Display ads are frequently used in digital marketing and advertising strategies to attract audiences and engage them with the online communities of businesses. Display ads are an important part of a business’s online marketing strategy that can enhance the connection with its audience.

It’s critical to comprehend the various display ad formats and their advantages if you operate in marketing or advertising.

This blog will explain the following:

LOCALiQ State of Digital Marketing Report

State of Digital Marketing Report 2024

Exclusive insights and data from the marketing strategies of over 500+ UK business

Display advertising in digital marketing refers to a wide variety of visual applications that businesses and brands employ to draw customers to their websites, social media profiles, and other digital channels. They are used to appeal to audiences and entice them to go across various digital platforms and perform a certain activity that leads to an outcome, like making a purchase for example or signing up for a service. Display ads are typically used as part of a bigger digital marketing strategy to increase their market reach and drive sales.

Advertising networks like Facebook Advertising or Google Ads, which offer effective audience targeting options and advertising formats, can be used to operate display advertising campaigns, which you can also combine with search ads.

Display advertising is a great marketing strategy since both website owners and advertisers profit from it. By selling some space via Google AdSense, hosting websites can monetise their visitors, while Google Ads allows advertisers to purchase it. Google utilises the CPC (cost per click) and CPM (cost per thousand views) pricing models. This means that depending on your bidding strategy, you are charged a certain sum of money each time a user clicks through to your advertisement.

Ads are served by the Google Display Network. It provides your business with the ability to identify the ideal target market and display your advertising at the right time and location. This network helps you grow your business by uncovering the most promising audiences with automated targeting and finding new prospects based on similar audiences.

Remarketing can also be used as an alternative. To increase sales, marketers track users’ cookies when they leave items in their shopping carts without buying. Cookie tracking and data collection from external websites are used by advertisers to monitor users’ activities. As a result of this data aggregation, behaviour targeting is also possible.

Geographic and contextually focused adverts can also be made using Google. Only websites that are related to your commercial message are used to display contextual advertising. For instance, if you offer makeup, you can advertise on beauty blogs and websites. In addition to targeting demographics and geography, you can also provide seasonal offers to specific audience segments.

Let’s go on to further review why display ads are useful now that you know more about the display advertising algorithm.


Your digital marketing initiatives can greatly benefit from display advertisements, which are useful for the following things:


Diversifying the types of advertising

The size, shape, colour, and style of display adverts are frequently customisable to match the website content of a business. For instance, a classic banner display at the top of the page on a business website might help draw visitors and motivate them to take action. Alternatively, a video ad or infographic might be better suitable for interacting with your business’s community on a social media page. One reason display advertisements are a great addition to a digital marketing strategy is the freedom to select a variety of advertising visuals.


Conducting market research

Targeting particular customer markets is another advantage of using display ads in your digital marketing efforts. You may track the strength and performance of your strategies and market reach, with many advertising campaigns and can then use the same information for target audience analysis. You can then use this analysis to develop additional strategies for focusing on a variety of specific niche markets. Display advertisements can also give you information on the types of readers that engage with your digital content the most, enabling you to assess how well the business’s services meet their demands.


Tracking important metrics

Display ads are also useful for tracking metrics related to digital marketing and advertising. The most effective visual displays may be identified by tracking key metrics like click-through rates, bounce rates, time spent on a page, and other important variables. You can also identify which methods need to be changed to better engage your audience.

Related reading: The Top 18 Social Media Metrics You Should Be Tracking


To improve your online presence, audience engagement, and market research, take into account the following display ad types when you design your digital advertising and marketing strategies:


1. Banner ads

Banner ads are one of the most prevalent types of display advertising because they typically use text and visuals to grab viewers’ attention. They can be found on a variety of websites, blogs, social media platforms, and online forums, as well as business and news sites. Advertisers can choose from landscape, skyscraper, or square banner ads.


