Everything You Need To Know About Display Ads

Any kind of digital ad format other than paid search and audio-only ads are broadly termed as display ads. These include image and video ads that appear when someone browses websites, apps, social media, and more recently, connected TV devices. Display ads are used by marketers to promote brand awareness for specific products, promotional sales, apps, content, or services.

Display ads are used across the entire buyer journey. The display components include programmatic, social media, Native, OTT (video streaming), and YouTube. Display advertising is an excellent way to grab the client’s interest which allows you to be in their consideration or recommendation set.


How to Measure & Optimize Display Ads

For companies focused on short-term revenue-based key performance indicators (KPIs), measuring display ad performance can be tricky. For the successful measurement of display ads, ensuring the right hierarchy and nomenclature is foundational. You are able to segregate the data in your preferred data visualization tool, by structuring your campaign names, ad groups/sets, ad names, and labels with segmentation in mind.

Before you use display ads, especially at the top of the funnel

  • Map out your KPI recommendations
  • Explain why you are recommending those things
  • And get written buy-in.

Types of Display Ads

  • Traditional Display Ads

Banner ads has been the backbone of display advertising for decades, and served across website and app placement in a variety of types (.jpg, .gif, HTML5, .mp4) and sizes.

Placements include:

  • The Google Display Network (GDN).
  • Microsoft Audience Network (MSAN).
  • Demand-side platforms (DSPs) like DV360.
  • Social channels like Facebook.
  • Niche platforms like Terminus and 6Sense for account-based marketing (ABM).
  • And many others.

  • Responsive Display Ads (RDAs)

By taking each individual users’ profile into consideration and in deciding which combination to deliver, RDAs helps to convert videos, images, logos, and text into an ad unit for the available network inventory.

This accelerates learning and performance in a more automated fashion. RDAs have very limited creative control and responsive ad unit reporting.


  • Native Ads

Ad units match the look and feel of the site or app they are on to constitute native advertising. To drive brand awareness, recall and engagements, native advertising is the best option.


  • Video Display Ads

One of the most engaging formats for advertisers is video display ads especially because of the availability of fast internet and expansive cellular coverage unlike before.

And the complementary fact is that all major advertising platforms and ad servers allow you to run video-based campaigns.Video ads are categorised as non-skippable and skippable across all platforms.


Other Types of Display Ads

Shopping Ads – used primarily by ecommerce stores, but also by brick-and-mortars. They make use of a data feed to populate based on user behavior.

Dynamic Display Ads – aimed at users based on the products and pages they browse. Google Ads has dynamic display capabilities.

Interstitial Ads – ads that pop-up prior to the user seeing the content they requested to see.

Overlay Ads – an ad format with display text and images on top of content – usually video.

Interactive Ads– this ad kind encourages user action beyond a simple click.

Lightbox Ads – these are ads that respond when people engage with them.

Rewarded Ads – offer individuals a prize (e.g., coins in a game) for viewing sponsored display content.

Companion Ads – these supplement video content on platforms like YouTube or streaming audio services like Pandora or Spotify.


How to create your display ads creatively

Despite having the best display ad media strategy, if your creative is poor, it wouldn’t help you. Make your display ads stand out from other individual’s by incorporating humor, emotional appeal, and functional messaging.


Consider including:

  • Pre/Post Click Alignment

Your ad imagery should align with the text within the ad unit and also have alignment with the landing page.

  • Cross-Channel Alignment

Sales teams should regularly communicate to align on messaging, the user experience, and in learnings on what works and doesn’t.

  • Personalization

89% of digital businesses are investing in personalization. Personalizing the user experience — display ads included — is one of the best ways to improve your results.

  • Repurposing

Identify opportunities to cut down your content into a variety of formats. For example, a single 60-second video could potentially get you 5-10 shorter cuts – a carousel for social, several static banners, and a blog article.


Display Ads In a nut-shell

Display advertising is an important ingredient of any company’s digital marketing guide. It is a massively broad form of advertising. Ensuring proper targeting, strong creative, and pre/post click alignment leads to success of any display advertising.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *