4 Steps to Master the Display Advertising Beast

By Christa House, April 18, 2017

At first glance, display advertising is like an adorable puppy dog; it’s visual and engaging. But when you start to tally up all of the things that go into creating and managing a display campaign, it can quickly transform into an intimidating beast.

Well, I got news for you – display advertising can be tamed with the right strategy. Here are four simple steps to turn your beast into a well-polished prince.

1. Outline Your Campaign Goals 

Knowing what you want to accomplish is half the battle. The other half is executing it. Display advertising is an incredible tool to boost brand awareness (goal), but you need to know how you’re going to achieve that exposure (execution).

Related Post: How to Map out a Successful Display Campaign

Let’s say you’re an established footwear company who wants to reach a new market (goal). Perhaps, your first step toward executing that goal is to make sure everyone on your team knows you’re targeting new customers, who have different needs.

Step two is developing new display ads. Your team will have to make sure they’re separating the old brand messaging from the new. You don’t want to confuse your original and new audiences with mixed messages, which can result in “promises you don’t intend to keep.”  


Source: Rebloggy.com

Choosing a goal and writing down the steps needed to achieve it, will give you focus and a plan.

2. Refine Your Targeting 

While outlining your goals, you may not realize but you’ve already honed in on the demographic you want to reach. Score. Now use that info and refine your targeting to ensure your display ads reach the right people, at the right time and place.

Related Post: Keeping Up with Display Advertising: 4 Traits You Should Know

With demographic targeting you can target by age, gender, location, just to name a few. By fine-tuning your demographic criteria, you increase your odds of hitting your mark (like Gaston).


Source: Oh My Disney

Dayparting and geotargeting will deliver your ads at the right time and place. And each can be modified to coincide with seasonal and holiday changes. For example, holiday shopping equates to later hours for retail.

3. Choose a Display Ad   

With steps one and two out of the way, you’re halfway there to taming the beast! Up next is selecting the type of display ad to use. There are quite a few to choose from such as:

Banner Ads. Typically located at the top of a web page, banner ads can be static or dynamic (e.g. tailored to the person viewing).

Native Ads. These types of ads blend in (like talking furniture in a castle) with the content and formatting of the web page.  

Video. As soon as a site is displayed, video ads can play, or they can also be user activated.

Make sure the type of display ad you choose makes sense for your audience and where it will appear. For example, banner ads tend to work better on desktops, simply because the screen is larger. They don’t really fit in as well on mobile.


Source: The Nerdery Public

4. Optimize for Multiple Devices

Isn’t there a saying about first impressions? Oh yeah! You don’t get a do-over. Make sure your ads are flawless (like Emma Watson) at all times by optimizing them for desktop, mobile, and video.

Related Post: 6 Ways to Win Big With Mobile Device Targeting

An ad that appears on desktop, will need to be optimized for mobile. Mobile devices need mobile-friendly ads, ones with less text, more visuals, and fits a smaller screen.


Source: Giphy

And while you may have time to let a video load on your desktop, you might not be so generous with your time while using your tablet. These are just a couple things to keep in mind when optimizing your ads for different devices.

So, now that you’re properly armed with the knowledge it takes to master display advertising, get out there and tame that beast. We know you can do it!   

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Christa House

Christa House

Christa recently completed her studies at the University of Delaware, where she majored in Marketing, and minored in International Business and Advertising. More Articles by Christa House