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The variety of advertising formats offered by Google Ads is impressive. Each one achieves slightly different objectives, therefore it’s their skilful combination that often contributes to the success of marketing activities. This allows us to reach users at various stages of the purchase path and gradually build their trust and, in turn, their attachment to a brand. At the first stage of this process a huge support for the marketer is a display ad focused on increasing brand awareness. What are the characteristics of display campaigns, how to make an ad of this type and how to use it to promote a company?
What Is Display Advertising?
Display advertisements are promotional content that have a graphic form and appear not in the search engine itself but on specific web pages. Every Internet user encounters them almost non-stop, each time he visits the web. Where are they visible? Practically everywhere. Display advertising includes banners which appear next to the main text on the page or at the top of the website or between the paragraphs of the articles read. Display advertising also includes pop-ups, full-screen ads and ads displayed in the background, behind the actual content of the website. It also includes ads on YouTube – either under (on smartphones) or next to the player (on computers).
We most often use the term display advertising when referring to Google campaigns, i.e. those displayed on the Google Display Network (Google’s Advertising Network). This complex structure has about 2 million websites and covers the lion’s share of all active Internet users worldwide. GDN includes news portals, blogs, video platforms and lifestyle websites. This makes a display campaign suitable for almost any industry, regardless of the preferred audience.
In short: what is display advertising? It’s an advertisement on a website in graphic form, most often published as part of the Google Display Network.
What Do Display Ads Consist of?
Let’s talk about how to make a display ad. Most often, these types of sales messages contain an image and a small amount of text, although there are some display ads that are based solely on words – then they are small, white squares with a slogan and a button containing a CTA. As a rule, however, advertisers try to fully exploit the potential of display campaigns and create messages based on images, which are much more effective in attracting the attention of viewers.
How to make an ad that will catch the eye of the recipients and will be an effective promotional tool? Despite appearances, to create such a campaign, you do not necessarily need to have professional graphics made by a specialist. The Google Ads system offers a library of free images that advertisers can use to build their display campaigns. However, if we have such an opportunity, it’s worth using a unique design – then we can place on the banner, for example, products from our online store, photos of specialists working in the company, photos from the premises etc. Such materials arouse much greater trust of recipients and build a stronger relationship with the brand.
Examples of display advertising:
Display Advertising – on Which Sites Is It Visible?
As we have already mentioned, display ads are displayed on websites belonging to Google’s network of nearly 2 million partners. This does not mean, however, that our display campaign will be displayed in random nooks and crannies of the Internet – proper use of GDN allows you to avoid burning your budget and ensure that your display ad goes exactly where it should. This is a huge advantage over many other advertising formats.
The advertiser has an influence on where the banners are published by choosing the type of targeting. For example, we can direct ads only to websites about a specific topic, selected from a wide thematic list. We can find categories such as home and garden, games, travel, sport, cars and vehicles and many, many more. By choosing this type of targeting, we are sure that the advertisement on the website will not be displayed in connection with completely random issues.
However, we can also put emphasis on the audience and set the campaign to display to users who have relevant interests or have recently searched for products from a particular category. Then, display ads can be displayed on unrelated portals, but only to those recipients who may be interested in what they present.
Display ads are also great for remarketing. With their help we can “chase” recipients who have already interacted with our website, and display them different types of ads on the website, including dynamic ones, showing the products they have previously viewed.
Types of Display Ads
Among the display ads, there are several formats, focusing on achieving different marketing objectives. How do you do website advertising for each of them?
- traditional display ads
In this case, we upload to the Google Ads system a ready-made product in the form of a banner designed in such a way that it always displays exactly the same. Most often it consists of a background or photo, advertising slogan and company logo. It may contain additional information, for example, about a promotion, discount or other special offer. Such advertisements are sent to the system in .jpg, .png or .gif format. An alternative to them are banners created in HTML5, which are movable and interactive, therefore extremely interesting for the recipients.
Uploaded files must be adjusted to the dimensions required by Google Ads – the system allows banners in many sizes, so it’s not a limitation for advertisers.
- responsive display ads
The principle of responsive ads is slightly different. In this type of message we upload to the Google Ads system only individual elements of banners: separately the logo, at least one image and several versions of the text. Then, the system analyzes the uploaded materials and combines them in various ways, testing different versions of the message. Artificial intelligence decides what form of advertisement a given user will see on the website, guided by the user’s probable preferences (based on his/her previous behavior on the Internet). Thanks to this format, we do not have to use ready-made graphic solutions, and additionally we have a message maximally adjusted to the needs of the target group.
- standard remarketing ads
These banners are created for users who have already visited the site, perhaps even performed some action – for example, put a product into the basket – but did not convert. In this case we also send ready-made material to the system, but with a slightly different message – here it’s no longer about familiarising the recipient with the brand and its offer, but about encouraging them to return to the site and complete the transaction.
- dynamic remarketing ads
Here, as in the case of flexible ads, users are shown sales messages whose components are selected by self-learning algorithms. The difference is, however, that in this case the recipient gets an ad showing exactly the products/services he/she has previously browsed on the website.
- lightbox ads
This type of ad takes the form of a banner which, when hovered over (or tapped with a finger in case of mobile devices), unfolds and presents the user with a video or a set of images. It can expand to the full width of the screen or only to a slightly larger window. This format is designed to maximize audience engagement.
Advantages of Display Advertising in Google Ads
Display advertising is a useful tool for any marketer who invests in Google Ads campaigns. Among its biggest advantages are:
Because the Google network includes such a wide range of portals from different industries, it’s hard to think of a better way to advertise your offer than by taking advantage of the opportunities that display advertising provides. The total reach of the sites that belong to it, covers over 90% of all users of the global network, so we can be sure that among its recipients will be the ideal target group for our product.
Increase Brand Awareness
Text ads targeting specific keywords are great for people who are already looking for a specific product, but they do not significantly affect brand recognition. Website advertising, on the other hand, allows the user to remember the company’s name and logo, builds first associations related to the brand and shapes its image in the eyes of a wide audience.
Many Targeting Possibilities
In display advertising you can very precisely choose the target group. In the targeting options we can determine the demographic data, interests of the recipients or their behavior on the Internet. Contextual targeting is also available, i.e. display ads can be placed only in the vicinity of relevant content, which increases the chances that the campaigns will be successful.
An image attracts the eye more effectively than text and gives much more possibilities to influence the recipient. That’s why display campaigns with interesting graphics combined with a well-selected CTA (call to action) give a great chance to gain the attention of the recipient, who consequently may become a customer of the advertised brand.
Easy to Measure Effects
We can track the effects of our display campaign on an ongoing basis. Statistics from Google Analytics allow us to see the ratio of the number of impressions to conversions, which gives us an idea to what extent the advertisement on the website is attractive to our target group. In this way it’s much easier to track results than when we decide, for example, for traditional banners on city streets – measurability of results is a huge advantage of display advertising and its advantage over more traditional forms of attracting attention.