What Is Display Advertising (And How to Use It in 2023)

Display advertising — a form of paid advertising — is one of the most popular types of online marketing. A visual-based means of promoting your brand, display ads refers to ads on websites, apps, and social media platforms.

Display ads can take various forms, including:

  • Banners
  • Images
  • Buttons
  • Videos
  • Rich media
  • And more

In order to start using display marketing, you have to work with a display ad network to reach customers.

display ad on New York Times Website

You tell the display network what demographics you want to target with your ads, and they take it from there. They serve your ads to users who fit your specifications and visit websites that have opted into their display network. Then, someone who fits your specifications clicks on your ad, goes to your website, and (hopefully) converts into a paying customer.

That’s the whole display advertising process in a nutshell.

And nutshells are all well and good — but it’s also important to know the details for something like this. That’s why on this page, we’ll explore the basics of what you need to know to start using display advertising for your company.

If you’d like to speak with a professional about digital display advertising, you can contact us at 888-601-5359.

What is display advertising?

Check out our video to learn more about how display advertising works and how it can grow your business.

A type of paid online advertising, display media consists of text, image, video, audio, and motion ads, which display on websites, apps, and social media platforms. These ads can appear in several sizes, including banner and reach users across the web.

5 types of display ads

To deeply discover what is display advertising, you need to understand that when it comes to display ads marketing, you can access several types of display ads, including:

  1. Static
  2. Animated
  3. Interactive
  4. Video
  5. Expanding

Your company can take advantage of these display ad types with display advertising

View Digital Ad Sizes

Next, we need to cover the major display ad networks that are available to advertisers.

1. Google Display Network

urban outfitters display ad

The Google Display Network is probably the most well-known and popular choice. Since Google makes about 97 percent of its revenue from serving ads, you can be sure they’ve refined the display advertising process to a science that’ll earn returns for you.

Learn more about the Google Display Network with our video explaining what it is, how it works, and how you can use it for your business.

2. Facebook Audience Network

The Facebook Audience Network is Google’s biggest competition as far as display ads are concerned. Facebook offers just as many options for its advertisers, and they even have a suite of tools that you can use to design the perfect display ads.

3. Twitter Audience Platform

The Twitter Audience Platform is another possibility. Just like the previous two options, Twitter’s ad platform is designed to take your ads and promote them throughout the Internet, including mobile apps.

These three networks make up the vast majority of display advertising online. They can display your ads on any website and app that’s opted into their network as a displayer.

For you, that means you have a huge potential to reach hundreds of millions of potential customers by using one (or all) of these networks.

It may take some time — and you may not see ROI as high as 486 percent — but display ad networks are designed to get results for you.

And considering that millions of advertisers use their services, these networks are experts at helping you grow your business.

How to create must-click display ads for display advertising

If you’re ready to get started, just follow these steps:

1. Follow best practices for landing pages

While the design of your display ads matters, so does your landing page.

Microsoft Azure display ad

Your landing page, which is where users “land” after clicking on your ad, plays a significant part in whether a user follows through on your call to action (CTA). For your display ads marketing efforts to work, you need a fast, functional, and easy-to-use landing page.

Get started on creating a top-notch landing page for your display ads with these best practices:

  • Build a responsive and mobile-friendly page
  • Aim for a simple, no-fuss design
  • Use your company’s branding
  • Add trust signals, like company awards, certifications, testimonials, and more
  • Make your CTA stand out

When you follow these best practices, you create an attractive landing page for your audience.

2. Design simple and compelling display ads

Like your landing page, you want to use a simple and compelling design for your display ads.

If you focus on designing a different, unconventional ad, it can lead to lackluster results. People may see your ad and have no idea what your company sells. Aim for a simple design and compelling offer, and you can reach your target market with success.

Avoid overwhelming people with information too.

If you try to include too much information in your display ads, you’ll overwhelm and push people away. They won’t try and dissect your ad. Instead, they’ll go back to what they were doing, like reading an article or playing a mobile app.

3. Create a clear message and attractive offer

Next, work on developing a clear message and attractive audience to your audience.

In a glance, people should know what your display ad is about and what it offers them. A software company, for example, may promote a free 14-day trial. In comparison, an ecommerce store may advertise a holiday sale.

If you’re remarketing with your display ads, you can also incorporate audience data into your message and offer. Audiences that looked at a product, for instance, may see a display ad with the product’s photo and price.

Brainstorm a range of options before deciding on your messaging and offer.

4. Use programmatic advertising

When it comes to display ads programmatic advertising is a useful strategy.

Programmatic advertising offers value because it uses a person’s immediate data, like their demographics, topic interests, and age, to deliver relevant ads. This feature can help your business advertise to the people that matter most to your company.

