Online display advertising is one of the most commonly used digital advertising tactics. It’s appeal comes from the ability to combine a visual and verbal message as well as the ability to reach a huge, targeted audience. Think of it as an outdoor billboard but with advanced targeting abilities.
Online display ads can be purchased on a CPC (cost per click) or CPM (cost per thousand impressions) basis. One impression counts as one set of eyeballs that views your display ad. Companies usually buy hundreds of thousands, if not millions of impressions and CPMs range from $1-$30 depending on the type of targeting chosen.
The strategy behind display is usually branding – not direct response. If you want an immediate direct response, focus your funds on paid search. If you’re familiar with the marketing funnel, display would be at the top along with radio, TV, print and billboard. Keeping you top of mind with your consumer so when they are ready to take action, they will think of you.
Definitions & Details
There are a wide variety of sizes and types of audience targeting available. Your ultimate goal will determine the best way to leverage display to your advantage so please contact me for a more strategy related conversation. In the meantime, below is a brief explanation of each. Forgive the length as there are a lot of options!
- Premium Display – These are the extra large, high impact ads you often see and might find them “annoying” or “intrusive.” There are a wide variety of sizes and animations available. They definitely catch attention and are particularly useful when having a big event or sale. The CTR will be much higher than typical display but the time on site will be much lower and bounce rate much higher
- Contextually Targeted Display – This targets users based on the content they’re reading. For example, if you’re targeting someone in the market for a home, your ad will display next to real estate related content
- Search Targeted Display – Similar to paid search, this targets people searching for something online with a search engine like Google or Yahoo!. If they were looking for “construction cranes” and you sell those, your display ad can show up on various sites they visit online.
- Dynamic Retargeted Display – this refers primarily to the creative as it’s product specific. Have you ever been followed by that exact pair of shoes you were viewing online? That is dynamic retargeting – very effective and often more expensive.
- Geo-Targeted (geo-fenced) Display – exactly what it sounds like, this display is targeted by State, City, DMA or zip code. It can also be a radius. If you have a brick and mortar location, you would use this to ensure that impressions aren’t wasted on people incapable of visiting you due to location. If you’re not restricted to a certain area, you might use this if you’ve identified your customer base coming from certain areas. Ex: If you’re recruiting nurses, you might target an area with a hospital that recently closed and laid off a lot of nurses.
- ROS (run of site) Display – the most cost effective display option. There is no targeting here, it can run on any page of any website. Can be somewhat targeted by purchasing from a website that matches your demographic. Ex: travel company that purchases ROS on www.travel.com.
- Behaviorally Targeted (audience targeted) Display – Can target as specifically as blue collar workers that drive trucks located in Nashville. The more narrow the targets, the less inventory available. How are they able to target so specifically? Cookies and third party software data. Essentially, if a user has been reading about fall sweaters, clicking on ads for fall sweaters, and searching online with keywords related to fall sweaters – that person is likely in the market for a fall sweater.
- Mobile Precise Fence Targeted Display – This tactic takes it a step further than geo-targeted display by targeting an address. It uses GPS technology on your phone to target users when they’re inside a location and using the internet on their phone. It doesn’t just pop up on their phone, they have to be in an app or on a website. This strategy works well for people with brick and mortar stores or people that want to pull customers from competitors with brick and mortar stores. Ex: a mattress store will fence a competing mattress store with their sale since those customers are clearly in the market for a mattress.
- Programmatic Display – this tactic takes time when done correctly. On a basic level, it allows companies to buy display inventory on a number of websites for a lower price than usual. If you want to take it a step further – it should be optimized towards an audience that completes goals you deem valuable (CTR, purchases, time on site, etc.)
- Essentially, if users from Mom.com are buying more from your site, budget will be invested there vs. other sites that didn’t have users that ended up purchasing. After some time (at least 3 months) you have a custom display network focused around audiences that buy or take action after clicking on your ads.
- Retargeted (remarketed) Display – one of the most popular display segments, this targets users that have visited your site aka they’ve already expressed interest in your product. For that reason, CTR and time on site are typically higher.
- How does it work? When a user visits your website, a cookie is placed on their browser that allows your display ad to continue popping up as they visit different websites keeping you top of mind. Ever been “followed” online by Toyota after looking at some of their vehicles online? You were being retargeted.
- Email Retargeted Display – remarket to users that open your emails through the same technology as site retargeting. Your display ad will show up as they visit different sites online.
- IP Targeted Display – If you have a mailing list with physical addresses you can target users on their home computers. This works well for frequency purposes but only has about a 30% match rate.