Remember the days when viewing websites meant you’d have annoying popups or banner ads that appeared on the pages and they had absolutely nothing to do with what you were searching for? We were so happy when ad-blockers became the norm and we learned to ignore banner ads. Well, that’s true as a visitor, but marketers were paying top dollar to have thousands of those ads imprinted randomly on the Web and saw very little return. Depending who you ask, you might be told that’s what display advertising is. We’re here to tell you it’s not and explain what it really is and how it generates sales from previous visitors to your site!

What is Display Advertising Then?

If engaged properly, display advertising is an awesome marketing tool that keeps your brand in front of previous visitors to your site while they are traveling along their buyer’s journey. To be successful, in-depth analytics on your site visitors and the searches they performed while there are critical. Using content that is visually stimulating, your paid display ads use the information gathered to target previous visitors with a specific ad that reinforces your brand image in their mind since they have seen it before and reminds them of the product or service they were looking for. Ingenious, right?

Why Display Advertising is So Effective

Today’s display advertising is highly effective because large platforms like Google, Facebook and others have incorporated machine learning into their algorithms that collect an almost alarming amount of data about people’s online habits. To that end, they have made it possible for you narrow down your targeted audience like never before, ensuring your ads are shown to people to who at least have some interest.

The best way to describe it for you is to have you think of your own browsing habits. If you visit one of the big online shopping sites or perhaps a well-known travel site, have you noticed that ads for those same companies or one of the products or services they offer suddenly appear on pages that you visit next? That’s what is display advertising in action! Although you may not be ready to make your purchase at that given moment, the brand is refreshed in your mind and sticks with you because you have seen it before. Since it is now becoming familiar, when you’re ready to buy, you’re most likely to return to that site to complete your buyer’s journey.

Is this Form of Paid Advertising Right for You?

Now that you know what display advertising is, you might be thinking… YES! Sign me up! While it can be highly effective for generating sales from previous visitors, or even to build hype about your brand to increase traffic, it’s not necessarily the right media for you right now. Some important considerations before starting a display advertising campaign include:

  • Your level of experience when it comes to research and planning for paid ads. The more you able to drill down into your data about site visitors, their stage in the buyer’s journey and their buying habits, the more successful your ads will be because you will be able to target the people most likely to become your customers.
  • How much time you have to devote to an ad campaign. To maximize your ad spend, you need ample time to study your analytics and make changes quickly to ensure your ads are performing well. You will also have to review your spend and make necessary adjustments.
  • The reason you are conducting the display advertising campaign; what are your goals? If your goals are increasing brand awareness and keeping your products or services on the minds of previous visitors, then display ads may be right for you. If your goal is to improve lead generation or you’re in the nurturing stage, other forms of content or paid search may prove more beneficial.

The ability to target a very specific consumer with media that is designed to catch and keep their attention is what display advertising is. If you are at the right stage of your inbound marketing campaign and have ample time to work closely with your ads, this incredible tool might be just what you need to recapture your visitors’ attention and make those all-important conversions.