer highly personalized content.
The Most Popular Types of Display Advertising
Banners fall into two broad categories: animated or static.
Animated banners must be in .gif or flash format. Gifs have the advantage of being able to be displayed on all types of devices and browsers, while flash offers greater capacity and quality. Therefore, it is a good idea to use flash banners with a backup in .gif. In both cases, the animation should be 30 seconds or less and can be repeated in a loop.
Static banners can be in .jpg, .jpeg, and .png. In the latter case, the amount of colors is smaller.
There are a lot of options for the size and placement of the banners. These are some of the most common:
- Super Banner: Also called megabanner, bigbanner, or leaderboard, this format is usually located at the top of the web pages. The standard size is 728x90 pixels. A more impressive option is the ceiling ad, which is also located at the top of the page and allows a large number of customization options.
- Floor Ad: Ads placed at the bottom of the web pages, with a standard size of 700x200 pixels.
- Page Robbers: The classic vertical ad on the right side of the pages, which can be expanded to the left or down.
- Skyscraper: This classic format usually has 120x600 pixels. It is also available in a wider version, with 160x600.
- Pre-Roll: It is shown for a few seconds before the content is shown. Its size may vary depending on the needs of the campaigns, but the standard measure is 300x250 pixels.
- Skin: It is the personalization of the header and the sides of the bottom of a web with the images and colors of the campaign. In its premium version, it can include a video in the header or a dynamic format.
- Interstitial: This format hides virtually all the content of the page, although it has a button to close it early. There is no doubt that it gets the attention of users, but it is also a quite controversial format since it is considered intrusive.