How to Run an Effective Display Ad Campaign

Imagine creating just one digital graphic or video and sending it to millions of eyes. This is the new reality we live in today, where digital marketers have the potential to reach every person on the planet with a single advertisement. Big companies such as Coca-Cola, Nike, and Facebook are already in the game, and more companies are following suit. This guide will show you how to join them with instructions on designing, implementing, and optimizing your display ad campaigns.

What Is Display Advertising?

Display advertising is a form of digital advertising that focuses on creating and then serving content that can get users’ attention. Such content might use images (static or animated), videos, and text to appeal to users. The main goals of this form of advertising are to cultivate brand trust and to get a click from an impression, which could lead to a sale.

Paths of Display Advertising

Display advertisements can be found anywhere online, from websites to apps. Savvy digital marketers can use any number of platforms to reach their desired audiences, with a suitable combination as the optimum strategy. Below are possible ad types and placements:

  • Banner ads: Ads that appear in designated areas on websites, blogs, and more. They are creatives that beckon viewers to click, typically sending them to a landing page.
  • Social media ads: Ads that appear on social media apps while users consume content, typically while scrolling. They may appear in dedicated sections, between posts, or within captions.
  • Pop-up/pop-under ads: Ads that open automatically when a user surfs the internet. They may appear over or beneath the browser.
  • Infographics: Informational ads that visually present information.
  • Native ads: Ads that look like they are a natural part of the content. Since they seem like any other post, users may be more likely to interact with them.
  • Mobile ads: Ads that are geared towards users on mobile devices. Such ads should have smaller file sizes and dimensions that allow fast download over cellular networks.
  • Interactive ads: Ads that respond to a user’s actions. A click or swipe could expand it, play sounds, or more.
  • Video pre-roll ads: Video ads that play as users consume streaming content. This could be at the video content’s beginning, middle, or end of the video content.

While there are several ways to reach an audience, it is imperative to research to ensure that you can reach the desired consumers in the chosen pathways.

Pros of Display Advertising

There are definite advantages to display advertising that companies enjoy:

  1. Brand Awareness: Reaching out to users on a large scale will allow your brand to gain recognition. Repeated exposure to your ads can cultivate awareness and trust.
  2. Infinite Reach: Display ad networks can reach anyone anytime. The limit to this expanse is the advertiser’s targeting, budget, and skill level of the advertiser.
  3. Visual Appeal: Display ads can inject graphics, video, and audio into advertising copy. Viewers may have varying reactions to different types of advertisements.
  4. Versatility: You can work with any display platform, audience, and device to tailor your campaigns to suit your needs and reach just the audience you desire.
  5. Affordable: Depending on your billing type, ads can cost as little as a penny per impression (CPM). Alternatively, you could choose to increase your budget when appropriate.
  6. Measurable Results: Display ads offer a wide variety of metrics for analysis, such as impressions, clicks, and conversions.
  7. Funnel Synergy: Display ads can do very well with sales funnels. Such funnels can be built and then optimized to maximize ROI.
  8. Customer Retargeting: Retargeting allows brands to cater to audiences that have already shown interest. This may increase the prospect’s likelihood of returning to complete a purchase.

Advertisers gravitate toward display ads for these reasons and run campaigns regularly.

Cons of Display Advertising

Yes, there are cons to display advertising, too:

  1. Banner Blindness: Serving the same display ads can lead to viewers dismissing or avoiding them. Solve this by creating new ones regularly or serving them to untapped areas.
  2. Low Click-Through Rate (CTR): Viewers have a lower tendency to click a display ad, which is why advertisers use it to build brand awareness.
  3. Less Room for Messages: Each creative can only take up a certain amount of space and for a set amount of time. It would help you master the craft to get your message out under such restrictions.

Although there are a few disadvantages associated with this type of advertising, more is needed to stop companies from continuing to run campaigns every day.

Steps to Developing Your Display Ad Strategy

It can be exciting to begin your campaign right away, but adequate preparation can set the stage for success. Use the following sections as a template for formulating your own custom display strategy.

