Like cell phones and fidget spinners, display ads come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Also like cell phones and fidget spinners, some display ads are incredibly useful and impactful, while others just lend themselves to navel gazing or general annoyance. In other words, display advertising sometimes work very well at engaging a viewer and instigating a merry ol' journey into the sales funnel while other times, they fail to prompt even a grimaced gaze from the consumer's face.
Advertisers that rely on display ads to deliver their message are posed with numerous decisions that, collectively, determine whether or not those ads are generating the conversion rates and Return on Investment (ROI) they're in search of or just remain the peripheral window dressing while users browse.
Given those numerous decisions, an effective solution set is needed to assist advertising teams in designing, distributing and monitoring their display ad campaigns to make sure ad spend is being used wisely.
As is often the case, technology has not only stuck its foot into the proverbial door of the display advertisers toolkit but, in many ways, has reinvented the way display advertising occurs, all just over the course of the last few years.
For brands searching for simplified, streamlined, efficient and impactful solutions that can help guide them at all stages of the display ad process, a deliberate approach that carefully analyzes the nature of their audience, the availability of their own resources and their specific intentions can shed a powerful light on the particular tools that will best serve them.
The Lay of the Display Land
Display advertising is an absolutely immense market that can shapeshift within a campaign according to an endless variety of formats, networks and verticals. In that sense, it's an incredibly generic term with a wide range of possible applications, including everything from old-fashioned banner ads to video-based, immersive snippets of advertising potency.
To that point, the first and, quite possibly, most important decision a brand can make is what sort of display ad to use to deliver their message. No matter their choice, however, it's important to remember that the alphabet soup of underlying metrics – CTRs, PPCs, PPVs and so forth – along with impression, conversion and engagement rates, aren't terribly encouraging at first glance.
Display advertising, whatever the chosen format might be, relies on bulk to generate revenues. Although certain display formats are statistically far superior than others in terms of nudging a viewer further along the funnel, a healthy perspective is required when a brand begins a display ad campaign: Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither is your campaign. If you've done your homework, been deliberate with your planning and have a bit of patience, the clicks will come.
Technology: The Cavalry for Display Advertisers
Employing a singular, comprehensive solution or set of technological solutions can greatly assist brands in their display ad campaigns. From the seeds of their message that would include design and overall strategizing to the distribution and metric monitoring, technology can lend an efficiency to display ad campaigns that will enhance ROI and stretch ad spend.
Ad Stacks Galore
Whether you prefer your technological tools to come from feisty little startups or immense global conglomerates, there is a wealth of ad stacks for you to choose from. These innovative platforms can help you design content and establish a tone within your ad, even automatically rotate assets to prolong the life and impact of your campaign.
Furthermore, many ad stacks can even integrate into the bidding process according to your own parameters to make sure your bids agree with your ad spend budget. After the ads have been designed and placed, ad stacks will also provide you a clean and convenient platform to continually monitor your campaign's performance with the set of metrics you're already accustomed to using.
Depending on your choice of ad stack, some will seamlessly blend into your display network of choice since they are created by the networks themselves. Even if you prefer a more independent ad stack, however, most are able to sync extremely well with the most popular display ad networks, perhaps not quite as efficiently as those created by the aforementioned global conglomerates, but still certainly enough to streamline your efforts.
Choosing a Network
Networks, on the other hand, do not afford advertisers nearly the same level of options as the ad stack space does. In display advertising, a handful of networks dominate the marketplace, each with their own particular strengths and weaknesses but, for the most part, relatively similar. The most prominent of which, Google's Display Network, features your ads on over 2 million websites and 650,000 mobile applications.
The major display ad networks allow you to choose from formats that suit both your budget and intent by offering static ad formats in different shapes and sizes as well as more dynamic formats like video ads. Of course, the formats that are statistically superior in engaging your audience are typically most expensive, so be as certain as possible that your choice in format is justified by greater accompanying engagement and conversion rates.
Follow Technology's Lead
Given the pervasiveness of technology in the display ad process, as evidenced by the ad stack and network components of the market, it's only natural that innovation will continue to push capabilities and boundaries.
AI, along with its cousin big data, are already being leveraged to further target an ideal audience and employ the advertisement personalization that is so effective in customer engagement. For instance, AI-based systems can now scour the digital landscape for information that is of particular interest to a customer segment, including such varied factors as local weather, language idiosyncrasies and unique cultural references.
Between ad stacks networks, and the accompanying technological tools that are already making headway within the market, brands no longer have to be intimidated by the sheer volume of choices involved in display advertising. Take an organized approach, keep your specific goals and destination in mind, and rely on the tools available to help you engage your audience.