Marketers engaged in Search often overlook the opportunities in Display advertising, but with total Display ad spend set to surpass Search in 2016, it’s time for advertisers to take a hard look at Display.
The ugly truth is that advertisers who are used to Search often fail at Display. Let’s chat a bit about the strengths and differences between Search and Display:
1. Immediate Need vs. Education – Search has been the go-to media for direct response campaigns because you can respond to a clearly expressed need. When users tell you what they want, it’s easy to tailor the message and the engagement path. But Search is limited to those that both know what they want and are taking active steps to find it. Display, on the other hand, offers the opportunity to get beyond the late-stage buyer. By educating and engaging a broader market, Display can help grow your overall market opportunity.
2. Linear Engagement vs. Cross-Channel – Search-savvy advertisers often fail at Display because they apply the same tools and metrics to Display that work for Search. The user path is completely different with Display than Search, however. With Search, it is not uncommon for over 90% of users to click on an ad and then engage. This linear behavior has lead to the explosion of analytic-driven marketing programs. With Display, though, the numbers may be reversed, with 70-90% of the users that engage doing so without ever clicking on an ad. Click-to-engagement metrics can lead to Display being undervalued by a huge factor. Luckily, more advanced approaches to understanding cause and effect are bringing Display back, as advertisers learn to take advantage of how users actually behave.
3. Create Demand – Advertisers that still use last-click attribution love their Brand traffic, but often don’t think about the drivers behind it. Display engagement often happens through a follow-on Brand search, meaning Display can be a very strong driver of both brand awareness and brand engagement. (Pro-tip: Utilize Display ad messaging in Brand Search ads for seamless engagement.)
4. Accelerated Home-Page Testing – Companies addicted to split testing tend to focus on purpose-specific landing pages, often because targeted Search campaigns can benefit from them. With Display, more focus is placed on the home page (because of the high levels of engagement without a click) creating a bigger audience for testing. As a result, tests can run faster, creating a conversion win for all marketing programs that drive traffic to the home page.
5. The Display + Search One, Two Punch – With Display campaigns creating demand, and Search campaigns capturing demand, the combined Display + Search approach creates a powerful combination for growth. As we emerge from the channel-centric world into one that embraces multi-channel, multi-device behavior, this alignment creates tremendous value when executed correctly.