How to Tailor Standard Display Ads to Meet Your Business Goals
Most businesses that have used display advertising are familiar with static image ads, which provide a way to entice customers to your website using a combination of graphics and text. The general goal of these standard display ads is to target In-market shoppers all across the web; however, when delving into more specific aims, such as creating brand awareness, focusing on performance advertising, or trying to maximize results, it’s important to understand how these ads are built and why.
In the automotive world, the main elements included in most display ads are:
- Logos (dealer logo and brand logo): These build name recognition and stimulate brand awareness. They also provide the opportunity to develop a connection in the consumer’s mind between the dealership, the OEM, the vehicle line-up, and the offer on the ad.
- An Offer (e.g., MSRP offer, bonus cash offer, lease offer): Tailor your ads with individually customized, local, or regional offers.
- An Image (of a vehicle): This is the visually appealing and engaging component that draws the consumer to the ad. Be sure to use a relevant, eye-catching image and color schemes that strategically and artistically pulls the ad together based around the image.
- A Call to Action (e.g., “Click here,” “View Inventory”): Here is your opportunity to communicate to the consumer exactly what you want them to do. Customize this CTA by taking into consideration which page you want to direct traffic to. For instance, if it is a Specials page, you may consider an action such as “View specials” so that there is more direct communication with your audience about what information they will be viewing if they click the ad.
In addition to the above elements, you have the option of including a headline, event logo, and/or disclaimer to an ad to further create engagement.
Size and format requirements depend on which device you plan to show your ad. Standard display ads typically encompass four different sizes:
- 160 x 600: skyscraper
- 300 x 250: inline rectangle
- 728 x 90: leaderboard
- 320 x 50: mobile leaderboard
Understanding these dimensions is particularly relevant for clients using “pre-made” advertisements. Employing all four ad sizes allows you to maximize exposure to prospective customers by increasing available impressions. It also gives you a wider sample when administering tests to determine which ad sizes are performing best in your campaign. For example, in an automotive campaign, you can test different variables such as vehicle brand (e.g., Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram), headline vs. no headline, different types of offers (e.g., MSRP, lease, APR), event logo vs. no event logo, and different CTAs. A test might employ a sample of thirty clients covering all regions, conducted over two to three months on each of the variables listed above, with four of the items held constant (used as controls) The variables would be rotated out every few months, with the entire testing process anticipated to take approximately one year. Testing like this provides more knowledge and expertise, backed by data, to better inform you on how to construct your creative and which creative to run.
When leveraging the knowledge of clients coupled with the expertise of testing, your ads will have the power to cultivate brand awareness and excel their performance-based results to a new level. Best practices when first creating a display campaign are to keep it simple. The easier it is for your audience to read and comprehend your ad, the more engaging it will be to them. Simplicity also offers a better opportunity to administer tests to determine which offers, models, brands, and CTAs, etc. are most appealing. Through this optimization process, you will be able to determine the most effective and engaging ad for your intended audience.
- Nicole Pettit, Display Coordinator
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