2. Native ads

Native advertisements are used in online marketing, particularly in content marketing strategies. Native display ads flow smoothly into the content of the web page, website, or email. The content is integrated into native display ads in a way that encourages people to associate the ads with the brand or content itself. Examples of native display ads include links that take users to other pages on a website, suggested reading, sponsored search results, or promoted social media posts.


3. Animations

Display ads with animations are powerful for promoting brand messages, products, and services because they can draw readers in with text, audio, and video elements. These components also enable you to use animated display ads as lengthy promotions that cover intricate or in-depth explanations of a certain product, service, procedure, or challenge.

Additionally, animated advertisements may be shareable, which encourages viewers to tell others about a branded message or promotion. Higher audience engagement from animated display ads may also strengthen a brand’s relationship with its target audience.


4. Interactive content

Multiple elements are combined in display ads with interactive capabilities to engage online audiences. Interactivity with these types of ads is made possible by text headlines, graphics, and other features. Interactive display ads are useful for showcasing to online shoppers the internal characteristics of a particular product on websites since viewers may hover over a specific portion of the ad to view content, click on parts, and engage with the display ad in other ways.

These kinds of advertisements can be helpful for businesses and brands who wish to inform audiences or give customers more information about particular products or services.


5. Video content

Display ads featuring video content frequently pique viewers’ interest by conveying a clear message, posing a challenging query, or introducing a product or service. Video display ads use text and audio and combine video to nudge viewers to perform an action or make a choice. The capacity to delve further into issues is the main advantage of video display ads. Similarly, you can use live-action videography or animation with video advertising, making these forms of display ads ideal for numerous business uses.


6. Infographics

Infographics are a style of display advertisement that combines text and visuals to inform viewers about a certain subject, concept, or offer. Business websites that concentrate on informing and educating visitors about products or services may find it useful to incorporate infographics into their online advertising strategies.


7. Expanding ads

Display ads that viewers can expand past the initial size that they see on a website are known as expanding ads. Some expandable display advertising appears when users hover over certain display elements, while other expanding ads could appear in response to specific user activity. Expanding adverts are frequently set up by marketers based on user behaviour and intent.

For instance, an expanding advertisement on a company website begins as a modest display within the content page during the invitation phase. The display ad then enlarges to take up more space on the page as users engage with the content, drawing in viewers’ attention for a variety of reasons.


8. Lightbox display ads

Lightbox display advertising is a unique type of display advertisement that Google created. These display advertising are comparable to expandable display ads, which need user interaction before initiating full-screen content on a website. Lightbox advertising, as opposed to conventional expanding ads, can combine video, audio, text, animations, and other features to increase audience interaction online.

The fact that Lightbox display advertising can only be seen by people who hover over them for at least a few seconds is another important aspect of these adverts. This essential component reduces the possibility of users mistakenly activating advertisements while browsing websites.


9. Pop-up display ads

Pop-up display advertising enables people to learn about offerings, sign up for services, or buy products from a business or brand by using a pop-up content feature that is most frequently found on websites. Pop-ups typically take the form of a small, square box on a website and encourage users to perform a certain activity.

For example, a company that offers online services to its consumers may engage with and entice potential customers to subscribe to its email list to learn more about its offerings by using pop-ups on its website. In this instance, the company modifies its website so that a pop-up ad appears after a little time, urging readers to subscribe to its email newsletters.


10. Interstitial display ads

Mobile device applications, including games, social media apps, and other online mobile applications, increasingly use interstitial display ads. Users who interact with a programme may see interstitial advertisements at important transitions. As consumers navigate from one section of mobile game apps to the next, interstitial advertisements frequently display between various scenes or game levels.

Applying interstitial display advertising within a mobile app can aid the company you work for in broadening its customer base if your digital marketing techniques incorporate mobile integration.


