So, you tried to understand display advertising and the whole process sort of made you dizzy? That’s ok, we get it! While it might sound confusing, it’s not – let’s try to make it simpler with 5 things you need to know about display ads:

1. To understand the game, know the players

Advertisers, publishers and consumers are the main players in display advertising. Simply put, advertisers (companies) buy ad space from publishers (websites) for specific amount of ad impressions (number of times the ad is shown on the website). The goal is to reach their targeted consumers. That’s how display ads were born. Today, however, the process remains similar but has welcomed new players following the digital boom in the 2000’s.

2. Ad networks and Real Time Bidding (RTB)

Ad networks appeared when the web boomed and millions of ad spaces went unsold. Those companies buy the empty ad spaces in bulk (inventory) and reassemble them in audiences that are then sold to advertisers – display ads often become cheaper, offer a better return on investment and targeting is enhanced. RTB is one of the development in display ads that has generated the most enthusiasm over the past years. Whereas ad networks sell ad space to advertisers in bulk and for a certain price, RTB creates an online bid among them while an ad loads for the opportunity to serve their ad to the specific user visiting. The bid is determined based on each company’s individual algorithms and allows an even more precise level of targeting.

3. Don’t forget about programmatic

Programmatic sounds like a complicated concept – it’s not. It’s an automated process that combines technology and data to simplify the display buying process. Basically, programmatic will help make sense of all the data collected to determine the most relevant ad to show to what user and at what time. Some platforms now make programmatic services accessible even to businesses with no experience in display advertising that help you launch campaigns quickly and efficiently.

4. Targeting is key

Today, considering the many channels by which a user is reached, advertisers need to be even more precise in their targeting if they can hope to influence their consumers’ behavior and actions. With all the available tools developed in the past few years, a phenomenal amount of data on consumers’ online behavior and interests can be generated to target when and where to serve that consumer a specific ad. In fact, a well-targeted ad on a website is 87% more likely to spark the consumers interest. Now, we haven’t discussed retargeting yet – that’s a whole other story. Find out what retargeting is and how to do it to bring your ad campaigns to a new level!

5. Clicks aren’t everything

In this digital age, we are lead to believe the click rate is an ad’s only measure of success. However, it should not be display ads first goal – a well targeted ad has the potential to create positive associations to certain brands and generate preferences with the consumer. Several other metrics should be considered and analyze to determine your online ROI and hope to maximize it. Here are 5 metrics you should look for when evaluating the success of your campaign.

Ultimately, what you need to know is that everyone can benefit from display advertising, whether you’re a small business or an advertising agency. On the plus side, more and more easy-to-use tools are created to enhance this process thus creating more opportunities for effective advertising. Now that we have covered the basic of display ads, let’s dig a little deeper and see how retargeting works.