Early on, display advertising was seen as simply banner ads that generated nothing but low quality exposure to random audiences. It led marketers to conclude display advertising was not an effective way to market online and to focus on only SEO to attract quality traffic.
But like everything on the Web, things have changed!
Online Consumers Are Changing
Today, online users are spending more time on a wider variety of platforms, websites and apps than ever before. Don’t get me wrong, Google remains an important resource, but it no longer dominates the amount of time and activities consumers spend online.
And a large part of this is the result of more consumers accessing the Internet through their smartphone devices, certainly more than they were when display ads first emerged. In fact, statistics indicate that as of 2016, as much as 90 percent of smartphone user time is spent in apps.
Watching videos, engaging/communicating through social media, taking care of personal business, etc. are all consuming a greater amount of users’ time online.
Some even point to a decline in the number of people using search engines to discover brands, products and services. According to ZenithOptimedia and GlobalWebIndex, there are three primary reasons:
1. Mobile behavior is app-based. App usage represents 86 percent of time spent on mobile, according to Flurry.
2. People are discovering content through social. The top eight social networks drove more than 30 percent of traffic to sites in 2014, up from 22 percent in 2013, according to Shareaholic.
3. Screen sizes are small. It's more difficult to type out long queries.
Display Advertising Technology
Another change that has made display advertising more attractive to marketers is the dynamic nature and interactive capabilities of digital displays. Of course the biggest impact is the use of smartphones, but also tablets, and even plasma, LCD and LED screens have now made interactive display advertising more effective and commonplace.
In addition to interactive display, the types of ads are more tested, including the use of “Native” ads (advertisements that are designed to blend in with the design characteristics of the site they are displayed on), which have shown to increase the results from display advertising campaigns.
Target, Target, Target
But probably the most important change to improve the effectiveness of display advertising is the ability to more accurately target and deliver your display ad to the right people at the right time.
As search engines (like Google) and social media platforms (like Facebook) have become more effective at understanding and delivering requested content to their users, they have also become more effective at identifying the interests and characteristics of their users to help their advertisers more effectively reach them.
One targeting tool is the use of contextual targeting. Contextual targeting allows your ad to appear on websites that have relevant content, and you can reach prospective customers at a time when they are engaging with this content throughout the Google Display Network or other display ad networks.
In addition, there are a number of other targeting tactics that can include demographic targeting, interest/topic targeting, specific website targeting, and more.
The bottom line is that you have a lot greater ability to target online audiences and direct your message beyond search marketing. The key is to identify what type of campaign and messaging will work best for your target audiences and the specific services you want to promote and grow.
Video Pre-Roll Advertising
As we have shared earlier, the online marketplace is becoming more of a mobile and smartphone audience. One important characteristic about mobile users is the dominant consumption of video content through this small device.
Over the past five years, mobile video consumption has experienced a compounding annual growth rate of more than 116 percent. This means over the course of the previous five years, the share of mobile video plays is up a whopping cumulative 2,084 percent!
With all this being said, there is no question that video advertising will play a larger role in online marketing. Practices are now realizing that pre-roll advertising is no longer limited to big-spending television advertisers.
Pre-roll video advertising that utilizes increasingly sophisticated, accurate targeting tools and more compelling/creative messaging allows professional service marketers to brand market without breaking the bank. It allows practices with lower smaller marketing budgets to “level the playing field” with larger brand advertisers.
Statistics, Taking Action and Next Steps
Consider these interesting statistics on why you need to start considering more outreach through display advertising:
- In 2016, digital display advertising spending will surpass search ad spending (Adwords, PPC) for the first time.
- By 2017, viewership of videos through smartphone devices will be double that of desktops.
- eMarketer projects more than $46 Billion will be invested in display advertisements by 2019.
- 70 percent of retargeted audiences are likely to convert into customers.
We all recognize the trend toward mobile, but has it really changed how we market? What can you do beyond just having a mobile-responsive website?
Display advertising provides additional opportunities for your practice to reach new audiences; stay in front of previous website visitors; provide more visual, creative and compelling branding messages; and gain more immediate exposure and traffic from high-quality targeting.
Want to learn more about these opportunities for your business? Give your Page 1 Solutions consultant a call to discuss details, share samples/results, and provide more custom recommendations and pricing.
~ Bill Fukui, Director of Sales & Marketing