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Display Advertising Up the Funnel Without a Paddle

In today’s digital marketing landscape display advertising can be an intimidating beast. Real time bidding(RTB), Click through rates(CTR), Cost per impressions(CPM) and Cost per clicks(CPC) can be more than confusing. This coupled with a large number of different display offerings can be intimidating, each one claiming higher click through rates, higher engagement and better conversions. So here is your guide to the conversion funnel of display advertising.

Run of Site Display – Awareness

Run of site display is the least targeted type of display advertising possible and can use almost no technology to target users. This is the equivalent of handing out leaflets on the high street.

The Positives

It has a cheap cost per thousand.

The Negatives

Banner blindness (ignoring ads) can be a big issue here. There are a large amount of display ads out there and if they are of no relevance to the customer they will have no lasting impact in driving awareness. Due to the cheap price of the inventory these banners can often be below the fold (not at the top of the screen when the page loads) which will lead to a large waste of impressions and therefore money. Another effect of cheap inventory is that the site quality may be low. If your customers trust a site they will invariably see the ad as a trusted brand. CTR for these campaigns would be in the region of 0.01%

Prospecting – Interest

There is two main ways in which prospecting is carried out. First is lookalike modelling. Looking at the behaviour of the converting customers on your site, companies are able to look at their browsing behaviour and match this to users who have not yet interacted with your brand. A couple of things they may match browsing behaviour to are, what sites the customer has previously visited or for example or the internet browser that a user currently uses.

Second is site specific targeting. A user is browsing a specific site and up pops a relevant ad which also relates to the article or page the user is browsing on. CTR for this activity would range between 0.3 and 0.8%.

Below are couple of ads that are site targeted on gender and product.

The Positives

It’s very good for driving new customers to the site and driving brand awareness with new potential customers.

The Negatives

This can be limited by the type of customer you are looking for. The more niche the product that you are looking to advertise the harder it can be to get a good volume and effective targeting. The CPM for this activity can also be up to 5 to 6 times higher than run of site activity.

Retargeting – Desire

Retargeting is simply for a customer who has been to your site and targeting them once they have left with a display banner.

The Positives

You know these customers are interested in your brand and have been to your site. They may browse competitor’s sites before purchasing so this is a great way to ensure that you are at the forefront of their mind. Up to 98% of customers leave a site without purchasing or converting.

The Negatives

This will be limited by the amount of users that go to visit the site in the first place.

Personalised Retargeting – Action

This is targeting users who have been to your site with a specific ad that is also personal to what they have looked at on the site.

The Positives

The click through rate for these can be up to 1.5% driving a huge amount of traffic to the site. Users have browsed the site and have viewed products so are right on the edge of the conversion funnel before purchasing. The conversion rates after clicking can be as high as 10%.

The Negatives

Privacy can be an issue. Some users do not understand that this technology works through non identifiable information. It can be hard to educate both the client and the company that this is an invaluable way of driving conversions. It can also require a lot of development work and set up time.

This is just an overview of four different display offerings. For each company it is key that each part of the conversion funnel is targeted to ensure that the user’s journey from brand awareness to conversion is covered effectively with as little waste cost as possible while upholding the brand name and image.