Display ads are available in a range of formats, as can be seen above, but they can also be classified into different types based on the targeting method. Here’s a breakdown of each one and what they do:


Remarketing ads

Remarketing advertising, also known as retargeting ads, makes up the majority of display ads you encounter today. Retargeting initiatives are now commonplace because of the effectiveness of ad personalisation. Here is how they function:

  • You’ll add a small section of code to your website to begin gathering anonymous data about visitor browsing behaviour, such as when they browse a category or product page.
  • This data is added to a list that you’ll create. After a visitor has left your website, you’ll then be able to decide how long it is until they get retargeted with your ad. The lists you create can help you determine client types and the advertising messages that would most likely appeal to them based on the data you have gathered.
  • You decide how long a user’s information remains on a list. This allows you to reach the customer when they’re more likely to make a purchase or remove them if you think they’re no longer interested.

You should know that in order for this to work effectively, the website visitor must have cookies enabled.


Personalised ads

Remarketing is viewed by Google as a subset of tailored advertising, which can be successful when used to segment your audience and provide a better user experience. Based mostly on their activity on third-party websites and applications, users are assigned into audience segments.

Users are divided up into audience types for Google’s own products’ targeting based mostly on their usage of these products. The various audience segment types to employ for targeting in your campaigns are briefly described below:

  • Affinity segments: Reach users based on their habits, interests, and areas in which they are passionate.
  • Custom segments: By adding pertinent keywords, URLs, and apps, custom segments make it easier for you to connect with your intended audience.
  • Detailed demographics: Identify users based on long-term life facts using detailed demographic information.
  • Life events: Reach consumers during significant life stages by using life events.
  • In-market: Identify users who have recently shown interest to buy.
  • Your data segments: Reach users who have already interacted with your business.
    • Website and app visitors: Target people who have used your apps or website.
    • Customer match: Utilise your CRM data to connect with your current customers.
    • Similar segments: Reach out to new individuals who share the same interests as your website visitors or current customers.


Affinity targeting

Customers that have expressed a keen interest in your market are shown your adverts through affinity targeting. You may reach a huge audience by targeting these affinity groups, which can be rather inclusive. For example: “movie lovers.”


Custom affinity groups

You can target particular hobbies more precisely with smaller bespoke affinity groups like “long-distance runners.”

Remember: You’ll reach a smaller audience if you use more specific categories.


Custom intent and in-market ads

Customers who are actively looking for products or services like yours are the ones that you want to reach with custom intent and in-market ads. Fewer people will see your ad than affinity or custom affinity targeting, but those that do will be more likely to make a purchase.


Similar audience ads

Similar audience advertising seeks out people who share the same traits or interests as your existing visitors. Google combines the profiles of people on your remarketing lists with those of other users, then looks for commonalities to produce lists of new but comparable audiences.


Contextually targeted ads

Contextually targeted advertisements are displayed on websites by a variety of parameters, as opposed to showing your adverts to people based on their user profiles, such as:

  • Your ad’s topic and keywords.
  • Your preferences for location and language.
  • The main focus of the host website.
  • The most recent website users’ browsing histories.

You may either let Google decide these things or you can actively participate through subject retargeting.


Topic targeting

You can choose a topic from a list, and Google will match your ad to the relevant Display Network or YouTube pages. Additionally, you can use it to intentionally omit subjects from your message that are uninteresting or performing poorly.

Affinity targeting and topic targeting are similar, except you use websites as the target audience, instead of users.


Site-placed ads

Website placement targeting is your best option if you wish to choose the websites that will host your ads by hand. Either entire websites or specific pages within websites are selectable. Even better, contextual targeting and location targeting are both possible. With this method, you pick a website and Google chooses the pages that are most pertinent to your ad.


Instead of attempting to pass itself off as something else, display advertising accomplishes its goals more effectively than the majority of other digital possibilities. It promotes your brand’s message without being invasive, it’s sincere, and it’s also visually appealing.

You can connect with potential customers at all stages of their buying journeys when you combine display advertising with other marketing strategies.



Get in touch with one of our display advertising experts if you want to find out how it can benefit your business. You can also stay up to date with quality B2B marketing tips and industry-specific content, by subscribing to our newsletter.


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