CHAPTER 5

Online Display Ads

“If I don’t have a display campaign to support my paid search campaign, I’m basically giving the traffic away to my competitors.”

—Robert Murray, CEO, iProspect, May 2009

Are you planning to skip this chapter because you read the title and have already lost interest? Perhaps you’ve come to the conclusion that display ad banners of any shape and size simply don’t work. After all, isn’t the average click-through rate at about 0.09 percent these days?

Pity the conventional banner ad, the workhorse of web advertising. It does not dazzle with rich media or video, nor does it impress marketers with its obvious and immediate return on investment like search does. Some research even suggests a good portion of banner ads are ignored.

We believe, however, that the demise of display ads has been greatly exaggerated. Banner ads, when used correctly, provide an essential overlay to any digital campaign, often working subliminally, behind the scenes, over time. They can play an important role in driving consumers to conduct a branded search or even make a purchase. Display ads can also drive site traffic and boost your efforts in social media marketing; and, they are becoming a viable new strategy for mobile marketing as well. Despite these benefits, marketers tend to misuse, undervalue, and incorrectly measure their contribution, particularly as it relates to branding efforts.

In this chapter, we will:

1. Explore why display ads are growing in use and spending, ...

Get Digital Impact: The Two Secrets to Online Marketing Success now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.