Home Daily Infographics Display advertising 101 – the past, present and future

Display advertising 101 – the past, present and future

Display Advertising Audience

Do you know what display advertising is? What is it used for and what are the good and bad effects of it? And do you want to know how it all started? If you want to learn all of that just keep with reading this article because all of that and more will be explained to you.

Display advertising can be explain as a form of internet marketing where companies use some attractive text, images or pictures along with their logo or some location. And all of that combine into one simple advertisement. It is different from other classic advertisements because other advertisements are mostly limited to some text and maybe logo and a simple image. Other than internet type of display advertising there is also printed version which include advertisements on billboards, posters or scale models. If you are wondering when the first form of display advertising appeared then try to remember those cowboy “wanted” posters for wanted criminals. That is also a form of display advertising.

But today we have internet and online display advertising became very popular in these days. A most popular form of display advertising on internet are “banners”. Banners are images or some graphics that are placed on some webpage as an advertisements. A classic banner has a size of 468×60 pixels and it basically has all the things I mentioned at the beginning, image or picture with text and logo. Sometimes those banners can be animated and include some specific action when clicked on. There are also bigger banners where companies can include even more information but those cost more, depending on the size, position on website and traffic of that site.

There are lots of different strategies on how to create good display advertising campaign. But first you have to know that the most important elements of display advertising campaign are. There are five of them, and here is why they are important:

  1. Targeting the audience

Display Advertising Audience

The most important part is to define your customers and then target the advertisements to them. If you offer some Apple application to people with Android phones you probably won’t get a good responses. You have to learn who your customers are and, if needed, what is their location and behavior. When you define all of that it will be possible to target wanted audience and increase effectiveness of your display advertising campaign and your investment will be good.

  1. Attractive banners

Even if you target your audience and place your banner on some page with lots of views it won’t be worth it if you don’t create an attractive banner. If you can’t create it yourself then it is always better to pay some professional to do it. You have to create it with clean and attractive design and it is always good to use image or some graphic while will represent your business and give people some information about what it does and what the name of it is. Another good thing is to place the most important parts of ad to bold colors or attractive fonts to make it stand out.  When you banner is eye-catching your message will stand out and more people will see it and click on it.

  1. Attractive CTA

The most important of your advertisement is CTA (call to action). CTA is the part of ad that tells the people what to do. Imagine that some visitor sees your add, gets interested to it but doesn’t want to go to your page because of a bad CTA, that would mean losing a potential customer. Always attract visitors to click something with offering something to them. That can be anything, from free coupon to e-book. Just ask visitors to do something to get something and it should work.

  1. Landing page

When you include some clickable CTA it is important to have a landing page where visitors will go after that click. But not just any landing page, it must be optimized. There are really a lot of ways to optimize your landing page and if you know what you are doing then it will be easy. But if you don’t know what to do it is important to learn it before you start doing anything. If you already succeed with targeting perfect audience, attracting it to your banner and made them click something it would be shame to lose potential customer just because of a badly optimized landing page. So, optimize it perfectly and make use of visitors that come to it. You can find more details about optimizing it in my article – Keys for optimizing landing page.

  1. Tracking activity

And the last element of a perfect display advertisement campaign is to track every activity that happens with your ad. It is important to track the difference between impressions and clicks on your banner because on that way you can define if there is something wrong with it. And change some stuff to see what things work better. Tracking the activities can give you better insight to the behavior of your customers and help you to increase effectiveness of your campaign.

Pros and cons

Now that you know a lot about display advertising, what the most important elements are and what to do with them it is time to learn if there are any negative stuff about display advertising and what are all the pros and cons of it.

So, let’s start with pros and why you should start with display advertising.

