Rethinking Digital Display Advertising

Over the past few years, there has been a heavy emphasis by some advertisers and ad networks to transform display advertising from primarily an assisting channel into a click-and-convert lead-generation channel. To some extent I agree with the tactic, but all the pixels and tracking can’t change the fact that for almost all industries, display is an awareness channel. I say we should embrace it. We don’t have to cram display into the lead-gen category to make it relevant. That’s not its role. We should capitalize on the display banner’s strength of awareness.

Display advertising can be more than just a visually appealing ad and a call to action. It can interrupt and engage the user. Think of display as an extension of your content marketing. Display ads can contain video, animations and interactive messages within a visually stunning package that gets attention and engages the user with the content and values of your brand. It’s an opportunity for your brand to target consumers where they are. As an added bonus, every interaction within the ad is completely measurable.

Worried about getting to that all-important conversion? Don’t. You’ll get it. According to a Yahoo study, 31% of users click and engage with the ad when they see it and then 27% perform a search for the brand. They also found that search volume increased by an average of 155% when supported by display and that there was a 59% lift in conversions when users searched after seeing a display ad. Obviously direct and organic traffic would increase as well. All of that from running an engaging online banner.

Give your display advertising campaign a facelift and put some strong creative muscle behind it. It’s paid content marketing that Google won’t penalize your SEO rankings over (to be clear, it doesn’t help SEO directly either), but most importantly, it’s an unmatched opportunity to meet and engage your customers. Dust off your elevator pitch and plan to forge that relationship in that giant mixer we call the Internet. When you include highly engaging display ads in a top-notch marketing plan, you’ll reap the rewards.