How Should You Use Display Advertising?

By Kristin Vick | @krisvick | Account Manager at Hanapin Marketing

Working at an agency, we hear similar questions from clients on a regular basis, especially those who are new to PPC and the paid advertising world. One question we hear often is “How do your other clients use Display Advertising?” and is usually followed by “What kind of results can we expect?”


Display advertising is the closest thing to traditional advertising online. Display allows advertisers to use more than just text ads, like images (banner ads), audio and video (pre-roll on YouTube) to communicate a message to their audience.


Image of Display advertising


Display advertising often gets thrown in the same bucket as Native advertising. The difference is that native advertising is meant to seem like it’s supposed to be a part of the content on the page, and less of a “sold” spot on a webpage. They both use these rich media ads, however, Native ads blend in with elements on the page. You know those sneaky images at the bottom of an article that suggest the next piece you should read? Next time look for the word “SPONSORED” – this is a prime example of Native advertising.


How Do Clients Use Display Advertising?


You may associate Display advertising with remarketing. Though you are correct, the Display Network offers so much more. Having become more sophisticated since it’s conception, advertisers can serve up ads based on the content of a website (contextually), or behavior patterns.  So what does that mean? It means there have never been more opportunities to reach customers. With advances in PPC, advertisers now, more than ever, can tailor and target ads to their specific audiences.


Advertisers can use Display to bring users back that may not have completed the desired action. Most advertisers are familiar with this strategy, known as remarketing. Remarketing can be used cross-device as well as cross-network. For example, a user might visit your site on their phone and later could see your ad in-stream on Facebook on their desktop.


Advertisers can upsell current customers. Think of the user who just booked their hotel room. Now advertisers can encourage them to extend their stay, upgrade their hotel package, or add an excursion that is partnered with the hotel.


Advertisers can inform and remind. Consider a music festival that is held every year.  They might want to target users who purchased tickets in the previous years, and want to remind them the festival is coming back, and it’s time to purchase their tickets again.


Image of ads


What Kind Of Results Can You Expect?


Display ads can see 3 to 4 times (or more) the impressions of a Search Network ad, simply because there is more opportunity for Display ads to show. With that, the CTR almost always falls below 1%. Also, with the explosion of mobile advertising, Display has certainly gained traction on mobile and tablet devices.


Advertisers who used remarketing found that when used properly, users were 70% more likely to convert.


It is also important to set expectations based on goals. If the goal is to build brand awareness, then you could invest more in Display and watch impressions increase. However, if the goal is to drive more conversions to your site, you may want to set more realistic goals compared to Search (at least initially).


Depending on the industry, where ads are displayed and what formats are used, benchmarks may change. To help establish goals and benchmarks, use Google’s benchmark tool to help establish a good starting point.


Still not sure where to start? Hanapin has a team of experts ready and waiting to help you – contact us to get started!