Take Another Look at Display Advertising

Display Advertising as been an option for companies just about as long as there’s been a public Internet. Likely about 2 hours after the first big site went live, it started to show the first display ads. (ok, that may, possibly, be a slight exaggeration)

Banners, skyscrapers and the like have seemingly always been a part of the browsing experience, especially on large publishing sites. For years though, the cost of buying that real estate was prohibitive for a number of advertisers. While there were certainly a number of options for display on smaller-scale sites across the web, it was that prime-time real estate that was coveted and seemingly reserved for the so-called “Big Brands”.

In recent years, there have been a number of encouraging developments across the landscape of banner advertising that have created much more accessibility to large publishing sites. As the publishers have had to come up with creative ways to sell “remnant” space (those ad buys not sold through traditional channels and ad schedules), doors are opening far and wide for almost every advertiser.

Chief among these changes have been the development of ad marketplaces. Rather than relying on salespeople to get the remnant spaces sold, publishers can make these open slots available to electronic exchanges where they can be bought and sold in a model much more similar to PPC (though certainly not identical). With the exchanges in place, a number of service providers have grown through the years to help broker that space.

What’s exciting about all this, for advertisers, is that the purchasing power for display advertising gets to be much more diversified now, and targeted. The host of servicing companies provide so much specific targeting, and so many different ways of targeting, that companies have great potential to show highly relevant ads, to precise demographics, on widely trafficked sites. This targeting can range from traditional re-targeting (that is, you visited my site, you’ll see my ads for a week) to look-alike targeting (where models are built to attract new visits, based on the profile of ideal customers). Additionally, the same investment that once bought space on a single publishing site (think of a news site or a general portal) now has buying power across vast networks of sites. You don’t have to buy all the display for a day or week, instead you are only buying space when and where you can display to targeted traffic. A huge leap forward.

Now granted, this is not all brand new. These exchanges and services have been gaining momentum over the last couple of years. As they move into their own though, they are presenting whole new ways to broaden digital marketing strategies. It’s yet another channel to use in the overall plan. And that’s what is key, the overall strategy. If you plan for them, and build around them, you can make display ads a valuable tool for gaining new business and a bigger footprint online.

If you’ve dismissed display advertising in the past, either because the price tag was bigger than you wanted, or you felt like it was too broad a shot, it’s time to take another look. Where you can make this channel shine for you is in knowing your audience and building a strategy that is supported by data to capitalize on those visitors.

So reach out and talk with us about a holistic digital marketing strategy, and in the meantime, download a white paper on closing the loops in your marketing with data.

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