4 Reasons Display Digital Advertising is (Still) Effective

Brenna Betsch and Addy Osborne, Strategists on Diglant’s Planning & Insights team, looked into why digital display advertising is (still) an effective strategy in the customer journey. Learn more about the research they uncovered and their tips when incorporating display into your media mix below!

In the world of digital advertising, it’s easy to get caught up in the latest and greatest – what’s new, trendy, and making a splash. And while these new ad formats, channels, and targeting capabilities contribute to the advancement of digital advertising, it’s essential not to overlook the tried and true digital advertising methods, such as simple (but effective) display ads. 

Although this format may seem plain compared to the unique creative ad formats we see today, there are many great benefits of display digital advertising. It evolved far beyond its initial start in the digital advertising world and is now effective across the entire omnichannel customer journey. So let’s dive into why digital display advertising is still alive and well and how it adds value to your media mix!

What is Display Digital Advertising?

Display digital advertising uses images, text, and/or video combined with a link to your website, pointing consumers to learn more about your products or services. They come in various sizes and formats, including static with an image or dynamic with videos, multiple images, or other flashy elements, and served across websites, apps, and social media to an engaged or targetable audience. Traditionally these ads have been used for brand awareness campaigns and incentive site visitors and purchases. 

*A banner ad, a form of display digital advertising, solely refers to the size of the ad (traditionally 468×68). 

4 Ways Display Digital Advertising Adds Value to a Digital Marketing Strategy

1. Build Brand Awareness and Visibility to Support your Bottom Line

It will come as no surprise that eMarketer found sales/revenue to be the leading marketing KPI (key performance indicator) for brand marketers in 2020. 

It is important to remember that driving sales doesn’t come easily or without the works of many factors doing their part to achieve this overall goal. Engagement, conversions, impression, reach, brand awareness, and traffic are all significant contributing factors that work to drive overall sales and revenue.

In 2020, advertisers agreed that display ads were in the top four for most essential channels for accomplishing their goals (falling only behind video, search, and social). 

Whether high impact or standard, display banners drive a high volume of impressions and engagements, which keeps your brand top of mind with consumers. In turn, they drive sales and revenue making them a vital channel for accomplishing goals. 

See for yourself! Below we’ve outlined how a display digital advertising strategy can be used in different ways and with unique formats across the various stages of the customer journey to keep your brand top of mind.


“There are dozens of partners that brands can utilize in order to make their advertisement stick out as the environment continues to grow – specifically high-impact units that include conversation banners and social to display units. By adding in these more advanced display units, advertisers see excellent interaction with both the ad itself and an increase in site activity as this type of creative is undoubtedly memorable.” 

– Brenna Betsch, Strategist Planning and Insights

2. Low(er) Cost of Entry 

In comparison to other digital advertising channels, it’s relatively inexpensive to get started with display advertising. With just an image and text, you can get started raising brand awareness and driving site visitors. 

In addition to the low production cost, the pricing structure for display ads is usually flexible and lower. Standard pricing metrics that define success for a campaign include: 

  • Cost per metric (CPM)
  • Cost per click (CPC)
  • click-through rate (CTR)

This chart to the right helps to show that all of these metrics remain both effective and efficient for programmatic campaigns throughout the past decade. The average Display CTR has grown by 40% from 2012 to 2018, while mobile has increased by nearly 91%.

Because of the low cost of entry to get started with display ads, it’s a great tactic to add to your other marketing effort to continue to drive your brand’s message to consumers as they search and browse across different channels. 

Alternatively, if you already have a presence on social media, we can use our social to display solution to lower the entry lift even more. Social display ads are authentic recreations of social media posts configured to deliver in traditional banner placements. These ads combine this great content that comes with social posts with the efficiencies and scale of programmatic. 

3. Reach Consumer on the Go: Mobile Friendly Ads to Reach Mobile-First Consumers

Since 2020, overall time spent consuming media has dropped slightly. Despite this drop, digital media consumption continues to grow. As you can see in the chart to the right, digital, and specifically mobile, has the highest amount of time consumers spend consuming media. Every day, the average consumer spends nearly 4.5 hours on their mobile device, accounting for ⅓ of all media consumption.

Interestingly, as consumers spend more time on their phones, they aren’t implementing the ad-blocking technology we see them use on their desktop devices. 60% of consumers ages 18-24 use adblocking on their desktop, while only 18% of them use these features on a mobile device. Ultimately, this means for advertisers is not a loss of money but rather a loss of supply. 

