Display advertising - should you use it in e-commerce?

Service Business

What is online display advertising?

The simplest answer to this question is a graphic advertisement displayed on the screen of our computer, but also of a tablet or smartphone. This type of advertising opportunity arose in the nineties, when the technical possibilities for displaying image ads became available. So it is one of the oldest from internet marketing next to email marketing. Are display advertising campaigns just a relic from the beginnings of the internet? It turns out not. Every Internet user constantly sees a graphic advertisement in many places on the web, e.g. on popular portals. The conclusions are simple - although display campaigns are expensive, they are worth investing in. Display advertising plays a particularly important role in product sales campaigns, which is very important for e-commerce.

What are the most popular types of display advertising on the internet?

The oldest and still popular forms of image advertising are:

  • banner (usually 468x60 pixels horizontal) - most often at the top of the website,

  • billboard (megabaner, superbaner) - larger form than a banner,

  • skyscraper - a type of vertical banner on the side of the page,

  • button - small format (approx. 120x60 pixels), a kind of advertising "button",

  • box - usually a small, square form of advertising in the middle of the text.

Some of these types of image ads can be static, animated, or floating, i.e. visible in the same place even though the page is scrolling. Some of them have expandable forms - when you hover the mouse over the advertisement, its further part unfolds.

Newer forms of display advertising on the Internet are:

  • pop-up - display advertising in the form of windows popping up on the browser screen covering the website,

  • pop-under - an advertisement of a similar type, but displayed under the displayed page, visible only after its closing,

  • top layer (floating ad) - the most frequently animated display advertisement with sound (moving "over" the page on the so-called layer, i.e. covering the right side),

  • expanding ad - an advertisement that changes its size and affects the appearance of the website,

  • wallpaper (watermark) - an advertisement emitted in the background of the website as if it were its bottom layer,

  • interstitial - the advertisement appears on the entire browser page before the actual website is displayed,

  • superstitial - interstitial advertising, but most often in the form of an animated or video.

Display advertising on the web - advantages and disadvantages

The advantage of image ads is that they are certainly noticed by Internet users, often due to their large format. This allows you to place graphically interesting projects, photos, animations or videos. Display advertising gives you the opportunity to be creative. Its frequent views also significantly improve brand awareness. It is very important not only for image campaigns, but also for sales campaigns of specific brands or products.

The downside of display ads is their interference in the activities of Internet users. If someone is looking for information on a website and cannot access it because of an ad, they will definitely not like the brand they are promoting. This invasive image advertising is a problem that the industry has not yet dealt with. Internet users fight it by using, for example, adblocker programs, which eliminate the display of certain advertisements.

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Models of billing for a graphic advertising campaign on the Internet

  • CPM - this is a model that takes into account the advantage of display advertising, which has already been mentioned. Even just displaying them works for marketing. CPM (cost per mille) is the cost of a thousand impressions of an Internet advertisement. In this model, the assumptions of the so-called capping. This is the number of times the advertisement is displayed to a given Internet user (computer's IP address). It is pointless to show your ad to the same person multiple times, so you can set an impression limit. Its determination depends on the marketing strategy of a given online campaign - the most common is capping 1 (once displayed to a unique user on the web) or 3 (three times).

  • CPC - this is a model of paying only for clicking on an ad (cost per click). Clicking is already a form of involvement of the Internet user who for some reason performed this activity. Thus, the cost per click is already the cost for the performance of a specific action by a potential customer. It seems that this pricing model is more objective, because we pay for a specific effect.

  • CPA - this is the least frequently used method of paying for the performance of a specific action, e.g. opening a bank account. The potential customer saw the bank's ad, clicked on it, and then decided to open an account on the landing page.You can find out with tracking codes and other web analytics tools. However, the costs of this pricing model are very high. So sometimes it is more profitable to choose the CPM or CPC model, especially when it comes to e-commerce sales campaigns.

  • CTR (click through rate) - this is no longer a fee model, but an indicator that shows us very important data: the ratio of the number of impressions and clicks on the ad. CTR = C (number of clicks): IMPR (number of views / pageviews). The higher the CTR the better. This means that we found our campaign in the right place, to the target group, and the content or graphic form are so interesting that the Internet user wants to learn more.

Can graphic advertising on the Internet be effective for e-commerce?

The answer is yes. Display advertising not only increases brand awareness, but also helps in sales campaigns and promoting specific products. Despite all the disadvantages of display ad campaigns, they are still of great importance in internet marketing. The fact that they are still one of the most noticed forms of advertising on the Internet allows for effective promotional campaigns for e-commerce stores. It is especially worth recommending to take advantage of the possibilities offered by the Google advertising network - Google Display Network. This network includes over 2 million websites worldwide. In Poland, it is created by over 40,000 of the most important websites, including Onet, Gazeta.pl, WP and Interia. At the same time, Google provides interesting tools to match the display of graphical advertisements on the Internet to a specific target group (target). The Google Display Network offers, among others:

  • geographic targeting - coverage in a specific location,

  • contextual targeting - ads tailored to specific keywords and the subject of the website,

  • thematic targeting - advertisements displayed on websites with specific specialist topics,

  • "directional" targeting - displaying advertisements on specific selected target sites (individual choice possible).

Such precise options to reach the target audience are effective tools for promoting your online store. As the above examples show, graphic advertising on the Internet is not a relic, but a form of marketing campaign that is constantly evolving and offers new opportunities for e-commerce marketing.