What is display advertising – and how could it help you to grow your business online?

Increasingly businesses are learning that online marketing can significantly raise revenue – through increased, targeted exposure. During our Beginners’ Guide to the Web series we’ve covered the importance of social media and SEO, touching on Adwords and PPC. In this blog we explain why display advertising is a lucrative next step for companies that already incorporate successful social and SEO campaigns.

What is display advertising?

Whilst this term used to refer to physical posters and billboards, it has now been adopted by online marketers to describe a range of adverts placed across the internet. These include website banners, a range of media displayed within videos, and clips played within audio broadcasts. Display advertising usually refers to visual marketing and image-based advertisements as opposed to text-based promotions, such as product placements on blogs.

Why is display advertising so powerful?

Display advertising itself is fairly standard – it comprises of well-designed, well-placed advertisements. The focus is not on presentation alone, but on getting the placement and process right – more on that later. Display advertising’s real power lies in its exploitation of the information websites gather about your browsing activity and preferences – known as cookies. They rely on this to tailor and target adverts to specific audiences – using placement on certain sites and media (and various approaches) to do so. Have you ever browsed products on a website, only to find that they pop up hours later as you’re reading the news? This is an example of how ‘covert’ cookie collection can influence the display marketing you (and your customers) are exposed to.

Is display advertising right for me? Should I invest in display advertising?

Display advertising can be used by businesses of all natures to secure exposure in their chosen markets. However as with all types of marketing it’s worth considering the cost and weighing that up against the potential results you’ll experience. It isn’t always the most appropriate option for your audience – and although the ads are eye-catching and hard to get away from, they are still often ignored and can become irritating with overuse.

How can I ensure that display advertising works for me?

Display advertising is incredibly versatile. It can be presented in the form of static visuals, video, animation, audio and more. Therefore getting it right involves carefully considering the type of content your audience will respond to. A display advert should generate swift interest and a quick conversion – so it’s worth thinking about delivering a message your potential customer simply can’t ignore. The nature of your ad may also depend on where it is hosted. For example, some larger websites prefer ‘native ads’ – promotions designed to blend in. Others don’t mind if you create something that stands out – in fact, the brighter the better.

Successful display advertising requires good management. Some digital marketing agencies do offer a holistic service, creating ads and securing appropriate placements. There are also providers who specialise only in display advertising. Either way, you’ll need a reliable team of professionals on board to ensure that your display advertising campaign is a success.

Want to learn more about marketing your business online? Keep following our Beginners’ Guide to the Web series here on the blog.

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