Integrating Display Advertising into your Digital Marketing Strategy
by Majed Al Tamer
Strategies for Attracting Your Target Market
It may have changed its form and representation many times, but display advertising is one of the oldest forms of marketing. And despite the numerous debates that rage on about its effectiveness as an advertising medium, even today, it continues to be the most widely utilized advertising mechanism.
The battle for eyeballs has now also shifted to the digital world. In the modern day context, the virtual world is consuming more and more of our attention and time. This makes it imperative that information about your products and services be made available through a medium that is slowly becoming the primary source of information for consumers. And this means integrating display advertising into your overall digital marketing strategy.
The Display Advertising Advantage
Unlike the traditional form of display advertising, which tends to be static, and mainly text and image based, the online version makes use of various other elements including audio and video. It may then be presented to the consumer in the form of a banner ad or rich media.
This opens up various possibilities for you as an advertiser. You can now also leverage the audio-visual medium in a cost-effective manner to provide prospects information in far greater depth. This could include a product demo or an interactive format such as games, which may be more effective in converting prospects into paying clients.
Additionally, display advertising offers the advantage of being delivered to a targeted market segment. You can ensure that your ad is placed only on websites that are relevant to what you are selling. This increases the possibility of a prospect viewing your ad being interested in obtaining more information about your product. Once again, the potential conversion ratio is higher.
As mentioned earlier, display advertising can be used to create all types of ads. The biggest advantage however, is the ability it provides to closely monitor the performance and outcome of your ad campaign. This enables you to manage and track your budget, and make investments in areas that provide maximum benefit.
Segmentation: A lot of groundwork, however, needs to go into your strategizing to ensure your brand recall remains high. The first question you need to carefully consider is what will be the focus of your campaign. In case you have multiple product or service lines, you need to decide whether you want to focus on any specific unit or spread your campaign across multiple product lines. In case of the latter, you need to ideally create individual campaigns for each product or service line. This will enable you to manage and track your account much more effectively including fine-tuning a campaign midway based on regular analysis of reports received. This includes identifying the latest consumer trends, online properties your target segment regularly visits, and keywords that seem to be attracting maximum traffic.
Search and Display: If ensuring maximum eyeballs for your product or service is the key then you can opt for the impressions option wherein you pay whenever your ad is displayed as a result of matching a search query criteria. This method enables you to reach a prospect based on the point they have reached in the purchase cycle. This is also a more proactive approach since your ad is being displayed to customers who are searching for related information [SEO integration]. For instance, an increasing number of customers conduct an online search prior to purchasing from a store.
Targeted display: These could be around aspects such as a specific demographic you want to target, or behavioral aspects based on their recent online activity. If your business is local in nature you could ensure that your ad is served only in that specific geography. In case you want to have tighter control over your spend you can opt for the CTR or “click through ratio” option. This ensures you only pay when a likely prospect has clicked an ad and visited your website. More importantly, you can set a daily budgetary upper limit and thereby gain control over your campaign budget.
Web technology now offers you the option of continuing to engage with customers who may have moved on to other sites after visiting your webpage. Two key trends that are making waves and providing immense benefits are: remarketing and retargeting.
Retargeting: Few users are likely to convert on their very first visit to your website. Most will continue searching other sites for more information. The retargeting method can be used to try to engage prospects who visited your website once but did not check out. Their visit to your website ensures that they know about your brand. Now you leverage that familiarity to continue serving display ads about your business on other sites they visit. This continuous exposure to your brand across multiple websites increases brand recall and reinforces your credibility. All you need to do to enable this is to place a Java script within your HTML coding. Some retargeting best practices include:
- Ensuring a clear call to action in all your ads
- Serving ads based on clear visitor segmentation
- Focusing a single product or service line through each ad
- Understanding the criticality of the service being researched and accordingly adjusting the frequency of display
Remarketing: This particular trend goes a step further. The third party information you gather via the cookies is dropped into various systems to track the online behavior of your prospects. Now, with remarketing you take advantage of first party information you may have gathered about those users to conduct focused digital campaigns. You can leverage direct marketing mechanisms such as [integrating with email marketing] to target customers who come to your website but leave without completing an action. Remarketing attempts to convert such prospects through marketing mediums that extend beyond online behavioral tracking. This makes it imperative that you make remarketing an integral part of your overall digital campaign. It can help you:
- Analyze online insights and combine it with existing data to reach out to customers
- Deliver targeted display ads
- Convert prospects who are still unsure about taking a purchase decision
- Localize your campaigns to win new customers in your area
- Ensure high brand recall by leveraging multiple mediums
- Improve brand credibility and customer loyalty
If you want a marketing strategy that can push and pull to drive business and boost ROI, you might want to consider an integrated ad solution that combines paid search and display advertising.
