How Advertising Agencies use Display Advertising to get Great Results for Clients

When an advertising agency recommends Display Advertising as part of your overall marketing strategy, it is likely supporting other advertising efforts. This article discusses several ways display advertising can complement other marketing strategies.

The best agencies work closely with their clients to set realistic and specific goals in order to achieve great results. Display advertisements are not an all-in-one advertising solution, but they are highly effective at reaching advertising goals throughout the sales funnel.

Sales Funnel

The first step advertising agencies will take is to understand the marketing goals a client needs to aim for first. Display advertising is different from search ads, because with search ads you target people who are looking for something specific and are further down the sales funnel, and get all the benefits of targeting an ideal customer – those who already have a need or a desire. 

Display advertising, meanwhile, is usually placed next to content or in front of content that isn’t directly related to it. Advertising agencies understand that display advertising serves a different, complimentary service to search and other advertising methods. It’s a multi-stage process that can end up with brands being in consumers’ final consideration set before purchase.

When consumers have that brand awareness early on, it can mean companies are able to use cheaper and more effective advertising methods further down the sales funnel to solidify their company as the final choice. It’s designed to get brand names in front of someone with the hope they will remember it later when they see your ad again.

Mobile Analytics

Display Ad Goals

A display ad campaign is not intended to be the "make it or break it" factor in your overall marketing efforts however it does help in the top three stages in the sales funnel: Awareness, interest and consideration (This is the stage which can be targeted with specific remarketing campaigns using display ads). 

Display Advertisements are able to achieve these several advertising objectives such as:

Reinforce brand awareness with impressions

  • When used as a supplement to other forms of advertising (such as print, radio and TV ads), display ads can help reinforce a brand's image and identity in the minds of consumers. 
  • This approach works best if there is a single concept or theme in a campaign and it uses consistent messaging across all mediums.

Drive traffic to an off-site location

  • A well-designed display ad can take viewers directly from that ad page to another site where they can learn more about products, services or special sales events.

Lead Gen /Data Gather with interacting ads

  • Display advertising is great because you're able to data gather and be experimental with interacting elements on a display ad. 
  • Interactive elements can encourage users to click on the ad- good marketers will then reward them with additional content such as a coupon. 
  • Interactivity is a great way of gathering contact details, right on the ad. This heavily reduces friction, meaning it’s more likely a lead will be gained.

Once advertising agencies have decided on the goals, objectives and key performance indicators (KPI’s) of a campaign, and which of those goals Display ads will help with, they’ll next start to consider the design of the ad.

Display Ad Creation 

Ad agencies need to consider ways to capture an audience's attention when using display advertising. Since these people aren't actively searching for products or services, the benefits of clicking on an ad should be emphasized.

Facebook Ads

Display ads allow the use of rich media (changing text), single or multiple animated images, and videos, all of which are engaging and visually appealing to consumers. Consumers remember visual information much better than text-based content, so using display ads to illustrate key messages about businesses will help improve awareness about the brand in question and drive more leads in the long run. 

There are five main considerations marketers have to make when creating a display advertisement after the goals have been decided: 

1. What is the target audience? 

The target audience of a display advertisement will heavily impact design decisions. 

Advertisers will consider the persona they are targeting through a display ad. For example, they are more likely to use popular influencers front and center for an ad targeting a younger audience, and may be more text heavy with larger fonts for an older audience who may have trouble seeing. 

Age is just one demographic consideration though, and there will be other factors which should be accounted for such as interests, life-stage and job.

2. What is the message (include tone and CTAs)?

An agency would make sure that the message links well to the goal it’s trying to reach, is appropriate for the target audience and make sure that it includes the relevant CTA’s.


Additionally, the tone of the message would be aligned with the brand the advertising agency is representing as, aka, the brand personality. 

Another thing to consider is the tone, which  should be consistent across all messaging of a campaign -  the tone is the author's attitude toward the reader, and the subsequent feelings it produces (e.g. a confident tone may make a brand's message sound more positive).

3. What media should it use to reach its target market? 

Medias available for use include text, images, flash, video, and audio. This gives marketers a wide variety of options to choose from.

Remarketing ads are likely to be image based, as they would be automatically created rather than agencies creating them one-by-one. 

Ad campaigns aiming to increase brand retention may use flash to create a banner game which includes brand-related imagery as engagement will result in better retention.

The decision on what media to use will be based on the target audience, the goals and the KPIs such as expected cost per acquisition (CPA) or cost per impression (CPI)

4. How much space is available on the screen to display your message? (i.e., size constraints) 

Display ads can come in all shapes and sizes, which is why advertising agencies would design banner ads in all the most common sizes to ensure it looks good at any aspect ratio, or supply assets to Google such as the base image and headline, which they would then use to create responsive display ads.

5. Where will the ads show?

This decision will be heavily dependent upon the advertising campaigns’ goals, and the interests of the campaign’s target audience. 

Google can use the information advertisers supply on their target audience to automatically place ads. The way in which is done this will be guided by the options an agency picks between;


Remarketing ads are likely to be used in any eCommerce business due to the great ROI they achieve. These ads will show up throughout the web and show items people have previously looked at on a site in the hope they’ll come back to purchase it.

Affinity Audiences

Advertisers will use affinity audiences to reach people right at the top of the sales funnel, and just make them aware of a brand. Ads will be targeted at people who fit into a category such as “sports fans”.

Custom Affinity Groups

This group reaches the same aim as affinity audiences, however it allows marketers to be much more specific with the interest-based targeting such as selecting “skiing enthusiasts” rather than the broader “sports fans”, and therefore much more targeted with the display advertisement.

Custom intent and in-market ads

This will target consumers in the market to buy products and services similar to those the brand an agency represents has for sale. 

It targets people further down the sales funnel, and if an impression has not been made on the consumers earlier on in the sales process, it will be difficult to convince them to consider a new brand at this stage.

Similar audience ads

Google will investigate current and past website visitors then create an audience similar to existing website visitors. Agencies will use this targeting method to find people similar to those they know have bought something or were close to buying something.

Contextually targeted ads

This method of targeting will find websites which fit with predefined topics, and display ads on those websites.

Site-placed ads

Though Google offers many methods to pick sites for advertisers based on predefined criteria, it’s also possible to pick sites, and even specific web pages within those sites individually. 

There are many considerations advertising agencies take if they decide to use display advertising as listed above, and this article went over many of the common decisions, and the reasoning behind them.

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Liberty Revah-Opacki


Marketing executive at Royal Wares.