How to Create an Effective Display Advertising Campaign

/ Thoughtspace - General, Programmatic

Display advertising campaigns are used by marketers across all industries. While not necessarily the most “sexy” of the marketing mediums, it does offer an opportunity to make an impact with your consumers. As one of the more cost effective channels, display offers the opportunity to build awareness across a broad target audience and can drive consideration when the strategy is thoughtfully executed. However, when executed with an “easy button” mentality, brands can expect low engagement and high bounce rates. So how do you build an effective display advertising campaign strategy?

Follow these steps and see how this channel can drive meaningful results for your brand. 

1) Know Your Audience

All media plans should begin with a robust understanding of the target audience. That means going beyond basic demographics and understanding their behaviors, interests, values, and motivations. This can be accomplished through data-driven research tools, existing customer analysis, and/or using pixel-based data combined with Google Analytics to understand who is visiting your website and how they are choosing to engage. Together, these learnings should impact the data you use, the placements you leverage, the distribution of spend across devices, and creatives that are served. 

Things to be aware of:

  • Overreliance on retargeting: Retargeting does tend to result in stronger media metrics than prospecting audiences. However, overinvesting in this tactic means you are likely investing in people who were already likely to convert. Plus, the reach of this tactic is going to diminish, which brings me to my second point…
  • Cookie deprecation: Third-party cookies will be going away in the middle of 2023. This means any audience data that relied on these cookies will be null and void. Work to build up your first party data now so you can use AI to build smarter audiences for your display campaigns.

2) Be Conscientious About Display Ad Context

As marketers face a cookieless future, contextual targeting is going to be increasingly critical for display advertising. Having a display ad show up alongside relevant content helps build interest and trust since the consumer is already engaging with pertinent information.

For effective contextual display advertising consider:  

  • Leveraging direct buys, private marketplace deals, and content partnerships to feel confident knowing where your ads were served and that you are reaching key audiences at the right time. 
  • Aligning your creative messaging and calls-to-action to the category to improve user experience.
  • Applying negatively blocked site and category lists. Showing up alongside unsavory content not only impacts your brand image, but also is very unlikely to drive any desirable results.

3) Establish Brand Safety Protocols

Without proper guardrails in place, display ads can be a massive waste of money. Marketers solely looking for display ad inventory with the lowest CPMs are chasing after the wrong goals. Instead, put parameters in place that allow your ads to have a great opportunity to be effective and benefit your brand. That includes everything from viewability thresholds, white and black site lists, dayparting, and pre and post bid analysis solutions to avoid ad fraud.

Be sure to:

  • Regularly audit your display campaigns to ensure they are meeting your standards
  • Continuously improve your site lists based on inventory performance

4) Explore High Impact And Premium Opportunities

Display ads do not have to be boring. The first, and most cost effective, way to capture attention is by adding a small amount of animation to your banners. But to really make a splash with your display advertising campaign, test out high impact units. This could be in-read units, site takeovers, site anchors, in-banner videos, interactive units, etc. 

However, even showing up on premium publishers without the investment in “fancy” display ads will often do the trick. Associating your brands with high authority publishers automatically builds a level of credibility for your brand. 

Don’t forget to:

  • Establish accountability through clearly identified KPIs
  • Select units and publishers from an audience-first mentality

Use these key tips to step up your display advertising campaigns and drive meaningful results for your brand. For more on display advertising, contact us today. 

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