This is an updated version of our popular “A beginner’s guide to display advertising” from 2015.
Digital marketing is full of buzzwords so overused they’ve all but lost their meaning, like “authentic experiences” and millennials. Yet, the industry is also full of jargon that does mean something, but has so many different interpretations it can often be difficult to understand.
One of these common misinterpretations is around display advertising and the idea that any and all online marketing is considered display. It’s not. Native ads are sometimes content marketing, and they are sometimes display ads, though not always. Confused?
Display ads are the boxes on websites that are obviously advertising. They can be along the top of web pages such as the traditional banner ad, or the larger text billboard. They can also be videos. These types of ads appear on distinct sections of the site that are specifically reserved for paid advertising and are aimed at generating a quick conversion.
For example, this ad for Jet.com on The New York Times‘ homepage. Is there any doubt in your mind that this is an ad?
The wider banner ads generally perform better than their tall, narrow counterparts. According to Google, the most effective display ads are the 300×250 pixel rectangles. They translate well to mobile devices and work best when embedded in content.
Other well-performing ad sizes are the slightly-larger 336×280 pixel rectangles, 300×600 pixel half-page ads, and 728×90 leaderboard ads. Jet.com is an example of the latter. On mobile devices, Google also recommends the 320×100 ads that are about double the size of a typical mobile leaderboard.
On the other hand, native ads are designed to blend in with their surroundings. Both are paid opportunities but, by fitting in seamlessly on the pages on which they’re placed, native advertising is thought to be less disruptive. They’re common on digital magazines and on social platforms like Instagram.
If you’re just casually scrolling, you might see this and think, “Oh, Rob Lowe is friends with Dr. Oz.” But the location tag under his handle, as well as the hashtags in the caption, lets you know that this is actually an ad.
Content marketing can be considered native advertising, though it is only display in some forms. For example, branded infographics and videos, when positioned neatly in an article, can fit into the display bracket – specifically when they are paid for by an advertiser.
Other content marketing formats such as blogs, articles, reviews, and whitepapers, however, are not display advertising. Their purpose is to create a value exchange with the consumer with useful, interesting, and targeted information.
Not all display ads fit neatly into one of those boxes. Other common formats for both static and video ads include:
Like anything else, display ads come with their own set of pluses and minuses. On the one hand, everything above illustrates the flexibility. There are countless combinations of formats, sizes, and styles, allowing you to mix it up.
Display ads also travel far, given the millions of websites reached by Google’s Display Network. The search giant can match your ads up to websites and apps based on keywords or your own targeting preferences.
They’re also fairly straightforward to measure. Display advertising analytics allow you to track the number of clicks, impressions and conversions the ad has generated in real-time, giving you an up-to-date picture of what is resonating with consumers.
But while display ads are so widely used, they’re also widely ignored. Because display advertising is everywhere, people tend to develop a bit of ad blindness. As a result, the average click-through rate across all formats is less than one percent.
There’s also the issue of ad blockers. Last year, eMarketer predicted that 30% of Internet users would deploy ad blocking software by the end of 2018.
Now that you have a better understanding of display advertising and its pros and cons, here are a few tips to apply to your execution.
The post Display ads 101: what they are and how to do them well appeared first on ClickZ.Reblogged 6 months ago from www.clickz.com