  • It attracts attention. Ads with some image and in form of some banner are more likely to be clicked on than any other advertisements. They attract a lot of attention and if they are relevant with the content around it then lots of visitors will click on it.
  • It is cheap. This one is pretty obvious. I know that even this type of advertising can be very expensive but it is still cheaper than lots of other types of advertising and you can get a short-term contract for it. If you want to start some campaign and you want to advertise it for, let’s say, two months then you can use some advertising space for two months.
  • Simple to create. You can create your own banner by yourself. Use some program like Photoshop and just create your own banner. You can even create animated banners by yourself. It is not that hard. And if you want to have a really professional banner then you can pay for one, it is cheap.
  • Display advertising you get a complete control over geographic location of your market. For example, if you have a catering service at your place then you can include address and phone number for ordering on that banner.
  • Complete branding. You can advertise on TV, on radio, in newspaper, but if you don’t have some way of marketing on internet then your advertising is not complete. You have to include internet advertisement as well. And display advertising campaign is the best way for building the online presence of your brand.

But don’t think that there are not any cons with display advertising. There are a lot and if you don’t do every element and every step perfectly then those disadvantages of display advertising could apply to you. And there are also some cons on which you have no influence.

  • Time. You don’t have unlimited time to show off what you got. You have only about 10 seconds to attract visitors to see more details of your banner and maybe click on. So make sure to show your message in that 10 seconds.
  • Blocking. Lots of people use some type of ad blockers today and the possibility that your ad will be blocked on some visitor browser is pretty high.
  • Ignoring. Even then someone isn’t using ad blocker they can be bored of ads and can simply ignore them. So there is a possibility that people won’t even look at your banner and will just skip it.

So, those are cons and limitations of display advertising and even though they can sound somewhat scary I still think that display advertising is a good and cheap way to get impressions and clicks for your business.

Display advertising history

If you are interested on a short story about the whole evolution of display advertising then you are on the right place. Keep reading to find out how people advertised before and how all of that changed.

  • 1995 – in this year ads were bought directly from publisher and it was based on demographic profile of publisher.
  • 1997– Ad Network was launched. Ad Networks were responsible for buying unsold inventory from publishers and then selling that inventory to advertiser. With that it was much easier to target the wanted audience.

Display Advertising Technology Landscape

There were a lot of problems at that time because more and more Ad Networks were launched so advertisers sometimes purchased the same audience more times. Because of that need for better efficiency an Ad Exchange and RTB (Real-Time Bidding) were launched.

  • 2005 – Ad Exchange and RTB allowed publishers to give their inventory to auctions through a simple interface and then buyers were able to pick audiences and place their bid on them. Winning bid got its advertisements placed on publishers place.
  • 2008 – in this year we were introduced with DSP (Demand Side Platforms) and SSP (Supply Side Platforms). DSP allowed advertisers to manage multiple accounts with a single interface. With that interface they could determine the value of impressions and decide if their investment is paying off. On the other hand, SSP optimized selling points for publishers. SSP’s maximized the price of publisher impressions.

The future

Some things that can be described as trends today will probably become a standard in the future. It doesn’t matter if you are offering your inventory for display advertising or you want to buy a place for some banner to advertise product you have to learn and prepare for future. In the future we can expect more and more specialized display advertising networks, like DisplayFuel product. DisplayFuel is not a mass-appeal service for advertisements like Bing or Google, DisplayFuel is a service that targets a specific part of industry and that is software advertising industry.

Display ads of the future will probably be focused on customers and will be highly optimized. But we can’t be completely sure what the future will look like because there are many factors which affect that. One of that factors are new technologies. With new technologies a more advertising features will come, we could see display ads become more like video ads, interactive ads and similar. Another thing that should influence the future of display advertising are the needs of a specific individual and the detailed view to psychology of customers.

The only thing that is sure is that display advertising will continue to grow. Technology is improving every day, just like lots of factors that affect display advertising field. But to be honest, I still think that the most important part of the display advertising campaign success will depend on knowledge and creativity of us, humans, and not so much on the technology. If you want to learn more about the history of display advertising check the infographic below made by PRGRMTK, the future of programmatic marketing.