To Display Advertise or Not? That is the Question!

Should you be using Display Advertising

On Wednesday May 23rd 2012 I attended the BCAMA Vision Conference in Vancouver, BC. The theme of the conference this year was “liquid content” or creating ideas (content) so contagious they cannot be contained. Speakers included Leonard Broady, Terry McBride, and Fredrik Carlstrom.

Although the conversation weighed heavily on the topic of creating high quality content and how to use it to promote a brand, two of the speakers mentioned they no longer use display advertising as a form of advertising for their companies. Instead, they are now focusing on content development and social media related marketing activities. Coming from a digital marketing background I just have to disagree!

Display advertising definitely has its benefits and is an excellent complement to other forms of advertising (both offline and online). However, it is gained a bad reputation in the last little while as people with privacy concerns find display advertising to be less trusting than other forms of advertising.

It is true that consumers actively avoid looking at online banner ads, but a 2011 study has found using display ads that are contextually targeted (websites with content relevant to the ad) actually increase purchase intent but only when they are not obtrusive. Interestingly enough, when banner ads were also seen as being obtrusive they were found to also increase purchase intent, but not when used in conjunction with contextual targeting – both strategies had to be used independently of each other.

So when does display advertising make sense? Below I have highlighted a few examples based on successful display advertising campaigns we have executed at 6S Marketing.

1. Low Search Network Search Volume

Some industries do not have the search volume required to run successful campaigns in the Google Search Network (the Google search engine). However, there may be thousands of websites with content related to the industry where display advertising is available. This makes contextual targeting the ideal solution and an extremely effective way to acquire sales traffic to a website.

2. New Product Launches

Perhaps you work for a company that has just launched a brand new product but due to lack of awareness or understanding of the product, running a search campaign does not make sense. This is another benefit of contextual targeting with display ads as you can target websites with similar content or products to yours and begin building product association, understanding, and awareness.

3. Cross Industry Campaigns

In this scenario, your company wants to expand into new markets that your service or product is complimentary to. However, because you do not have keywords relating to that industry on your website, running a search network campaign would not be effective, due to low keyword relevance. In this case, creating a display network campaign to target industries complimentary to your product or service makes sense and will yield conversions better than if you were to try running a campaign on the search network.

Some of our clients at 6S receive the most conversions from their display advertising campaigns. When done correctly, contextual and display advertising are extremely effective at increasing leads, sales, and meeting client advertising goals.  The key to making display advertising work is proper campaign set up following best practices, and knowing in what situations (as above) to apply the logic.

4. Capturing Past, Non-Converting Website Visitors

The most exciting aspect of display advertising is a new innovation called Remarketing, where you can have your display advertising follow past website visitors to other sites that show display advertising through the Google Content Network. Using Remarketing has been found to be an extremely effective way to increase the conversion rate, reach and lead volume through a website.

Are you using display advertising? How is it working for you?

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