That said, you’re still able to reach these users through existing channels, like mobile display, and DSPs as some users opt into acceptable ads determined by acceptableads.com. With platform-agnostic capabilities, you can pivot campaigns seamlessly between DSPs to find the best inventory for every campaign individually. 

As advertisers think about how to reach digital consumers, mobile is an essential channel to include. Programmatic digital display gives advertisers the chance to reach these consumers more so than any other media channel. 

4. Keep the Conversation Moving: Target and then Retarget Consumers

As mentioned above, digital display advertising isn’t a new or shiny ad format – it’s been a staple of digital advertising for over 25 years. However, what does continue to evolve and improve are the targeting capabilities for reaching your audience. 

Audience insights and data are used for programmatic display ads to best reach your desired audience with where they are currently at in the customer journey. 1st party and 3rd party data are used to match your brand’s parameters across behavioral targeting, contextual targeting, site targeting, lookalike targeting, etc.

Then, with effective optimizations, display ads can be used for retargeting your consumers across the customer journey. Engage with customers who were most interested in your ads – maybe they clicked but didn’t convert or visited your site but didn’t make a purchase – across other channels with a display ad to keep the consumer interested and moving down the funnel. 

Getting Started with (or increasing use of) Display Digital Advertising

“Although search typically receives credit as being the “last touch” within the customer journey, display adds value in building reach, frequency, and even view-through conversions when consumers take note of an ad and decide to search for that product or service at a later date to convert.

– Addy Osborne, Senior Strategist, Planning & Insights

Whether using this format for brand awareness or to retarget consumers who visited your site, display advertising is a powerful tool. When used in conjunction with other marketing efforts, it will boost your brand’s overall marketing effectiveness. If you’re new to display advertising or you’re looking to increase your use, it’s a good time to start allocating more media budget this way.

Display Digital Advertising with Digilant

Digilant is your own stop shop for all things digital advertising, programmatic display ads included. We pride ourselves on data-backed decision making which means we work hard to uncover audience insights and optimize throughout entire campaigns to ensure your best audience is reached. With all your digital advertising under one roof, we’re able to quickly move and shift efforts towards channels and audiences that are seeing the best results. 

Interested in learning more about Digilant’s integrated digital advertising capabilities? We’re eager to talk! Contact us today.

Digital Advertising Tactics Guide for Travel Marketers

The travel category is commoditized and highly competitive, with aggressive marketers for brands, OTAs, and third-party booking sites spending hundreds of millions of dollars in media.

Brands like Trivago, JetBlue, and Hyatt are spending as much as $65 million a year in advertising. eMarketer reports that in 2019 travel marketers are expected to spend over $10 Billion across digital channels alone. Travel brands focus heavily on the category’s transactional dimensions — price, reviews, loyalty perks — leaving no white space for brands who can’t or don’t want to outspend the competition.

So how can travel brands cut through the clutter in a category where you can’t simply buy your way to success? Our approach is to help travel brands connect with customers begins with a proven formula that combines a data-driven planning discipline with flawless execution across programmatic, search, social, and beyond.

The following is a guide to must-try digital advertising tactics to help you strengthen your brand’s customer engagement and acquisition in today’s ever-more-competitive travel landscape.

​​CRM and Look-a-Like Audience Targeting 

Onboard first-party CRM  data to target and customize ads to travelers and utilize Look-a-Like (LAL)  targeting to find new  prospects that look and behave more like your most valuable customers (using CRM data and/or pixel data).


  • Personalized advertising experience – Customize ads using real-time  behavior and data points drives over 50% higher  engagement.
  • Higher engagement – Send users to the right pages  and actions by pinpointing  user intent helps boost engagement and conversions.
  • Uncover new customers – Extend reach and increase performance with “look-a-  like” audiences.

Location-Based Targeting

Create custom location-based audiences by setting a specific radius that can be targeted on display or mobile devices. This gives marketers the ability to target people who are currently at or have previously traveled to a specific destination.


  • Connect with consumers  throughout the customer journey – Use custom geo-fences to  target consumers before they  arrive at a location, while they’re at a location, and after  they leave a location
  • Convert impulse buyers – Location-based targeting removes barriers to sales. When a prospect is physically close to your location, you have a much better chance of persuading them to purchase from you.
  • Outsmart the competition – Utilize location data to identify consumers who have previously traveled to a similar resort, hotel, or city to pursued them to book with you for their next trip.

Adaptive Segmentation

Develop custom segments based on observed behaviors to reach the most qualified audience segment(s). Segment consumers who have visited your booking site(s) multiple times, and/or abandoned the booking cart to reach mid and bottom-funnel prospective customers. In a similar way, you can segment consumers who have clicked on ads but have not yet converted.


