Display advertising involves targeting individuals and serving ads to them, either on websites or apps, based on their interests or previous activity. By understanding our customers and their need for our products, we can determine who is most likely to buy based on their behavior. As you navigate through life (on and offline) data is collected on everything you do and a record is kept. These records are used to create “buckets” of people that we can then serve ads to. If it sounds creepy, it is, and that’s why you have probably heard a lot of chatter about privacy, cookies, and third-party data lately. So while this landscape is ever-changing, it is also very effective. See for yourself. The next time you hit the internet be aware of the ads you are served and see how targeted they are.
These include geographics, demographics, age, gender, and so on.
These audiences are generated based on, well, behavior. Typically behavioral data is third-party generated and can have varying degrees of quality. This can span from very broad, to very, very detailed and can include topics, interests, in-market, affinity, etc.
This is another behavioral audience, but a much more specific one. These are users who have visited and engaged with your website to varying degrees. The key to retargeting data is that it is first-party data, meaning you are the source, and thus the quality is much better. You know a lot about these individuals which allows you to serve more customized ads.
The Google Display Network (GDN):
The GDN is an ad network of sites and apps. It is relatively user-friendly, easy to use, and you can start with any budget. Additionally, you have a lot of options when it comes to bidding strategies. It is also subject to Google’s rules, whims and lack of transparency.
Programmatic Ad Buying:
This is where you would use a Demand Side Platform (DSP) to access and buy ad placements across multiple ad networks, including the GDN. Programmatic ad buying offers much more control and targeting. For instance, if you wanted to target mountain bikers who searched for trails in Colorado last week and have the cargurus.com app installed, you could do that! This is typically for an intermediate to expert level media buyer and often requires higher minimum budget levels. If there is one drawback, it would be the limits to bid strategies, with only versions of CPM as an option.
There are more ad sizes than worth mentioning, but only five you should be concerned with:
- Medium Rectangle (300×250)
- Large Rectangle (336×280)
- Leaderboard (728×90)
- Half Page (300×600)
- Large Mobile Banner (320×100)
The most basic type of display ad. It has one version and does not change.
With this ad type, you load copy and image versions, and Google will fit the best ad for the publisher. These tend to be more native.
The most effective of the three, these ads include dynamic content and/or motion to attract attention and engagement.
When possible, always use dynamic ads and tailor your ad creative to the audience. The more specific, the better. With Behavioral Ads, try to match the content of your ad to the context of the page. With retargeting, always show the vehicles they looked at, plus similar options.