As a small business owner, you know how challenging it can be to find new customers consistently and gain profits. No matter what type of small business you own, you have to fight to find customers and help improve your business reputation and reach online.
Digital ads are a great way to help increase awareness about your services and the types of solutions you can provide to customers. One type of ad that can be particularly useful to small business owners is display ads. But what exactly are display ads, and what makes them different from other online advertisements? In this article, we’ll help you learn all you need to know about display ads and talk through the best display ads best practices for small business owners to apply to their marketing strategies.
What are Display Ads?
To begin, let’s talk about what display ads are. A display ad is an advertisement that uses visuals to help garner clicks and conversions. Unlike search ads, a display ad features an image or a video that becomes the main asset of the ad to convince viewers to click. Oftentimes, display ads are hosted on third-party websites and include banners, sidebar ads, and bottom-of-page images.
There are many benefits to display ads that you don’t get in other types of online advertising. The first and foremost benefit is that you get to use imagery in order to get clicks. Other types of advertisements, like search ads, only use text. Therefore, you have more creativity and room to come up with clever and compelling imagery with a display ad.
Another benefit is where the ads are placed. Rather than appearing on a search engine result page, the ads will display on other websites, which can capture attention more effectively than someone looking for a solution through a search result.
Common Types of Display Ads
There are a few types of display ads that are more common to see than others. Here are the display ads you should consider as you build a display ad strategy for your small business:
A site placement ad, as the name suggests, places your ad on a different website in the form of a banner or sidebar. As the advertiser, you get to pick which types of websites your ad displays on, so you should consider the types of websites your customers visit that aren’t competitors.
A contextual ad is similar to a site placement ad in the sense that the ad appears on a website, but rather than personally selecting the site yourself, a third-party agency or network will choose for you. They tend to go to relevant or related websites.
Remarketing refers to a tactic that targets people who have been to your website but didn’t take a conversion action like giving you their information or purchasing an item. Remarketing will place the display ad in front of those visitors who came to your site or clicked to get on the landing page but didn’t move on from there.
Display Ads Best Practices for Small Business Owners
Now that you have a clearer understanding of what a display ad is and why it matters to your business, let’s dive into the display ads best practices for small business owners that you should spend your time focusing on and implementing into your digital strategy.
The first best practice to consider is your headline. While not as structured as a headline on a search ad, your display ad should still have a compelling headline that encourages readers to click and learn about the offer you have for them.
A clear and compelling headline is the best way to communicate your message and provide details to readers on why clicking on your ad is a great option. It’s also likely going to be the only text you have on the ad, so it’s all the more important that your message is clearly communicated in just a few words.
The next element to consider in your display ad is the design itself. Because display ads use videos, images, and graphics, you have a lot of room to play around and create a visually appealing image that drives conversions. Being creative allows you to add value to the display ad that you don’t get in other ad formats.
However, you still need to keep it relevant and related to your brand voice. A visually appealing ad with a relevant image or animation is the best approach to take when working on the design of your display ads.
The color of the ad is another important consideration to keep in mind. The best practice is to use clear colors that don’t distract too much or add too much busyness to the ad. If the ad is an eyesore, viewers are unlikely to click on it. In fact, too much color can actually make people less likely to see your ad, as they block it out immediately.
Instead, use a clean color that matches your images and graphics. You should also have a clear CTA, or call-to-action button, that is in a contrasting color from the rest of the ad. That makes it very clear to customers where they need to click in order to take the next step and convert from the advertisement.
Next, you need to ensure that you are targeting the right customers. Just as with other online display ads, you have some choice and selection of which people you target. Having a specific audience in mind helps you pick the best sites to display your ad on to get customers to convert. Knowing the key demographics that make up your ideal customer is important to the success of display ads.
When someone clicks on your ad, they should be taken to a landing page. A landing page is a page with a specific purpose. On the page, there should be more information about your offer and a form that a person can fill out so you can gain their information and add it to your marketing funnel. Optimizing the landing page drives more conversions and ensures that you get a high ROI from your advertising budget.
Most people browse online from a mobile device like a smartphone or even a tablet. That means that your ads need to be accessible in these formats. Mobile-friendly display ads will format themselves to the size of the screen they appear on. The CTA button should still be easy to see, and the ad itself should still be readable and clear even in a smaller format.
Customers are very wary of advertising in general. If you aren’t careful with your display ads, you can easily lose the trust of your customers. By creating a personal brand experience and a strong, positive reputation for your small business, you can earn the trust of new customers. Make sure your ads don’t look like clickbait or spam, and work hard to make them look as professional and authentic as possible.
The final display ad best practice is to measure and track your results from a display ad campaign. You’ll get quite a bit of data when you run display ads, and that data needs to be tested and analyzed to improve your efforts for the next display ad. Take time to examine your results and use them to make data-driven decisions moving forward.
Attend a Surefire Local Marketing Platform Demo
Display ads are powerful, visual online advertisements that can benefit your small business. However, trying to manage all of the aspects of a display ad on your own, along with all the other concerns of a small business owner, can be overwhelming. That’s where Surefire Local comes in.
Surefire Local is a business intelligence marketing platform that helps you manage and monitor all of the important marketing activities that you need to partake in as a small business owner. With the help of Surefire Local, you can gain access to all channels of your marketing strategy and easily update and monitor them from one single tool. And Surefire Local is only a fraction of the cost of other platforms and agencies.
To learn more about Surefire Local and how it can help benefit your business, try attending a Surefire Local marketing platform demo. There you’ll learn all you need to know about Surefire Local and how it can help you improve your small business marketing efforts today.