1. Identify the Goals

The first step toward display advertising success is to define your desired goals. What do you want to accomplish with your upcoming campaigns? Defining your goals can light the path ahead and illuminate new possibilities. Possible goals could be to increase brand awareness, generate leads, or obtain website traffic.

Next, determine how you want to measure your goals. Digital marketers enjoy using key performance indicators (KPIs) to track their campaigns. You could choose KPIs such as impressions, clicks, CTR, or conversions. Each KPI can contribute to a working perspective that you can leverage to produce even greater results.

2. Assess the Target Audience

Assessing the buyers most likely to purchase or favor your products will help you tailor your advertising efforts. Start by producing a customer avatar, then conduct market research to gain insights into the most interested populations. This information will help you decide on your optimal advertising platform and guide you through the ad creation process.

You could take the extra step and segment the audience for laser-focused targeting. Users can be segmented based on device, location, demographics, and more. The key here is to utilize the important factors while omitting irrelevant ones. If you pay close attention, you could encounter a “sweet spot” that generates massive results in a short time frame.

3. Select the Advertising Platforms

Now is the time to determine the platforms you will spend time on. Although it may seem like a good idea to get on as many platforms as possible, it is much better to choose a handful and master them for full effect. That way, you will know exactly where your money is going and what to change when needed.

For example, if you advertise on Google Ads, you will need creatives that meet the platform’s requirements. After a few months of advertising on Google Ads, you could expand to another platform. Since you already have your creatives, you can simply upload them to a different platform and start testing right away.

Likewise, if you wish to commit to social media advertising, you will have to produce a variety of posts, such as text posts, shorts, and graphics. Growing your reach is as simple as uploading your creatives to another platform and experimenting from there.

4. Generate Creatives

Display advertising requires creatives that range from static images to brief videos. Look through the platform’s guidelines to find their requirements for dimensions, sizes, or durations. It’s also a good idea to read through their terms of service (TOS) to stay compliant and avoid getting your account banned.

You can produce creatives using different types of software. For static images, Adobe Creative Cloud Express can help you produce vivid images that jump out at viewers and feature text that delivers your message. For videos, Adobe Spark allows you to easily create attention-grabbing content in minutes.

Although you only need one creative to initiate a campaign, you may want to craft several to run multiple campaigns simultaneously and compare the results in one go. As you manifest your assets, think about your target audience and do your best to cater to their needs. What would capture their attention and prompt them to click or make a purchase? This mindset will help you produce highly effective creatives that users love seeing or interacting with.

5. Input the Parameters

Once you decide upon an advertising platform and have your creatives ready, you can set up your campaign. Start a new campaign within your dashboard and input the desired parameters into each relevant field. Finally, upload your creatives and press submit to start the approval process.

6. Analyze Results, Tweak, Repeat

Once your first advertising run finishes, you can review each data point to assess the results. In which areas did your creativity excel? In what areas can you improve? Time, patience, and effort are the secrets to success in many display advertising campaigns.

If you’re a data geek, analyzing the campaign results is as simple as looking through your metrics. Admittedly, this does take a lot of time and is best when you can consistently analyze and optimize the data. Due to this activity’s detailed nature, many companies offload the work to professional agencies such as J&L Marketing. These organizations assign dedicated account managers to design and monitor display ad campaigns and then concisely present the information to you.

Let J&L Marketing Manage Your Display Advertisements for You

Display advertising is one of the most popular ways to reach a wide array of audiences. Of course, it does take a fair amount of creativity, skill, and time to perform. Busy business owners and executives may not engage in such a necessary process.

At J&L Marketing, we work with display ads as part of our complete digital marketing service. Our trained staff have extensive experience with display ads and are here to help you get those campaigns running. We take it upon ourselves to analyze every metric you decide is important, leaving the vital decisions in your hands. Contact us for a free consultation and start designing your display advertisement campaigns today.

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Our lookbook has examples of our display ads we have created for clients.