Display Advertising


Display advertising refers to paid online advertisements that contain rich media like graphics, audio, and video. Examples of display advertising techniques include  serving banner ads to certain people matching certain demographics or visit complimentary websites. Retargeting is another form of display advertising, —also known as remarketing, where consumers who have visited your website are strategically and visually reminded of that visit by the use of banner ads. Often these banners ads remind them of items they placed in their online shopping carts yet failed to purchase. Once a consumer clicks on one of these display ads, he/she is redirected to the landing page for that product or service. Unlike text-only ads, display ads do not appear on search engine results pages (SERPs). Rather, they can be found on sites that offer paid display advertising or via media pages.
The primary goal of any display advertising strategy is to compel clicks that ultimately lead to conversions. To accomplish this, many brands adopt dynamic display advertising strategies that involve targeting. For example, a banner ad using the dynamic display technique would change the graphics and offer based on the activities of the user on the website. To excel at dynamic display advertising, a business must first clearly define its audience and tailor each ad’s content accordingly. Static display advertising—that is, rich media-filled digital ads that keep the same content regardless of the user—are still useful as long as the business and the site hosting the ad have a similar audience.

Besides clicks that spark conversions, secondary benefits to display advertising—whether dynamic or static—include raising brand awareness and turning site visitors into leads.

Thanks to technology you can now serve ads down to specific IP addresses or business domains as well as to certain people with certain job titles. You can also serve ads to people you have email addresses in your database. Long gone are the days of blanketed banners ads and awful click through rates. Targeted display ads can be a great way to drive brand awareness to the exact demographic you are trying to reach.

IMA has compiled a list of hundreds of ad serving technologies and tools that you will find helpful. Feel free to contact us if you need help navigating all the options.

Note that display advertising takes on a different meaning offline. In print collateral, for example, display advertising refers to ads that contain images, pops of color, or graphics to help them stand out. These appear in newspapers, magazines, direct mail brochures, and more. The attention-grabbing power of display advertising is also used often in outdoor ad displays like billboards or as components of messaging delivered via digital signage.

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