According to Marketing Land, a ZenithOptimedia study showed that display advertising is growing at 21 percent annually, while paid search is growing at 13 percent. Depending on your goals and where your customer is in the sales funnel, a combination of paid and display is the best strategy for increasing business.
Pay-per-click (PPC) as part of a search engine marketing (SEM) strategy is a time-honored way of driving traffic to your site. You’ve probably seen the sponsored ads showing up at the top or to the side of Google search engine page results. PPC allows you to bid on keywords so your brand shows up on top as a sponsored listing when a user searches with those keywords.
This is considered a pull marketing strategy — a user finds you because she has entered specific search terms that trigger your sponsored listing. If a user clicks on your listing, you’re charged a small fee.
PPC is an effective way to bring leads or clicks to your website. Since customers at this stage know what they want (which is why their search was specific), they’re usually at the middle or end of the sales funnel, making them more likely to convert.
Display advertising is more of a push marketing strategy, like planting a billboard on the side of the road. Display ads are shown on specific Web pages or social media sites and are a great way to introduce your brand, increase brand awareness or promote a special offer for a limited time. You pay per number of ads or impressions that will be displayed.
Because display advertising is a brand awareness strategy that can move potential customers through the funnel, measuring ROI isn’t as simple as just counting clicks. But when a user sees your display ad show up as she’s browsing, she may be more likely to click on your sponsored ad in the search engine results page (SERP) when she’s ready to buy.
The Best of Both Worlds
Together, display and paid search offers an effective, integrated strategy to drive business.
If you are trying to expand your reach and new customers are at the top of the funnel, display is the best way to make your brand known and trusted.
Paid search is ideal when customers know what they want and are likely ready to buy. When they see your sponsored ad in the SERP, your display ad campaign will pay off in terms of product awareness and recall.
The key is not measuring ROI by clicks, but by evaluating the merits of both strategies and allowing them to work together.
By Leslie Van Zee
Social media’s business role has grown, but many marketers treat it as an alternative to more traditional forms of online advertising, such as display advertising. But taking an integrative approach to social media yields results that are far greater than the sum of the parts. This guide will highlight key methods for how to craft a marketing strategy with full understanding of how to combine the best advantages of the three most popular social media sites with display advertising.
Facebook + Audience Targeting
In the beginning, Facebook was viewed mostly as a social site for teenagers. Eventually, the site became a staple in daily life for adults who want to keep in touch with friends and family. Now, it’s one of the top sites for businesses that want to reach out to clients and partners in the personal way they’ve come to expect.
Facebook provides great ways for companies to draw and maintain the interest of target markets. Customers can keep track of a favorite company and stay in the loop about opportunities for discounts and other deals. Companies can make a fan page with multimedia, important announcements and links to a main website. Ads on Facebook have become a great placement for display ads, which can be useful for building a fan base as well as basic brand awareness campaigns. Facebook has also opened up new opportunities to use its data for targeting purposes.
Twitter + Display Ad Content
Twitter has been associated with momentary updates between friends, but it’s also a powerful tool for business growth. Companies often use Twitter for brand promotion and market monitoring. Thanks to the site’s personal feel, it’s great for staying in touch with clients and partners. Twitter can also be used to draw traffic, create viral campaigns and possibly improve search engine rankings.
Businesses must remember that Twitter’s biggest strength lies in its opportunities for immediate social interaction. New rich media banner ads make it possible to include a moderated Twitter feed in the banner, allowing businesses to keep the content as fresh and up-to-date as possible.
LinkedIn + Remarketing
LinkedIn has become known as the premier social networking site for professionals, but it’s actually much more than that. Virtually all notable business people have profiles on LinkedIn, so it’s an excellent place for making the right connections. The site simplifies the process of sharing information, discussing issues and establishing reputation with others in a network. Over time, this means forging potentially profitable relationships with both clients and partners. For best results on LinkedIn, businesses need to have a content strategy that attracts traffic to their own website. From there, they can use remarketing to keep their brand top of mind to the viewers who have expressed high interest in the offer.
Take a Holistic Approach
Rather than getting lost in a pointless argument about what marketing channel is the best, marketers should be looking for ways to use the advantages of each to get the most out of their online marketing efforts. Both social media and display advertising require an understanding of how to get the most out of them, and taking an integrated approach will always be a recipe for success.