Do You Know When to Start Investing in Display Advertising?

I’ve often come across clients that put budget towards display advertising well before they are ready to, which can lead to a misunderstanding of its benefits. Advertisers tend to move towards display before capturing the full potential of search while mistakenly believing that display will provide the same results. Since the nature of display is about building brand awareness and is not directly a lead generation platform, display will not have as high of an immediate return as search. With that understanding, you might be wondering when is the right time to start investing your advertising dollars towards display?

As with all search advertising, marketers don’t create demand, we simply capture it. Below you’ll find an example query demand graph that illustrates this by showing three different states of demand capture. The dark navy area represents total available search queries while the A and B lines represent the advertisers’ current capture of these queries. On the other hand, the light blue area shows the increase in query demand driven by display efforts.

Breaking Down Query Demand & What It Means for Display Advertising

Brittany Amato_Graphic 1

While display advertising does not have quite the quick return that paid search does, it ultimately helps to make paid search a more sustainable, long-term lead generation solution by increasing brand awareness and thus increasing demand. Read the breakdown of the demand query graph to discover the role that display plays in creating demand and how it can help to scale up your paid search efforts.

Point A – This shows a case where there is more query potential than is currently being captured. Reasons for this could include a limited budget or current campaign structure that is limiting impact.

Point B – This case shows that the current budget and structure are capturing the full query demand. At this point you’d be asking questions like “Why can’t I get more traffic?” or “How else can I get more leads/sales?” Additionally, you’re likely throwing more money into search, but you just can’t seem to move the needle.

Point C – At this point, display advertising comes in. Notice the increase in queries the graph now has. Display can help to increase incremental demand while allowing you to get your brand message out there.

So, if you are at Point B then it’s probably time to start thinking about display! At this point, you are fully capturing the current search demand and need additional ways to grow. Adding in display will help incremental brand lift and fuel demand for your other digital efforts.

Just remember to keep expectations in check. While there are better lead generation display efforts than others, every dollar spent will not have the same ROI as search. However, display will drive brand awareness that funnels into all digital channels. After all—a rising tide lifts all boats.

For more information on navigating display and the paid media curve be sure to stay tuned to the Fathom blog.

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