Display Advertising

Display advertising is not a matter of just putting an animated gif together and putting it online. When considering doing display advertising, there are a few important things to take into consideration:

1. Firstly, when deciding on a media budget, and channels to use for display advertising, factor in the cost for creating the ads and replacing them every 6-8 weeks. This is approximately the time it takes for banner fatigue to kick in. If you are going for premium display, make sure you allow for more budget for the actual creation of the ads.

2. As important as the first slide of the banner feels to us, a large portion of the people might not see this. As they land on the site, the banner starts and it takes a second or two for the visitor to notice it.

3. Every slide within the banner needs to be able to stand on its own. As much as it is great if people can follow the slides from start to end and read it like a book, this is often not the case. If they only see the banner half way through, it still needs to make sense to them.

4. Cap the number of times an individual person will see the banner. If they have not acted after seeing the banner a couple of times, they are most likely not going to click on it. Rather focus on remarking to those people that have visited the website but have not converted as yet. Remind them about your product or service and the fact that they have come to the site.

5. What’s in it for the visitor? As much as we want our brand to shine and be the highlight of the banner, always ask the question “what’s in it for the visitor seeing the banner?” Especially for lead generation campaigns this is a the most important message.

6. And I should have actually started with this. What is the purpose of the campaign? If it is lead generation, the Google Display Network might be the better option. However, if you are merely wanting to create brand awareness, go for the impressions on premium. But don’t expect the same click through rates and conversions.

7. Track your conversions beyond just impressions, clicks and leads generated. Track what happens with these leads: did they turn into real, paying clients? Are they quality leads or not and if not, make sure you change the campaign in order to get the right people to the site. There is no use in creating a lot of traffic and requests for quotes, if these do not turn into real money for the business. And if non quality leads come through, you are wasting even more money because you still need to pay for your sales team to contact these non quality leads.

8. Be willing to change a campaign if it turns out not to be successful. If after 3-4 weeks your campaigns are not reaching the right results, change it. Relook the creative, the messaging and channels and change where needed.

9. Speak to your sales force and call centre before briefing the agency. Find out the kind of customers they convert: age, demographics, gender, race, etc. Too often campaigns are created for the target audience we (marketing people) think we are after, whilst as a matter of fact these are not the real client base that is converting.

10. Let the creative agency and media agency work on this together. Brief them together and ask them to work on this as a mutual project. The media agency should be allowed to give input on the creative, as they know best what works and doesn’t work from past experience.

And make sure the creative agency gets to see the stats and results from the campaign. It will give them great insights into what has worked and hasn’t worked and might trigger ideas for the next campaign.

These are just some of my many thoughts on display advertising. And I believe that we never get it right first time around. We always learn from every campaign and take these learnings across to the next campaign we run.

As a closing note though, make sure the reporting you get from the agency working on your campaign is tailored to your goals and objectives. Don’t settle for the standard reports but ask for specific feedback that supports what you are trying to achieve.

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