Display Advertising

Display advertising is one of the simplest and most direct forms of digital advertising. It’s also one of the oldest, with the first ever display ad appearing online all the way back in October 1994.

Display advertising involves paying to have your marketing content – such as an image or a video – featured on a third-party website, in the hope that it will help you to get seen by as many people as possible. This is typically the most common form of digital advertising, and is often used interchangeably with online advertising to refer to any form of graphic advertising that encourages the viewer to click through to a landing page. 

The key types of display advertising

Display advertising is a fairly broad term that encompasses a few ways to showcase your brand online. Therefore, it pays to understand the differences between them and when they may be most effective.

The three main methods are:

  • Site placement advertising: The advertiser selects a particular website where they would like to run their display ads.
  • Contextual advertising: Ads are placed on websites that are relevant to the product or service on offer – an ad for mountain bike accessories on a site dedicated to outdoor sports, for example.
  • Remarketing: Display ads are targeted at users who have previously visited the advertiser’s website but left without purchasing or taking the desired action.

Display ads have been around for a long time, so brands should always be looking for fresh strategies and methods in this space to gain maximum benefit from it.

Making display advertising work for your brand

If you get it right, this approach to online advertising can deliver results including a big boost in your brand profile and visibility. Like many forms of marketing, display ads depend on the right combination of words and visual elements to succeed.

One of the first steps will be to determine what type of display advertising to use. There are a few options to choose from here, which may require a different combination of copy and visual elements to attract and engage your audience.

The main types include:

  • Banner ads: The most familiar and traditional form of display advertising for many people, these appear either at the top of a page or vertically down the side.
  • Prestitial and Interstitial ads: More common on mobile, these are full-screen ads displayed before or between content, such as appearing before a page a user has requested.
  • Rich media ads: The use of interactive features such as video and clickable elements to make an ad stand out and grab attention.

However you approach display advertising, you’ll need to make sure you’re offering engaging copy and clear visuals, and that your ads will not be viewed as intrusive by either readers or search engines.