You can even use other factors, like the weather, to determine whether your ad shows. This targeting feature can prove useful for companies depending on good weather, like a ski slope, amusement park, and golf course.

If you decide to use programmatic advertising, you can help maximize your company’s ad spend. You dedicate your ad spend to users with the most potential, like recent interest in your industry or products, versus anyone with history in those areas.

You can use programmatic advertising in-house or take advantage of programmatic advertising services.

How to measure display ad performance

No matter what kind of marketing or advertising strategies your business invests in, you want to measure the performance of your efforts. When you take a proactive approach to campaign monitoring, you can improve and make the most of your digital display advertising.

Three metrics you want to look at when assessing your display ad performance include:

1. Impressions

Impressions are a helpful metric for display advertising because they show how many people saw your ad. This metric can provide perspective on your audience size, as well as click-through rate (CTR). In some cases, your business may expand your audience to broaden your audience and impressions.

2. Click-through rate

In display advertising, click-through rate earns the most attention from marketers. That’s because your CTR shows the percentage of people that clicked on your ad. In most cases, this rate is less than five percent, though every industry is different. Look at your industry averages and aim for those numbers.

3. Conversions

Conversions are another digital marketing metric to check. Your conversions tell you how many people converted. Depending on your display ad campaign, conversions may range from clicking on your ad to 1000 people viewing your ad. Use it to see how well your display ads and landing pages work together.

3 tips for your first display ad campaign

Before you start your first campaign, make sure you do your homework and follow these simple rules. Don’t forget to use correct display ad sizes!

1. Look at all available demographic data

It’s essential that you find out if your audience is available via a display network.

If you have a super-niche product or service, you may not find an audience that perfectly matches your ideal on each network. And if that’s the case, you can cross some of them off of your list of possibilities.

You should also check where all of the data comes from for a certain display network. If it’s based on tracking pixels and strategic offline gathering, that data is probably dependable.

If it’s unsourced, you may want to look elsewhere.

2. Use multiple marketing strategies

Display marketing is effective, but not as effective on its own as using multiple marketing channels at one time.

This means that you should establish or maintain your search engine optimization (SEO)pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, and social media services while you use display marketing for the best results.

This will give your brand more “real estate” online and allow you to reach out to millions of customers that you otherwise would’ve missed by only using display advertising.

3. Have a specific, measurable goal in mind

It’s important to set goals whenever you start a marketing strategy, and this is especially true for something like display marketing.

Saying “I want to increase conversions” isn’t enough to tell whether you’re getting enough value from display advertising.

Instead, consider setting a goal like “increasing sales of product X by 10 percent” or “increasing weekend revenue by 5 percent.”

Those kinds of goals establish concrete numbers and progressions that you can follow to achieve success.

And they’re much more measurable than something like “increase conversions.”

Eye-opening display advertising stats

To start, let’s look at some statistics behind display advertising.

First, display ads have a 0.07 percent worldwide click-through rate. That means for every 10,000 people who see your ad, only seven of them will click it.

Those aren’t very good odds, and that’s enough to turn away a lot of marketers today.

But display advertising is so affordable that you only need one in every couple thousand people to click your ad and convert. Even if one of those people becomes a paying customer, your display ads pay for themselves and then some.

Second, that is actually growing in popularity. In fact, U.S. companies spend an estimated $37.36 billion on display advertising for both desktop computers and mobile devices.

Third, ad blocker technology causes nearly $20.3 billion in lost ad revenue for U.S. companies.

Last, despite the growing popularity of ad blockers, some companies have seen an ROI as high as 486 percent from a single display advertising campaign.

Combined, those stats tell us that display ads aren’t focused on attracting millions of visitors to your site in a day.

Instead, they’re focused on attracting a select percentage of qualified leads that are ready to convert into paying customers.

It’s that small percentage of paying customers that makes sure you get something for your investment, giving you the outstanding ROI you need to continually grow your business, and that is why knowing what is display advertising important is so important.

Our digital marketing campaigns impact the metrics that improve your bottom line.

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WebFX has driven the following results for clients:

$3 billion

In client revenue

7.8 million

Leads for our clients

5.2 million

Client phone calls

What is display advertising? Your next revenue driver with WebFX.

At WebFX, our team of Internet marketing experts knows perfectly what is display advertising, inside and out. We’ve worked in Internet marketing for 25+ years, and that means we’re proud to have one of the most experienced and accomplished display advertising teams in the industry.

Do you want to invest in display marketing that drives results? Check out our PPC advertising services and contact us today to get started!

Call 888-601-5359 or contact us online today to see how WebFX can improve your online performance.