Your audience are a bunch of shape-shifters, here one moment and gone the next. With the average smartphone owner using 9 different apps per day, 30 per month, and average households owning 7 different connected devices, it's difficult to establish a comprehensive digital marketing strategy that successfully speaks to these consumers on a consistent basis.
To make up for this, advertisers must use a variety of different tactics that, collectively, can provide the flexibility they need to identify, engage and convert consumers constantly playing peekaboo with brands. Between identifying the audience, automating bids and distributing a message, display advertising is the visual glue binding those tactics together.
Display Advertising: Your Campaign's Omnipresent BFF
In this digital age, display advertising is an indispensable component of a brand's overall advertising strategy. Ubiquitous and saturating, it isn't dependent on a consumer's preferred device, schedule, or platform, and is meant to mesh with an overarching approach that includes search, social media, email, and inbound content.
To that point, display ads cannot be successful if they exist on an island. A multi-faceted approach that employs a variety of tactics – of which display is a vital member – is an advertiser's singular best strategy in reaching the bobbing and weaving marketplace.
While search and social are the pulling component of the two-sided marketing coin, luring viewers down the proverbial advertising rabbit hole, email and display are the more proactive, pushing side of that coin. Although email campaigns can be extremely focused and targeted, they lack the scope and audience of a finely-tuned display campaign that combines visually-engaging content with the ability to find the right consumer segment across channels and devices.
In fact, where any given potential customer might start their day reading the news on a tablet, check emails on a smartphone while on the train to work, browse sales from their favorite big-box store on a desktop at work, and conduct research on a laptop at night, display advertising is the only consistent channel marketers have to effectively reach all those different devices.
When coupled with remarketing techniques, a brand can seamlessly engage that consumer across any and all devices they utilize throughout the day – tablet and smartphone in the morning, desktop by day, laptop by night – all through any of the convenient but effective display advertising platforms available to digital advertisers.
Likewise, display advertising can be utilized in browsers, social media platforms, mobile apps and any other place in the vast online landscape that a consumer might frequent. With its extreme agility between devices and channels, display advertising is an advertiser's first defense against a highly segmented, distracted audience that comes and goes on a whim.
A Conduit for All Phases of the Funnel
Of course, initially engaging your audience is one thing, but transforming that audience into actual customers is an entirely different animal. Such a transformation requires an advertiser to lead them across the many components of the sales funnel, effectively curating the customer's journey.
For example, take a potential B2B client and their need for a new CRM platform that your company just happens to specialize in. The AVP of Sales for that potential client has been tasked with researching the different platforms available and finding a handful of appropriate choices for the company's executives to review.
From that AVP's research browsing, they're initially introduced to your product through search ads that prompt them to click through to a landing page. The content on that page is compelling enough to convince the AVP to provide their email address and download an informational white paper detailing your CRM platform.
From there, the remarketing benefits from your display advertising platform begin to truly shine, evolving across network websites to not only serve as a constant reminder for the AVP but also further their progression down the sales funnel. As interest is fostered in your CRM product, the content utilized by your display advertising intensifies your message and ultimately prompts the potential client to contact your company to further discuss.
In this example, display advertising has played a pivotal role throughout the customer's journey. It worked in conjunction with search, email, and content components of the campaign to engage the AVP, progress their journey along the funnel, and initiate contact with your sales department. Without your display advertising, the chances of the AVP traveling that far down the funnel would be severely diminished as a warm lead grows cold and memory fades.
Display Advertising Only Works With Convenience
Obviously, the only way display advertising can be effectively leveraged in the previous example is through an appropriate platform that can identify the best potential targets and automate the different stages of your overarching message. Without such convenience, the sheer amount of resources needed to achieve the same results would be overwhelming and utterly destroy your Return on Investment (ROI).
Fortunately, marketing campaigns have a variety of display advertising platforms, such as the Google Display Network, to choose from to both facilitate and expedite the entire process. Between identifying the audience, deploying appropriate content at the most appropriate stages of the funnel, and reviewing the underlying advertising metrics to gauge the effectiveness of the message, a marketing campaign can use a cost-efficient, well-informed and organized approach to display.
A Single Piece to the Overall Puzzle
Display advertising isn't a cure-all for a marketing campaign's eternal search for a magical salve. In fact, no such salve exists and likely never will, considering an ever-diverging consumer base that bobs and weaves like the most skilled of prizefighters.
Display advertising is only a single, yet extremely important, piece to that overall online advertising puzzle, providing a constant and evolving message that engages, re-engages and ultimately helps convert potential customers.
Like many components of digital advertising – from the formidable power of AI and machine learning to persuasive content and calls-to-action – it's best used in conjunction with other forms of technology, particularly the unique insights into predicted performance of ad creatives. Combined with human ingenuity and guidance, the result is an overall strategy that's efficient, effective and envelops the audience.