Banner ads, also known as digital display ads, are shown across almost every popular site in Australia. But contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be a big brand or have an enormous budget to see great results for your business through smart, targeted digital display ads.
Here’s how display ads work and the benefits of this visual online advertising channel.
What is digital display advertising and how does it work?
Display ads are static or dynamic (animated) boxes you see on websites, apps, videos, etc. They can show up at the top of web pages as banner ads, or as larger text billboards, smaller boxes, or as side columns. Unlike text-based ads on search engines, display advertising typically includes visual elements like images, audio and/or video.
Like pay-per-click text ads, with display advertising you choose keywords that you want to associate with your ads and set a budget for those keywords (known as ‘keyword bidding’). You can also target users and choose ad placements based on factors such as:
- User interests
- Specific website placements
- Demographics e.g. age, gender, location
- Whether a person has visited your website or interacted with your business online before
Your chosen keywords and targeting preferences determine where your ads are shown and who they’re shown to.
Today, display campaigns use what’s known as ‘responsive display ads’. Responsive display ads automatically adjust their size, appearance and format to fit the available ad space across any device or screen size. All you need to do is upload various assets (images, headlines, logos, videos and descriptions) and Google Ads automatically chooses the optimal combination of assets to show in ads across websites, apps, YouTube and Gmail.
The three cost models for display ads
- Cost per click (CPC): Under this model, you pay every time a person clicks on your ad. This is useful if you want to make sure people are performing an action before you pay.
- Cost per thousand impressions (CPM): With this set-up, you pay per thousand views of your ad. You might prefer this option if volume of views (awareness) is more important than click-throughs.
- Cost per acquisition/lead (CPA/CPL): With CPA ads, you only pay for clicks when visitors complete a specific action after clicking on your ad, such as purchasing a product or signing up for a newsletter. This is a good option if you want to make sure a specific action is taken before you pay.
The benefits of display ads.
No matter where you’re advertising your business, there are three key aims: grabbing people’s attention, maximising the number of relevant people who see your ad and driving those people to take an action, such as clicking through to your website or making an inquiry.
Digital display advertising is particularly good at achieving these three things because you can continually refine your messaging, placement and targeting as you go, and adjust your strategy so you’re only spending money on the ads that are getting results.
When it comes to results, the average return on investment for Google Ads (including display ads) is 200%, which means businesses earn an average of $2 for every $1 spent on advertising. In other words, display advertising pays for itself – twice over, in fact – in the form of revenue for your business.
To put it succinctly, digital display advertising helps do the following:
- Increase awareness about your brand
- Get you in front of your target market
- Reconnect with people who have visited your website or connected with your business online in the past (also known as ‘retargeting’)
- Drive people to take action.
Ultimately, display ads help grow your potential customer base and encourage people to move from consideration to conversion (i.e. paying for your products or services).
Display ad examples.
So, what makes an effective banner ad? Aside from choosing targeting that is relevant to your business and your customer base, the best display ads capture attention with a compelling message, a clear call-to-action and a visually engaging design.
Here are some examples of effective display ads and what makes them work:
How to get started with digital display ads.
With the right approach, digital display advertising is an effective way to reach new customers and help grow your business – but it does take some digital marketing know-how.
Yellow Pages’ Digital Display team delivers digital display ads to thousands of Aussie businesses. Our hands-on experience, teamed with the latest machine learning, means our ads deliver exceptional results that cut through the competition. Find out more about how we can help.