Display Advertising: Defining the Landscape

Many of the advertisements around the web are display ads. These ads are brought to web pages and mobile apps in a variety of ways. It’s worth taking some time to define the landscape that display ads are in.

What are Display Ads

Display ads are image-based ads that are shown throughout the internet. Like billboards you might see on the highway, they are graphic and usually don’t have much text. If they do have words, they’re typically in the form of a slogan or another quick message that gives you a general idea of the offering. They might have a call to action that looks like a button, but the whole ad is clickable and links to a landing page.

For advertisers and companies, display advertising can be an effectie way to improve awareness around a brand, product or service. 

Programmatic Display — Bringing Publishers and Marketers Together

At the core of internet advertising are publishers, who want to monetize their website through ads that take up space on the page. Marketers, on the other hand, understand that they need to pay to advertise their creative on websites, so that they can be discovered. There are few ways that publishers and marketers get on terms about how that will occur.

There is an uncountable number of publishers and advertisers. Giving them common spaces to exchange services is no small task. That’s why there is a large number of demand side platforms and ad exchanges that serving display ads possible.

Demand Side Platforms

Displays can be most effective when they are shown on websites relevant to what's being advertised, and when it's likely that the user will take further action. Because of the sheer volume of ad space, advertisers need ways to automatically place their ads where they can make the most impact. This is the role that Demand Side Platforms, or DSPs play. Through capabilities like real time bidding (RTB), they can automatically decide where and when an advertisement should show. Because of this, display advertising is often called Programmatic.

Ad Exchanges

The currency that it is leveraged in the display ad space is impressions. Publishers sell ad inventory by putting their impressions in with a collective pool of other advertisers. In these Ad exchanges, advertisers bid for impressions . In terms of scale, there are billions of ad impressions being sold on ad exchanges, making it necessary for DSPs to use automated tooling to buy these impressions at scale.

What about the Google Display Network

The ubiquitous GDN is a display advertising platform that is different for a few reasons. GDN is a network where Google serves both publishers (through the DoubleClick platform) and advertisers (via Google Ads). The Google Display Network is limited in terms of the volume of publishers in its own network. However, it's primary benefit is that smaller advertisers can get started very quickly.

Display advertising is a prevalent form of digital advertising. For businesses looking to promote themselves online, it can be a great medium to explore. DSPs are technology-rich platforms for effectively garnering impressions around the web and tackling your marketing goals. 

Display advertising only area of expertise for Alloy's talented digital marketers. Take a look at our other services to find out if we can help you today.