  • Create precise audiences – Define and size granular segments using historical data.
  • Be there when it counts – Activate audiences quickly and benefit from audience real-time updates as your consumers interact with your brand.
  • Make smarter decisions- Fuel campaigns with customer  insights and with campaign performance data to optimize performance.

Site Retargeting

Use pixel-based retargeting to reach consumers who have previously visited or engaged with your website, researched booking, and/or requested information as they’re continuing their travel planning.


  • Engage lower funnel consumers – Reach and convert previous site visitors and shopping cart abandoners.
  • Improve cost-effectiveness – With retargeting, you are reaching consumers who have already been to your website at least once, and are that much closer to taking action.
  • Drive brand awarenessPromote brand familiarity and trust by keeping your brand in front of consumers who have previously engaged with your brand.

Behavioral Targeting

Leverage web search, purchase history, mobile app ownership, and web visit data to create deliver brand messaging to consumers who have shown the most interest in your brand.


  • Convert more – Customizing ads using real-time behavior and data points drives over 50% higher engagement.
  • Drive higher engagement – Sending users to the right pages and actions by pinpointing user intent helps boost conversions by 6X.
  • Help uncover new customers – Identifying ”behave-a-likes”  helps to increase performance lift over 150%.

Private Marketplace Advertising

As the focus on the quality of ad placement rises, PMPs have become more desirable. PMPs give advertisers access to inventory before it becomes available in the open marketplace. Advertisers can partner directly with publishers to create a program that meets their exact needs,  without forgoing the power of programmatic.


  • Increased control – Negotiate CPMs and buy a  specific type or amount of impressions across a pre-defined set of publishers.
  • More safeguards – Pick and choose publishers that meet our brand safety and contextual guidelines.
  • Better efficiency – Reach your audience across publishers that have driven proven ROI.

Dynamic Creative Optimization 

Dynamic creative optimization (DCO) is a  technology that creates personalized ads based on data about the viewer at the moment of ad serving. Because the creative is continually tested it often outperforms static display ads.


  • Dynamic content – Feature top-selling offers and personalize content based on geographic location and weather data.
  • A/B testing – Dynamic Creative allows necessary creative testing and revamping in ways that  traditional A/B testing cannot deliver.
  • Creative process efficiency – The creative process is much more efficient with DCO build technology.

Paid Search Broad Match

Broad Match is the keyword match type that allows you to reach the widest audience via search. When using Broad Match, your ads are eligible to appear whenever a user searches any word in your key phrase, in any order.


  • Keyword discovery – Broad Match keywords help you find new keywords to add to your campaigns. In particular, Broad Match can inform Exact Match keywords when you are first starting out.
  • Cost savings – Broad Match will optimize campaigns to avoid wasted ad spend. Non- or low-performing keywords will be paused so that you can focus your time and budget on the keywords that are performing.
  • Amplify other digital efforts – Capture mid and bottom-funnel  consumers who have been
    warmed up programmatic,  social, and more in the moments  they are most likely to convert.

The Path Forward

As noted above, a successful digital advertising strategy for travel brands requires much more than a single execution tactic. You need a thorough strategy – a set goal, and a plan to achieve it. For travel marketing, that means getting creative  with data solutions by looking beyond out-of-the-box audience segments, marrying tactics that complement each other and selecting partners that understand your business.

Another critical component is knowing which tactics are working and which aren’t. Finding the best mix of digital tactics can be overwhelming and it may mean you need to rethink how you are reaching travelers online. The good news: digital marketing reporting tools and attribution models make it easy to get a  clear measure of marketing effectiveness tactic by tactic and campaign by campaign. Digilant can help. Contact us today!

How Paid Social Can Complement Programmatic Display

Social media has been a trending topic in the digital advertising industry for a few decades now. Through the years, different platforms have fluctuated in popularity. Still, no matter which platform is ranking #1, one thing remains true: consumers delegate large portions of their day scrolling, watching, connecting, and browsing on these social platforms. It’s now estimated that the average consumer spends upwards of 2.5 hours on as many as nine different platforms every day. 

In turn, it’s essential for advertisers to stay up-to-date with new platforms, trends, and features on these networks. Social platforms are transitioning away from a closed “network” and more toward discovery platforms (take TikTok, for example). This creates a consumer eager for discovery. Beyond people, consumers are interested in finding, interacting, and even making purchases from new brands and products. Having an organic profile on this social platform (albeit important) is no longer enough. Brands need to present their brand to these new curious consumers with paid advertising placements. 

