Display advertising is the process of placing ads on websites that your target audience frequently visits. Display advertising is one of the oldest digital marketing channels, originating shortly after the birth of the Internet. These ads began as a static combination of words and images, but have since evolved into Flash animations and pop-up ads that appear when a lead visits a website.
Display advertising represents many of the more innovative developments in digital marketing, with marketers and ad networks developing increasingly creative advertisements and sophisticated tracking systems to suit.
There are five steps to an effective display advertising campaign. First, identify the websites where the ad will display. You can get as specific as the proper subsection of a website. For example, your ad might be best suited to the personal finance page of a business news website. Depending on the ad network or websites you’re working with, you can get very granular with ad placement.
Once you know where you want your ad to appear, you then need to determine how you are going to purchase ad space on these sites. You can work directly with the website or content network, through ad networks, or through campaign optimization agencies. Each of these different approaches has its own pros and cons; it is up to you to choose the approach that best fits the needs of your particular campaign.
After you purchase ad space, you need to create the actual advertisement. Each website will have specific requirements for ad sizes. These requirements usually reflect Internet Advertising Bureau standards. You’ll also need to decide on a mechanism for measuring the ad’s click-through rate. You have two choices. Either build a unique landing page, or insert a tracking cookie into the ad itself.
The final step involves measuring the results, and testing campaign variables to better your ad’s performance. You can test different messages, web sites, and audiences against one another until you see the success that you want from your campaign.