Display ads 101: what B2B and healthcare marketers need to know

At this point, we all know that display advertisements are a key feature of digital marketing. But you’ve probably also heard that display ads have limited worth. Maybe you’ve read that people don’t trust display ads, or that half their clicks on mobile are accidental. But while it’s clear that these issues are obstacles for marketers to overcome, the value of display ads remains clear: they are a necessary component of getting your message out in a world where people increasingly get all of their information online.

Fear not, there are ways for B2B and healthcare marketers to optimize display ad strategy and make this tactic a meaningful part of your quest for new and return customers. Let’s take a look at a few key elements:

What do people see in your display ads?

When you’re designing banner ads or the tall ads that run alongside content on news sites, you need to make a strong first impression on your viewers. A polished, professional look is a must, or you risk your message being lumped in with the spammy ads promising “one quick trick” for weight loss or financial gain.

Make sure all ads align with your brand standards and create a consistent brand look. Be thoughtful about the combination of text and images and avoid overstuffing an ad with small print or making it visually confusing. Remember, as with a billboard, these ads are meant to catch your viewers’ attention and draw them in. They don’t need to represent every aspect of your offerings.

Remember, brand recognition can be as important as clicks

Display ads have sometimes gotten a bad reputation for their low click-through rates, which are well under 1 percent. Sure, you should do everything possible to raise those numbers for your own advertising, but it’s important to remember that the CTR on your ads isn’t a full measure of their impact.

People don’t “click” on print or television ads either, but those ads are known to improve brand awareness and recognition, and that’s why they have a long history as an integral part of marketing. The views of your ads — if they are targeted to your audience, and retargeted to those who have already interacted with your content — are also a meaningful measure of your reach, and can help you engage prospects later on.

Use programmatic tools to increase your ROI

Programmatic ad buying streamlines the process of purchasing display ads across a range of sites. It also tends to lower prices for ad buyers and to centralize data collection. All in all, programmatic can increase your display ad ROI by helping you better reach and impact your target market. As this is a relatively new and fast-changing technology, we recommend working with a media buying partner that can advise and direct your programmatic work.  

Great display ads are just one way to strengthen your brand. For more about the attributes strong brands share, read our white paper, 10 simple truths about strong brandsContact us here to learn more.

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