Display Advertising

What is display advertising?

Display advertising is defined as visual ads placed on websites, social media networks, or apps. They are typically image, text, or video banner ads that when clicked on, take a user to a website or landing page. Display ads are most often found at the top, sides, and/or bottom of websites and apps.

What types of display advertising are there?

The most popular types of display advertising include:

Banner ads: In its most basic form, banner ads are image-based rectangles or squares that link out to a website. They are available in a variety of sizes that used to be based on pixels, like 300×250, or 728×90. However, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), which develops the industry standards for online advertising, is now recommending a move to flexible ad units that work across multiple screen sizes and responsive websites. These are based on aspect ratio and size range. You can learn more about the new IAB guidelines here.

Interstitial ads: These are typically full-screen ads that overlay the webpage or app that you were originally trying to access. They can be image, text, or video and require users to either click the ad or close it in order to move on.

Rich media ads: These are banner ads that add interest through video, audio, or other interactive elements, like sliders, 360 views, form fields, or questions.

Video ads: As the name implies, these are ads with video. Ideal for capturing attention, branding, and storytelling.

How do display ads work?

To launch a display advertising campaign, you need a way to access the publishers (the sites and apps on which your ads will be shown). This is usually done via an ad network like Google Display Network, or via a DSP like Criteo. Then, you’ll need to create your ads using your in-house design team, or an external partner.

Lastly, you’ll need to choose how your ads will be targeted. Display advertising offers a variety of targeting options, including the following:

Contextual targeting: This allows advertisers to place ads based on the content and keywords of the website. For example, if you sell cookware, contextual targeting would enable you to show an ad on a recipe website.

Site placement targeting: With this method, advertisers can hand-pick the sites that they want to run ads on.

Audience or interest targeting: Audience targeting enables advertisers to show their ads to groups of people based on a variety of factors, like interests or previous behaviors. You can build similar or “lookalike” audiences with traits similar to those of your best customers, or “in-market” audiences of people actively looking for products or services like yours.

Retargeting: Display retargeting re-engages people who have visited your site or app but then left without taking any action. It is extremely effective for driving conversions and known for its high ROI.

How much does display advertising cost?

Display ads are typically priced on a CPM (cost per mille) or CPC (cost per click) model. With a CPM pricing model, you pay a set price per 1,000 impressions. That means you’re paying for ad views, whether they click on your ad or not. CPMs can be as low as $0.30, but typically average around $2i.

A CPC model means that you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. The average CPC range varies by industry, but advertisers can set a max CPC, say $1/click, to keep campaigns on target. The ultimate cost of a display advertising campaign is really up to the advertiser, based on their available budget and the results they’re trying to achieve.

What are the benefits of display advertising?

In our survey of marketing experts around the world, we found that paid display garnered the largest portion of budgets. Here’s why:

It works across the full funnel.

Display ads are great for building brand awareness. But they’re also equally effective for driving traffic and increasing conversions. With so many formats and targeting options, they can help advertisers meet a variety of goals.

It works across channels and environments.

Display ads can be deployed across websites, social media, and apps, making them an ideal way to deliver a seamless, cross-channel experience.

It offers huge reach.

Display ads can potentially put your message in front of millions of people, depending on your targeting options and goals. Just be sure to use a mix of solutions so that you’re reaching people on the open internet, as well as within walled gardens.

It’s measurable.

Advertisers can see exactly how many clicks and conversions they received from each display ad campaign and can easily calculate ROI.

Display advertising best practices

Here’s what you need to know to create a successful display advertising campaign:

Keep it simple: Ad creative should be bold, but not busy. Copy should be brief, but impactful. CTAs should be clear and direct.

Personalize with dynamic creative optimization: Choose a display advertising partner that offers dynamic creative optimization technology. This uses machine learning to automatically adjust ad content and creative for each person, based on their preferences and browsing history.

Match your audience targeting with your objective: If you’re building brand awareness, you’ll probably want a bigger audience. Target based on a demographic, geography, or category interest to cast a wider net. If you’re looking for traffic, you might want to build a lookalike audience, or intent-based audience to reach those likely to be interested in your offerings. For conversions, target your website visitors and customers to bring them back and complete a transaction.

Maximize efficiency with automated bidding: Manual bidding takes a lot of time and attention. Opt for automated bidding, which uses AI technology to adjust CPCs as needed to maintain a specified KPI, such as cost of sale (COS).

The Criteo Ad Platform

Ready to launch your own display advertising campaign? With our self-service platform, you can create, manage, and measure your campaign with ease. Registration is free, setup is fast, and you can get started with any budget. Sign up now for the Criteo ad platform.