Just a couple of days ago, I was having a coffee with an old friend that works in the Communications Department of a big company (that shall remain anonymous, of course), and was having trouble with a campaign that’s coming ahead. So she told me they were launching a new product, which was not actually new but was now targeted for a different audience than their traditional one, and were asked to create pretty much the most efficient campaign ever created and combine both PR and Marketing (I believe she named it in a cool way, something like Global Strategic Communication). So, of course, the Marketing guys came in all about throwing Display Ads, and my old friend’s first thought was “Why take out a Display Ad anyway? Are they even working anymore?” and that’s what brings us to today’s topic: Why do we still choose to take out Display Ads?
The advertising world, along with the marketing one, moves on from one technique to another incredibly fast, and it’s hard to know what’s hot and what’s not anymore. Sometimes, you aren’t sure if you even are allowed to launch certain campaigns, so how can we expect to always know what’s still working or if we are going to end up looking like that dorky uncle trying to pull out jokes teenagers were making a year ago? Well, it’s kind of our job to be on top of what’s happening in the marketing world, and which are the new cool effective trends.
And it is not a surprise that Display Ads have been becoming less and less effective, and it’s not a surprise that one of the top reasons for that to happen was the fact that people just don’t care about Display Ads anymore. Users are overstimulated, they keep viewing Display Ads everywhere, all the time, and simply developed some sort of immunity towards them. As a user myself, I can completely understand that. If I want to buy something, I’m more likely to just search for it in my browser, rather than clicking on a Display Ad that features in any of my visited websites. And, every day, brands are starting to choose other types of advertising (such as going vintage with Offline Marketing or even Branded Content in the last couple of years) instead of the classic Display Ads strategy.
However, for some reason, Display Ads are still one of the go-to strategies that Marketing departments tend to choose. And I don’t believe that this is just a trend thing because there are a lot of very cool new ways to approach potential customers, that may even be easier considering budgets, engagement problems, Ad placements, and even the whole analytics process. But if Display Ads are so awful, why are we still hanging up from them? Because I don’t think this is just an emotional attachment issue. So, why take out a Display Ad when that’s the scenario? Today we’ll dive into the possible answers.
Reaching for people in their favorite apps and websites
As much as some people may want to fight it, today’s world is a digital one. All our lives go through the Internet, and so does our time, feelings, and preferences. Display Ads’ #1 beauty consists in the ability to be able to take advantage of that in order to get people to convert on their websites. All you have to do is choose your audience, figure out which sites will more likely be visited by them, and then go ahead and feature your Display Ads in them. Hey, Offline Marketing can be vintage and cool, but a postcard will never be able to beat the possibility of showing your product where you know people will appreciate it the most.
Spreading your message is quick, and so is spreading your brand awareness
You design a Display Ad, you choose the wording for it, you spread it through the whole internet, everyone knows you, everyone knows how great you are, everyone wants to buy from you. Okay, so the Display Ad world may not be this easy, but it’s definitely a quick strategy to implement, track and modify. It’s not so hard to create a Display Ad, and today’s advertising industry keeps offering more and more software that helps guarantee its efficiency, and to figure out where to optimize it. If you want to (and have the budget required), you can go ahead and fill up the Internet with your brand and your message.
Users are suckers for images
You know the saying “A picture is worth a thousand words” (Or actually, as said by Henrik Ibsen, “A thousand words leave not the same deep impression as does a single deed.”) well, how useful is a picture when our word limit is around 10 words? Very useful, I believe. Internet users are much more likely to feel attracted to an Ad that has an image, rather than one that has just all these words explaining something. And, the more attracted, the more likely to click. And, since it’s a quick and easy process, as we’ve stated above, just by clicking they are doing a lot to help us. Even more, if they actually convert, which is also part of the quick and easy process.
It’s adaptable to any product
There’s literally nothing that can be a good fit for Display Ads (except for those things Google said “no” to) because they are such a flexible strategy. You can adapt your Display Ads to your brand, product, budget (there are a lot of options for very low costs), and even the targeting can be highly adapted (you can choose between thousands of variables, including demographics, remarketing, age, among others). So there’s pretty much nothing that can’t be advertised by a Display Ad.
2 reasons to take out a Display Ad: You want someone to do something, or you want someone to think something
The #1 (and #2, duh) reasons publishers have to launch Display Ads are these very ones. You want people to do something with your Ad (click on it, buy your product, like your post, subscribe to your site) or you want them to think something. This second one may require a bit of development, but it’s all about spreading a particular image or something that you want to be linked to your brand. You want them to know how great you are, so even if they don’t convert, they keep that in mind.
To conclude, I believe Display Ads may have gotten a little bit old-school, but that they still have a million things to show. They keep proving to be one of the most chosen techniques by advertisers, regardless of how much Ad Fatigue has endangered them. So my opinion here, and the answer that I gave to my friend, is that Display Ads are still a one-of-a-kind strategy and that advertisers still haven’t found another one that comes close to beating them. Of course, campaigns are always better if Display Ads are also accompanied by other marketing assets (such as Social Media Marketing, Branded Content, and even vintage Offline Marketing) because it can make it more interesting.