3 Display Advertising Best Practices to Maximize Your ROI

Display advertising has always been one of the core channels for digital advertising. But the rise of programmatic ad buying, combined with the proven success of multi-channel advertising and pixel strategies, have only pushed demand for display inventories even higher: in the U.S. alone, advertisers are projected to spend nearly $97 billion on programmatic display buys in the 2021 calendar year.

That number could be an increase of $15 billion or more compared to 2020, showing the dramatic rise in popularity of display advertising as a cost-effective and results-focused digital campaign. Performance metrics also suggest that the value of display ads is even higher when integrated into a multi-channel strategy, rather than utilized for a standalone ad campaign.

While display’s potential value to small businesses is hard to overstate, this potential can only be realized through an advertising strategy that optimizes its use of display through the right multi-channel approach, as well as by evaluating performance through relevant performance metrics.

With that in mind, here’s a look at how display advertising can elevate your advertising strategy and ROI—and what you need to do to realize its full value.

1. The Benefits of Display Advertising

Whether used for building brand awareness or as part of a retargeting strategy, display advertising can be a cornerstone of your advertising success. The potential benefit of this ad channel include:

  • Audience relevance. Retargeted display ads are delivered to individuals who have already viewed advertisements through a different channel, such as OTT or TV Everywhere, and are now being exposed to ads that align with that demonstrated interest in your business.
  • Multi-screen (and multi-channel) engagement. Display can be combined with OTT, social, search, and any other digital advertising channel to increase both the quality and the quantity of your user engagement.
  • The ability to keep your brand top-of-mind. While this figure can fluctuate based on industry, conversion cost and a number of other factors, a general rule of thumb is that it takes an average of eight touches to convert a new customer. Retargeting exposes prospects to multiple touches that can engage prospects throughout the sale funnel as they move toward a conversion.
  • Cost-effective advertising that helps you stretch your budget. Because the audience for your retargeting and pixel strategy is comprised of online users who have already shown an interest in your business, their relevance is much higher than other targeting strategies can offer. This ultimately yields lower CPMs and better conversion opportunities, even among a more select audience, which increases your potential ROI.

2. Balancing Brand Awareness and Display Retargeting

While brand awareness and retargeting strategies are each able to leverage display to achieve their goals, how display is used to achieve these goals depends on where display is utilized within the traditional sales funnel.

While display can be used for brand awareness campaigns, for example—and may prove effective for small businesses who have found success with this strategy—display might be even more effectively paired with channels that are primarily used for brand awareness purposes. Pre-roll ads, OTT, and TV Everywhere, for example, are all awareness-focused campaigns built around video content that can then facilitate retargeting and pixel strategies through display ad inventories.

In this type of approach, businesses can leverage the strength of OTT and other channels most successful in building brand awareness, and then continue to engage relevant prospects through retargeted display ads acquired through cost-effective programmatic buying. The result is a strategic, multi-channel campaign that combines the strengths of separate ad channels to coordinate multi-touch engagements with high-value prospects.

3. Analyzing Performance Based on Conversion-Based Metrics

Successful display advertising depends on small businesses identifying the metrics that reflect true success and return on investment—rather than metrics that may be commonplace and create the appearance of campaign success, but which ultimately don’t correspond to conversions and revenue.

If you’re running a conversion-based campaign, even awareness-level ads need to move prospects in the direction of successful conversions. A full-funnel approach is important. Multi-channel attribution can help you analyze your success at every stage of the funnel, identifying sharp drop-offs in performance that might indicate an issue with your engagement strategy.

Metrics like conversion rate, cost-per-acquisition (CPA), order value, and long-term conversion-based performance metrics like customer lifetime value (LTV) and customer retention rate, can all help you analyze display advertising through the lens of your conversion and revenue generation success.

Sound overwhelming? A digital advertising partner can help you understand your advertising opportunities and challenges, set advertising goals, and coordinate multi-channel campaigns that combine advertising channels to maximize ROI across your entire advertising strategy. Contact us today to see how we can help.

About the Author

Catherine Carpenter Costigan

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