What is paid social?

Paid social or paid social advertising is when brands pay to have their content (ad) displayed in front of a specific audience. This can be done by either boosting organic content or through designated unique ads across platforms such as:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • Reddit
  • Snapchat
  • TikTok
  • Twitch
  • Youtube

Each social platform has its unique advertising opportunities varying from photos and videos to sponsored messaging and in-mail ad formats. There is a platform, and ad type brands can use across social for every stage of the buying funnel. Whether a “promoted pin” on Pinterest to garner brand awareness or a shoppable ad on Instagram enticing a purchase – the opportunities are seemingly endless to get your brand in front of consumers. 

Fitting Paid Social into your Digital Advertising Strategy

You may be thinking: my current digital advertising strategy is seeing great success. We’re reaching our target audience and hitting our KPIs. Why invest part of my budget in a new channel?

Advertisers need to remember, despite the success your seeing across one channel, the current shopper is an omnichannel shopper. So, marketing efforts must, in turn, mirror this journey. Every advertising channel is just one piece in the whole omnichannel marketing puzzle.

Pigeonholing yourself leads to missed opportunities on devices and channels consumers spend huge portions of time on, which puts your brand behind the competition.

If you’re already using a digital strategy like programmatic, paid social is a natural progression in expanding your portfolio. Check out four ways paid social and programmatic complement each other to further your strategy toward omnichannel success. 

 4 Ways Paid Social can Compliment Programmatic Display

1. Expand your media mix.

A mentioned above, today’s shopper is an omnichannel buyer. Consumers no longer take to one site to browse for and buy products. Instead, the shopping journey continues as they move from googling on their desktop to checking Twitter on their phone to listening to music on their smart speaker device. Adding paid social to your digital advertising strategy eliminates silos as your brand makes a splash with consumers no matter where they move throughout their day. 

2. Tell a cohesive story. 

Consumer privacy and data concerns are at the forefront of the industry as regulations are put into place to ease consumer concerns. Although these changes may be complicated to keep up with and understand, it’s crucial to remember that they’re put in place to enhance and protect the customer experience. And, when data is used correctly and safely, to benefit the user experience, about ⅔ of consumers are comfortable with their personal information and data being used. 

Compliantly using data during the customer journey allows your brand to tell a cohesive story across all channels and platforms. You can retarget, upsell, cross-sell, and use competitive conquesting to reach consumers with ads based on where they are at in the customer journey. And when you’re using both programmatic and social, you have more opportunities to reach consumers, so they move through the customer journey quicker and more efficiently.

3. Easier to Optimize 

Programmatic advertising gives you the ability to target users based on a variety of characteristics and data points. This includes their web and app activity, demographics, interests, purchase history, offline data such as subscriptions and loyalty programs, and social media activity. With this information in hand, you no longer have to look to serve an ad to someone simply because they like a particular page on Facebook. Instead, the platforms can work together so that the consumer insights gained with programmatic advertising are used to target consumers on social media better. 

With both channels in play, the data intake increases yielding easier, better, and more opportunities for optimization. 

4. Offer a holistic approach. 

Like increased channel optimization, adding paid social to your programmatic campaigns enables a complete picture of the success of your media investments. You’ll understand which channels are working best to move the needle for your brand, where the budget could be better allocated, and what messages resonate best with consumers. All of this information will be obtained in the same place, at the same time, giving you an overall holistic view of your digital media.

Get Started with Paid Social

Implementing a new channel doesn’t mean you have to start from scratch. Social media, for example, is a great platform to use in conjunction with your other digital advertising effort because there isn’t a drastic lift to get started. Assets can be used for display and social posts with minimal resizing and editing. 

Conversely, if you have an organic or paid social media presence but are looking to expand into channels like programmatic, capabilities such as social to display ads offer you a no lift point of entry.  Social Display ads repurpose or recreate organic social media posts to use as traditional display ad units.

Whether you currently use paid social and not programmatic or you’ve invested in programmatic but yet to dive into paid social, understand that the two channels work wonderfully in tandem to elevate your digital media goals and further your brand’s overall growth. 

Digilant’s Paid Social Capabilities

By working with Digilant, you are getting an expert team that knows the ins and outs of each social platform. We’re committed to staying up-to-date with the latest features and offerings from social channels, so our team has weekly calls with each platform to talk about the latest updates, campaigns, and any troubleshooting.

