I often see or hear of companies with very strong web presences that just can't get display advertising right. Despite having a strong product, using the latest ad targeting technology, or hiring the greatest ad designers, they can't seem to get an ROI from their display efforts. As Google continues to convey the current and potential value of display ads, there's no reason for advertisers to not be able to run a strong display campaign. If you've failed before, or if you're having any bit of apprehension toward display advertising, then you should keep reading. Here are the definitive three elements of a strong display ad campaign.
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Before anything else, I'd recommend picking an ad targeting strategy that makes sense for you. What are you looking to get out of this display campaign? Are you looking to generate a broad interest in your product from within a target market? Are you more directly looking to convert people who have already shown some amount of interest in your brand? Maybe it's a bit of both? Let's take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of some media targeting strategies:
- Location-based targeting: This is a great top-of-funnel strategy for local companies or companies looking to build general interest within a certain geographic area. However, it's only great for those particular situations.
- Demographic-based targeting: This is a decent strategy for companies that are looking to target specific demographics. However, this tends to be very expensive and much of the data used in this strategy isn't so accurate.
- Retargeting: Retargeting serves ads solely to people who have been to your site. This makes retargeting a very conversion and branding focused practice. While it doesn't drive any top-of-funnel traffic, it aims to keep your audience within your conversion funnel.
Once you have a targeting strategy set in place, you'll want to make sure that you use banner ads that will appeal to your target audience. If you're targeting a specific city, having the name of the city in your messaging has shown to be an effective practice. If you're retargeting, a simple, well-branded ad can be used as a gentle reminder of your brand to your target audience.
Additionally, you should always make sure that your customer experience is consistent throughout your marketing elements. Your website, banners, and landing pages should contain consistent design elements, and the messaging of your banners and landing pages should always stay consistent.
Here are some best practices regarding banner design:
- Use a button: Having a well-designed button with a succinct call-to-action has been proven to boost your CTR.
- Keep it simple: A simple design with clear messaging and branding can is always helpful.
- A/B test: Try using multiple creative sets to find your most effective messaging.
Landing pages can make or break your campaign's performance. You can drive all of the clicks in the world, but if your landing page isn't optimized for conversion, then you won't get much out of your campaign. Like your banners, you should keep your landing page simple. Having one explicit call-to-action makes it easy for your audience to convert. You should also be sure to A/B test different iterations and eliminate your poorly performing pages.
Here are some best practices for landing pages:
- Stay on top: Keep your lead forms and signup buttons above the fold.
- Use videos: Try placing a video on each landing page to increase conversion rates.
- Honesty is the best policy: Make your offer and/or value proposition clear and honest.
Congratulations, you now know how to run a strong display campaign. A smart ad targeting strategy with well-designed ads and landing pages can deliver a huge ROI to you, as well as add a huge value to the user experience -- and in the end, it's all about your users.
Samir Soriano is director of marketing at ReTargeter.com.
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