Display Advertising 101

July 31st, 2009 by

Display advertising, also often referred to as banner advertising, is another key aspect of online marketing. Display advertising is online ads consisting of text, graphics images or logos that are embedded into a Web page.  The three most commonly used display sizes —leaderboard, skyscraper, or boombox/big box (see Figure 1)—are presented in rich (flash or dynamic), static (unmoving) or expandable formats. In order to choose the most impactful type of ad for your campaign, one must consider many factors before getting started.

beverageworld *Figure  1

1. Creative
The complexity of your message will largely determine the size and type (rich, static or expandable) of creative.  When developing creative, please beware of file size! Most networks will only accept up to a certain file maximum, usually 50kb, and will either charge additional for any overage or refuse to run your creative altogether. Additionally, keep in mind that advertisements that take too long to load (typically rich creative) may negatively affect performance results.

For example, CTA (Chicago Transit Authority) once invested in developing rich display ads that ultimately took too long to load and link to CTA’s Web site. The campaign results were therefore weak and money was wasted building out and implementing the creative.  

2. Platform and Price
Specific ad networks and publishers enable your ads to appear on various sites. The networks, such as ValueClick, Platform- A and Google, negotiate for real estate on various Web pages in their network and populate that space with creative provided by their clients. This allows ad networks to bring publishers and advertisers together, enabling creative to appear on many different relevant sites through one ad buy.

Out of these networks, Google has gained popularity on account of its competitive pricing and self-managed interface.  Each ad network will allow you to target your banner based on demographics, location and vertical, ensuring your message reaches the most qualified audience. With each ad network, it is important to negotiate price based on one of three metrics, CPA, CPC, or CPM. CPM stands for cost per thousand, which refers to the cost-per-thousand page impressions. CPC, cost-per-click, is the amount of money an advertiser will pay publishers for a single click on its advertisement. CPA, cost-per-acquisition, where advertisers only pay when there is a direct conversion linked from the advertisement.

3. Tracking
Online marketing's biggest advantage, be it display advertising or SEO, is the ability to track and record results. Regardless of which network you partner with, each should provide you with ample campaign reporting. Be aware that tracking complexities do arise if you utilize multiple networks at once. Because numerous tracking pixels will be on your site, there may be issues with cross-tracking and one conversion being attributed to multiple networks.   To avoid this, Rise advises the use of Display Ad-serving technology.

4. Trading

Rise offers its own proprietary DSP service called the Rise Trading Desk (RTD).  Utilizing Real Time Bidding, Rise’s revolutionary product allows clients to show ads to a specific target audience in real time.  Impressions are purchased as they are made available through an advanced auction system of exchanges.  The RTD incorporates an algorithmic bidding model that learns how to optimize bidding strategy to achieve client goals at the lowest possible cost.  In addition, the RTD can incorporate numerous third party data sources for increased targeting efficiency and performance potential as well as the ability to model similar audience profiles and target those profiles on the exchanges.

For more information, check out Rise Interactive's Display Advertising services page.

*Beverage World Media Kit

4/4/2011: Please see an updated blog on Behavioral Targeting/Remarketing Strategies and Solutions

Have you enjoyed this content?  Want More?