Our Paid Media team will provide a strategy based on your campaign goals and objectives to ensure you are on the right platforms to reach your goals. And because Digilant has expertise across programmatic, search, social, and beyond, you’ll have access to holistic reporting that gives you a clear picture of how all your digital media efforts are working together. 

Interested in learning more about how Digilant’s can works as an extension of your team to reach your social goals? Let’s talk.

Driving Brand Awareness With Your Programmatic Digital Advertising Campaigns

Building a successful brand takes hard work, strategy, and tools to enhance awareness. With the digital landscape continuously evolving, utilizing the power of advertising in this space makes sense. Today’s consumers are online most of the time, relying on these channels to learn and buy. If your brand strategy doesn’t have a digital brand awareness component, you won’t get very far. Programmatic for branding is a smart strategy for building brand awareness.

What is programmatic for branding advertising?

It’s a form of advertising where ads are automated. In fact, programmatic advertising is the preferred choice in the online space. This allows brands to offer a more personalized experience across all the devices they use. Marketing strategies are more targeted with interactive ads and engagement at higher levels to reinforce messaging.

How can brands capitalize on programmatic for branding and reach their key customers? Here are a few ways to effectively drive awareness:

Cross-channel marketing strategies

You never know where your ideal customer is until you start implementing different strategies to find them. Your goal is to find those customers across every platform, channel, device, and system to deliver experiences that connect, engage, and convert. The data you gather will help determine which ones work best for your brand. Consider the way people consume information. Mobile device outreach should also be an integral part of your overall strategy.

This is also known as omnichannel and multichannel marketing. Why is this important? You want to offer your customers a seamless, integrated experience so they can move effortlessly through the customer journey no matter what platform they are on. Everything should be coordinated among departments to offer insight into what customers want and need. Use your data effectively. Behaviors, how they browse, how they react to certain ads, where and when they purchase, and if they engage in other ways can make a huge difference in pinpointing the brand awareness strategies that work.

Be creative

The more you exercise your creativity, the better your chances are of standing out among the crowd. First impressions are lasting ones, and you want to make sure your potential customers remember you from the initial introduction. There are different advertising formats you can use to show your creativity, share the story of your brand, build an emotional connection, and foster trust.

Two types of ads that work well in programmatic for branding are display ads and banner ads. Banner ads help with brand awareness and can be retargeted to those who have already become exposed to your brand. Once you are ready to move past these two, there are additional options that require a bigger ad spend. Interactive banners, video ads, and other forms of digital advertising allow your audience to interact and engage with your brand.

Video is one of the most effective forms of advertising today, with consumers preferring to be entertained. Focusing on viewable content and those metrics is key. You’ll know which advertisements are being shown, which ones are being seen, and which ones are most effective.

Use data

Data drives results. If you’re just putting ads out there and haven’t mastered the art of analytics, you’re wasting money. Brands that focus on the numbers are successful because they have learned what keeps their customers engaged.

What types of data should be considered?

Demographics, psychographics, and geographics to start. Once you know where these customers are, it’s time to look at their behaviors and the time of day when they are looking at your brand. How close are these customers? Are they local or can only shop online? What do they prefer? In-store or via an online platform?

The beauty of programmatic advertising is that you can track everything happening in real-time. That provides an opportunity to quickly change an ad that’s underperforming with one that gets more traction. You should be looking at the amount of traffic, how many views, click-through rate, and overall engagement to get a big picture analysis of the types of audiences you have and what they respond to.

By using these analytics, you’ll be able to have more effective campaigns that reach the right audiences at the right time on the right platform. Once you have this information, you’ll be able to funnel your ad spending to the right channels.

The overall goal is to know your customers well enough to utilize the power of programmatic for branding strategies effectively. This can seem overwhelming if you don’t know where to begin. These tactics, along with using different options for media buying all work together for optimal results. Programmatic advertising not only helps funnel your advertising to the right channels, but it helps minimize the risk of your advertisement being placed in the wrong environment.

Significantly different than paid search, programmatic puts your placements in front of people that don’t know your brand but probably want to. The best thing you can do when driving brand awareness is to create data-based ads that are relevant from the start. With the shift toward programmatic advertising growing, it is crucial for brands to understand and embrace this concept.

Not knowing or understanding how to move forward in programmatic for branding can be confusing. Having a knowledgeable team on your side who can help navigate your brand awareness strategy, pinpoint your target audiences, and get your ads in front of the right people results in a great return on your investment. Working with a partner like Digilant can help you develop a strong programmatic branding strategy while focusing on additional elements of your brand.

For more information on how Digilant can assist in setting your brand awareness strategy for success, contact us today.


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