Digital advertising revenues continue to climb and more marketers are moving towards digital mediums instead of more traditional channels. In fact, a recent study from IAB found that display advertising revenues totaled $12 billion in 2012 (Tweet this!) and banner ads account for a large percentage of that. While some may be hesitant about investing in new display advertising campaigns, many may not be really evaluating their display ad strategy and optimizing their company's spend. Here are some common display advertising mistakes and how you can avoid them to boost your CTRs and ROI.
1. Failing to Segment Appropriately
It's all about targeting and relevance. Segmentation allows your business to use all the data it's been collecting to segment its display efforts for peak performance. The three key areas you can't afford to ignore are geographic, demographic and behavioral segmenting. Other segmentations companies have found successful include buying behaviors, stage in the purchase process, channels/mediums, lifestyle and levels of engagement. If you're looking for a few more ways to segment your display ads, consider:
- Prospects vs. Customers: Target prospects to build trust, credibility and more awareness. Target customers to upsell them or educate them on new offerings and content.
- Industry or Vertical: You can't be everything to everyone. Segment and target your ads by industry for the relevance factor.
- Company Size vs. Revenue: What size of companies, in terms of revenue and employees, are you the most successful in reaching?
2. Not Testing by TOD (Time of Day)
The time of day that you run your display ads can make a big difference in how successful your campaigns are. A study from Infolinks found that visitors tend to interact more with online ads during the day with clicks dropping off as the day comes to a close. The peak in clicks occurs between 11 am and 2 pm and the day with the highest click-through rates is Friday (Tweet this!). On Fridays, CTRs are nearly 4% higher than most weekdays and more than 6% higher than on Wednesdays when they are at their lowest. If you're unsure of where to start with display advertising, consider running your ads display ads during normal business hours and on Fridays. It may lead to greater conversions and CTRs.
3. Not Using the Right Tools or Metrics
Click performance isn't always the best way to measure digital advertising success. Studies from Harvard have shown that display advertising can have a significant impact on search (Tweet this!). They found both branded searches and product search queries received a boost that's attributable to display exposure. As you measure your display ad efforts, make sure you develop metrics and benchmarks that really align with what your business is trying to achieve: impressions, awareness, interactions, clicks or any combination of these. Then, make sure you are able to track your efforts and use the data for future ad spends.
4. Not Optimizing or Refreshing Ads
The right tools and metrics bring me to this next point. You can't run the same ad over and over again and expect the same results, especially if an ad has been performing poorly. After all, insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting difficult results. While the time of day or the day of the week can impact the success of an ad, you need to focus on optimizing the content and images within your ads and refresh the campaigns. Knowing which images and text draw in the highest-quality leads can help you optimize your current ads and launch more successful display ads in the future. Marketers are becoming more data-driven and display ad campaigns need to as well.
Display advertising isn't disappearing. The metrics are simply changing. It's no longer solely about the clicks. Your ad copy, images, placement and run time are all impacting the success of campaigns and marketers need to be smarter about their display efforts. Make sure your business is using the right tools, measuring the right metrics to optimize efforts, constantly testing, and segmenting it's efforts to be more successful to reach the right buyers at the right time.