Marketing | 08 MIN READ

How to Create Traffic-Driven Display Advertising Campaigns That Convert Every Time

Driving traffic to your website is essential part of building and growing a successful business. For an online business bringing traffic to your website is often the first step in the sales process. Display advertising continues to be an important way to drive traffic, however, there have been major changes to in this area, making display advertising more data driven than ever before.

However, whilst marketers continue to appreciate the importance of being able to drive website traffic, a report from Sitecore show that internet marketing success can be limited or non-existent due to 4 key factors:

  • A lack of digital marketing knowledge
  • An inability to quantify ROI
  • A lack of company support
  • A lack of confidence in digital marketing

This article will give you the knowledge to successfully run traffic driving display advertising campaigns, as well as the knowledge of how to quantify the ROI of such campaigns. This in turn will give you confidence in this area of digital marketing that will build the confidence of your team. This is a practical guide to demonstrate necessary steps to drive traffic, the right traffic and generate sales through effective display advertising campaigns, and will also show you how you can continue to improve your results with each campaign that you run using data you have collected from your previous campaigns.

Internet Marketing Strategy for Driving Traffic

In order to be successful in driving internet traffic achieving quantity is simply not enough. Quality is of equal, if not greater, importance when generating traffic, therefore it is essential that you build a strategy that will drive the right traffic.

Today it is possible to generate the right traffic with display ads using advertising networks, exchanges, DSPs and similar technology in combination with design, content and copy that targets relevant viewers. By using this approach you will effectively target the right audience.

However, in order to use powerful targeting you must know who you should be advertising to. Thus, the first step in creating an effective traffic driving display advertising campaign is to build buyer personas. Buyer personas are semi-fictitious representations of your ideal customers  that you build based on their company type, job role and even personal traits depending your business. Buyer personas are not only useful for creating effective display advertising campaigns, but also, for all marketing campaigns.

Using these buyer personas, you can investigate where your users are online so that you can reach them with display advertising. By taking this information and breaking it down into a list of points, you can use this data to build segments of the types people that you want to advertise to; your ideal customers.

Building banners that convert

Once you have built a strategy for display advertising, you can now start thinking about your display advertising creatives. For many online viewers, a display ad is the first time that they will come into contact with your brand, so it is important to make a good impression.

Not all banners are created equal, with some converting better than others. Conversion rates are dependent on different factors, not only the design of the banner, but the placement on the webpage as well as they type of web page that it is on and the format of the display ad can have a huge impact on the conversion rate that you will experience.

Display Ad Placement

wall street journal bannerflow

The display ad on The Wall Street Journal homepage is highlighted by the red box is an example of an ad placed “above the fold”. As you can see, it is placed towards the top of the web page so it is visible without having to scroll down.

By placing your display ad in the right place on a web page will cause your click-through rate to improve. The best place to have your display ad is above the fold, in other words in the top portion of the webpage because viewers are more likely to see the banner as they do not need to scroll down at all. Also keep in mind that placement is important for beating banner blindness and the dominant reading pattern of the users is similar to the letter ”F”. We first read the upper part of the content section and then move down the page and continue to read horizontally and then the left side of the page. By focusing on placing your banners in this area you can be sure that viewers will see the banners and this will increase the click-through rate.

Increasing Reach with Creatives

In order to reach the right audience in the right way you will often find that you you need to produce a huge amount of display advertising creatives in order to fulfil size and formats required by advertising and affiliate networks that you are using as well as different variation and translations of the banner. It is important that your reach isn’t limited because you are not able to produce the amount of creatives needed. Therefore it is important to choose an ad solution that enables you create a large amount of creatives that you can edit simultaneously. Without automating the ad production itself you will find that production becomes incredibly complex as well as resource and time consuming.

When building display advertising creatives there are a number of things that you can incorporate into the design to improve click-through rates and generate more traffic:

Mobile first and responsive design

Today, HTML5 is the ideal format for online display ads, as the format can be viewed on any device, screen or app. Build responsive HTML5 ads, as they will display correctly regardless of the screen size they display on. Since the mobile revolution there has been a large shift in the way that we consume media. More and more of us are using mobile devices as our primary source of internet. Therefore it is increasingly important to make sure that your display ads are viewable on and optimised for mobile.

