Paid Search Basics for eCommerce Marketers: Everything You Need to Know About Display Ads


Paid Search Basics for eCommerce Marketers_ Everything You Need to Know About Display Ads

If you’ve navigated the internet recently without using an ad blocker, chances are you’ve seen many advertisements on the digital real estate that surrounds the content you’re consuming. 

These advertisements—which include images, videos, and text—are called display ads.

Display ads take on a prominent role in most paid-search campaigns. And when it comes to display ads, Google’s product reigns supreme. Spend money on Google’s Display network, and your advertisements can reach up to 90 percent of all internet users across millions of websites, news sites, and blogs, as well as Google properties (e.g., YouTube and Gmail).

What’s the difference between text ads and display ads?

If you’ve never come across the term “text ads,” then you probably still have a pretty solid idea of what they are: simple ads filled with written words that direct users to a company’s website, landing page, or eCommerce store. 

Although text ads are easy to create and are one of the cheapest forms of digital advertising available, they’re not without their downsides. For example, you only get a small space to work with, which could make it hard to attract consumers. At the same time, not every publisher accepts text ads because display ads bring in more revenue.

On the flipside, display ads are visual. You can use a seemingly never-ending amount of different elements, colors, and formats to attract new consumers. Because we’re visual creatures, it can be easier to engage a website visitor with attractive, illustrative advertisements in comparison to text-based ads.

To be sure, display ads are more expensive than text ads. But they’re still one of the more affordable forms of advertising (e.g., compared to television commercials or even other forms of digital advertising like LinkedIn). That said, brands can run into trouble when display ads end up on inappropriate websites. They also tend to take a longer time to produce than text-based ads.

Still, with the right approach, display ads can deliver tremendous results.

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How to set up a display ad campaign

Setting up a display ad campaign is relatively easy. 

All you need to do is create an account, follow these intuitive directions from Google, create your display ads, and then launch your campaign.

Of course, you can’t just set up any old campaign and expect great results. You have to put together a campaign that actually converts. 

Up next, we’ll examine how to do that.

Best practices for creating a winning ad campaign

As you begin putting your display ad campaign together, here are some important elements to keep in mind.

1. Budget

First things first: You’ll need to figure out how much money you’re going to devote to display ads during your campaign. To arrive at this number, you need to determine how display advertising fits into your overall marketing strategy, how expensive each keyword you’re bidding on is, and which KPIs you’re trying to optimize, among other things. 

If this is your first campaign, you don’t want to pour all of your funds into display advertising. Start small, see how it goes, and rethink your budget as you start to see results.

2. Run time

Once you’ve figured out how much money you’re going to devote to your campaign, it’s time to figure out how long your campaign will run. Best practices say switching up creative every 45 days yields the best results.

3. Traffic

If you want your campaign to succeed, you need to drive traffic. But not all traffic is the same. For the best results, use tools that enable you to bring quality traffic to your site. To do this, create marketing personas and build your campaigns with them in mind.

4. Channels

If you launch a display campaign across channels that your ideal personas are unlikely to be, you won’t get great outcomes. That being the case, it is important to research channels to see where your audience hangs out and target your campaigns there. This is where eCommerce marketing tools can be particularly helpful.

5. Images

When you’re advertising on the internet, you’re competing against millions of people vying for consumer attention. As such, it is important to create thumb-stopping creative that makes your ads stand out.

6. Ad copy

You won’t be writing that many words, but the words you do write will have a profound impact on your campaigns. As such, write crisp and concise sentences that inform readers of what they can expect when they click on your ad.

7. Reporting

Even if you’re the best marketer in the world, you are unlikely to get amazing results with your first campaign. That being the case, you need to regularly analyze the results of your efforts by creating reports and using that data to iterate and get better results over time.

Display campaigns: A vital tool in every eCommerce marketer’s arsenal

The most successful eCommerce marketers use a variety of different methods and mediums to connect with consumers, including display ads. But they also use robust tools that give them the data they need to reach consumers across channels and serve up seamless, consistent, shoppable experiences that make buying things online from their favorite retailers as easy as possible.

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