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The World of Digital Display Ads: 4 Types to Try Today

Posted by Emily Hegland on September 30, 2021

You see them everywhere. Browsing blogs, shopping online, reading the news…

No matter where you look, you’re bound to see digital display ads on the internet.

And it’s only getting more popular.

According to Mailchimp, data suggests that digital ads will make up more than half the total ad spend in the U.S. by this year, compared to 40.5% in 2017.

As digital advertising continues to grow, it’s more important than ever to keep up with the trends and tactics at play.

Let’s look at the types of digital display advertising… and see how you can benefit from each.

Remarketing Ads

Also known as retargeting ads, these ads use data to create a personalized ad for the browser. Retailers can use browsing and cart history to remind people of a purchase they were considering. It helps keep your product top of mind for online shoppers that browse but don’t purchase. While they’re looking through news stories, they see that tantalizing armchair (or pizza oven… or hiking boots… or coffee grinder…) once again.

Continued exposure aims to combat forgetfulness. When you can flip through multiple web pages within seconds, it’s easy to forget what you were looking at. Retargeting ads serve as a tempting nudge… and have proven success in guiding a prospect through the sales funnel to ultimately make a purchase.

And people appreciate the effort. In fact, Accenture reports that 91% of consumers prefer to purchase from companies that remember what they like.

Here’s how to place a remarketing ad:

  1. Add code to your website to collect browsing behavior. You can learn what categories, products and pages certain visitors look at.
  2. Next, develop personas or customer types for your various customers. You can then use this to market to customers based on behaviors. An outdoor recreation company might have personas like: hiking moms, Millennial rock climbers, RV campers, etc.
  3. Finally, create your ad. You can remind visitors of specific products they looked at, provide recommendations based on personas, highlight brands they’ve shown interest in, and more.

Affinity Targeting Ads

While remarketing targets people who have visited your site before, affinity targeting aims to reach customers in your market. Affinity groups range from very broad to extremely narrow. For example, you could cast a wide net with “Nintendo Switch gamers” or zero in on specific groups like “teens who play Animal Crossing: New Horizons” or “female fantasy gamers over 40.”

The narrower you go, the smaller your audience gets. But what you lose in breadth you can make up for in specificity. After all, if you reach the right person at the right time with the right message… you’re well on your way to success.

Similar Audience Ads

These ads use information about your current visitors to look for people with similar browsing habits. You can create a similar audience list using Google Analytics. Google will size up your audience, compare it to other users and find commonalities. Then, you can place display ads targeted to this potential audience.

Contextual Ads

With contextual targeting, you’re not advertising to people based on their profile. Instead, you can place ads based on the website they’re visiting. You choose a certain criterion: topic, keyword, language, location preference, host website theme, browsing history of the website’s recent visitor, etc. Then, your ad shows up on websites that meet that criterion. That way, you can capture new prospects based on the websites they browse.

Looking Ahead

The landscape of digital display ads is ever-evolving. And J&C can help you understand, develop and deploy a strategic digital ad campaign. Stay tuned for our blog series on digital display ads in October. And if you need a strategic partner for your next digital campaign, contact J&C today.




Topics: Digital Marketing, Email Marketing

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