Include a strong call-to-action

stumble upon bannerflow

This banner ad from StumbleUpon uses the call-to-action very effectively. It stands out from the rest of the design and is large, making it easy to click.

Display advertising creatives should have a strong purpose that is made actionable through a strong call-to-action. If the copy used for the call to action is strong and driving, the the ad viewer will know exactly what will happen when they click on the banner ad. Make the design of each call-to-action strong too. Use eye-catching color and a clear button so that viewers know exactly where to click.

Use compelling imagery and copy

Banner blindness is a reality that marketers face, but you can overcome this phenomenon by designing a display advertising creative that has a compelling design with well-composed copy you can make your creatives irresistible to click.

Keep it simple

paypal banner bannerflow html5 display campaigns

This ad from Paypal has kept the design very simple, buy using only using a simply line graphic to illustrate it, showing that you don’t always need to fill your creative with images.

Whilst your design should be compelling and exciting, you shouldn’t feel the need to overfill your creative with text and images; use space wisely. Give viewers something to look forward to when they click it by not giving everything away on your display advertising creative.

Consider using Interactivity and Rich Media

One theory as to why the first banner ad had such a high click-through rate was because the concept was new and exciting for web users. Today, there are dozens of innovative display ad formats, which viewers will find exciting, so consider using interactive and media rich banners to drive traffic to your website. If your display ad is good enough, it might even go viral.

Placement tips for conversion

Placement of a display ad on a web page can have a great effect on how well it will convert viewers. Placement is also essential for viewability, according to an extensive recent report from Google. The best converting banners are those that sit above the fold, i.e. towards the top of the web page. Further, according to the latest benchmark report by Sizmek, HTML5 banners convert better than other including Flash and static banners.

Where to advertise- choosing a network

Advertising technology is becoming increasingly advanced. Advertisers no longer have to rely on direct sales to buy inventory for a set period of time, and then hope that the campaigns work. It is now possible for advertisers to only buy the ad impressions that are useful to them through using programmatic advertising such as real-time bidding technology.

When choosing an advertising network, exchange of DSP to publish your display advertisements you should make sure that you choose one that can effectively reach your target audience. Choosing the right way to publish your display ads is incredibly important in driving traffic as in order to generate a high click-through rate you must make sure that your display ads appear on relevant websites and in relevant mobile apps. Therefore making sure that you understand advertising networks and know how to choose one that fits your needs is an important step in generating the right traffic that comes onto your website.

Display advertising optimisation

Building display advertising campaigns that consistently drive traffic is a continual development process. Whilst there is always room to improve, you will also notice that your target audience, and the technology needed to publish great display advertising campaigns evolves and changes over time. This means that you should measure and test every campaign that you run and use the data collected during your campaigns to optimise. There are various different ways to collect data and measure display advertising campaigns as recommended by the Interactive Advertising Bureau.

By using targeted display advertising to drive traffic you will need to advertise differently in different places using a variety of different display advertising creatives. Using programmatic advertising to create buy your display advertising inventory instead of directly buying it is one way to optimise. When producing large amounts of creatives, make sure that your production process is scalable. Today there is a whole range of tools available on the market that enable you to do this. From collaborative planning tools to HTML5 ad production solutions, you can transform your workflow so that your team can work smarter and your campaign time to market is reduced significantly.

Final Thoughts

This article has taken a detailed look into how you can use digital display advertising to generate traffic, these are the key things that you should keep in mind:

  • Don’t just aim to generate high quantities of traffic, remember that quality is of importance too;
  • Establish who your audience is and build an advertising strategy so that you can reach them online;
  • Not all display ads work well. Make sure that you incorporate best practises so that you create display ads that convert;
  • Find a way to quickly design creatives enabling you to test and optimise with different versions to increase CTR and sales.
  • Test and optimise throughout your campaigns so that you can learn and improve.
Get our latest Ebooks here!

The world of e-commerce is a competitive one with millions upon millions of online shops out there, so you need to stand out from your competitors. Follow these 11 awesome digital marketing strategies to get one, or rather eleven, steps ahead.