Using Digital Marketing to convey a message has many strategies, methods and purposes.
While advertising on the Google Search network has its own use and benefits, targeting the Google Display network (GDN) is a whole other story.
This article will focus on explaining how Display advertising can benefit you. If you wish to learn how to create a Display campaign, please visit this link.
What is the Display network?
As Google explains it:
The Display network consists of millions of website where advertisers can use various ad formats and reach out to the masses.
According to Think with Google, this network had 90% coverage of all Internet users, and serves 1 trillion impressions per month! Talk about opportunities!
Unlike on the Search network, the GDN can show ads that are either:
- Text ads: those are the same ads that advertisers can use on the Search network, with the same character and punctuation restrictions.
- Image ads: a static image, that can vary in sizes and appear on different pages and places on a website.
- Video ads: ad that embeds a video. Not to be mistaken for Youtube promoted videos.
How would you use the Display network?
It might be tempting to create a Display campaign and focus on conversions, just like you mainly would do on the Search network, but the thinking behind Display can be slightly different.
The GDN is very powerful because it gives the advertisers many options to target and reach the audience they want.
- Contextual or Keyword: it is possible to target websites with a list of keywords related to the products or services. This must be the most common targeting option. Creating a keyword list for the GDN is different from the Search network. The key is to list keywords by theme. Learn more on how to use contextual targeting in this article.
- Affinity: this is based on the users’ browser history. As users search the web, cookies are installed on their computer. If some users regularly search and go on website about a distinctive subject (affinity), then those users would enter a certain affinity. (example: users who read movie critics, and regularly consult movie time etc… would fit into the Movie Lovers category)
- In-Market: In-Market targeting is slightly different to Interest targeting. This category is based on the users’ browser history as well, but also on their social shares and reviews. This is why the In-Market segment is more about users who are further down the buying funnel: they are ready to buy.
- Retargeting: just as on the Search network, retargeting (or remarketing) can be used on the GDN.
- Placement: advertisers can choose the websites where they want their ads to be appearing on. Therefore, they have the control of choosing and knowing who is going to see their ads. It is an opportunity to target users who have a specific interest. (example: you sell eco-friendly bamboo products and you target websites related to environment and eco-friendly lifestyle)
Why should you use the Display network?
- Branding: this is by far – to my opinion, the top benefit of Display advertising. Just by being present and visible on the web can create trust and knowledge of your brand. Put your brand out there, make your ads scream: “Look at me, my products are great!”, and half of the work is done! On a long term basis, have the goal of becoming a top of mind brand using all the marketing activities available to your business.
- Create demand: by being visible on the GDN, you can create the need or demand for your product. It is not a surprise that today, people are so influenced by what they see (on TV, in the street, social media etc…), we want what we see. Lucky for you, the GDN offers great exposure and visibility of your ads. Of course, your ads have to be top-notch and appealing!
- Specific targeting: as said above, the multiple targeting options offered by the GDN is a big bonus! Needless to say you can also combine and mix those options to be as targeted as possible. Why does that matter? By using several targeting options, you certainly decreased the audience of your ads BUT the audience is so targeted, that the users are the ones who are the most interested in what you have to sell. Also, you can use the demographics or geographic data to create highly targeted ads. You wouldn’t advertise your product to young people the same way you do to elderly, right?
- Traffic on the website: it is so easy to click on an ad just as when we click the ‘Like’ button on Facebook. Because the number of impressions of your ads increases a LOT when you do Display, the CTR goes down. But not to worry, the GDN can generate a lot of clicks!
What about conversions then?
Brand benefits aside, one common issue reported by businesses using the display network is the struggle for direct response conversions. If you are selling a low price item or promoting a ‘no-brainer’ offer, then you should convert, providing your targeting is tight.
Where things get more challenging is when your offer is high value or complex in nature. They are interested but they are not searching for it ‘right now’ so chances are they need more time to commit to the purchase. If this situation applies to your business then it can be a much better strategy to use the display network to acquire leads then follow up and nurture your leads before showing them your main offer.
With all of this being said, what are you waiting for?!
Are you still not using the Display network advertising options? If so, why?