Creating Great Display Campaigns

This week Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro) came up with yet another great question set titled “Creating Great Display Campaigns.” The following is the transcribed Streamcap from the live chat:

Q1: When speaking with clients, how do you explain the theory of the Display Network and why it is valuable?

  • Beneficial for expanding reach to the people who fit your target audience but aren’t searching yet. Plus on the flip side, always touch on value of remarketing as well. – Timothy Jensen (@timothyjjensen)
  • Depends on the goal & tactics used but at it’s broadest it feeds the funnel. It can be low funnel, too, though. – Amy Bishop (@Hoffman8)
  • Top of the funnel, gets them thinking about your brand for when they’re ready to search, your ad will stick out. – Michael Fleming (@SEMFlem)
  • GDN allows you to serve ads on content sites related to your product. Good for awareness, & can drive conv. – Melissa Mackey (@Mel66)
  • Getting a product or service out there that the target audience might not know about yet. Display remarketing has also been good selling point for us . – John Budzynski (@Budzynski)
  • Great for expansion (after brand terms, relevant search terms, remarketing). – Robert Brady (@robert_brady)
  • I, generally, explain it as branding to catch attention and create visibility when people are absorbing related content. – Nate Knox (@nateknox)
  • Great for building brand awareness and reaching an audience who were not necessarily searching for your services. – Joe Martinez (@MilwaukeePPC)
  • Search helps capture inbound visitors. Display is great way to outreach for new customers, likely at lower CPC. – Kirk Williams (@PPCKirk)
  • I think the idea of “awareness” is the scariest part of the display network for clients. Multi-channel reports help calm nerves. – Amy Bishop
  • Remarketing, brand awareness, & purchases that are more “I want” than “I need.” – Theresa Zook (@I_Marketer)
  • Increase Reach, Increase Traction at the top of the funnel, Top Of Mind Awareness and most imp. – Engage With Your Audience. – Rohit Palmurkar (@palmi_)
  • Although for top of funnel, we also can drive direct response at a profitable CPA on top of branding. – Michael Fleming
  • Dispaly Ad campaigns are viable when layered with defined segments & demographic targeting to produce positive ROI. – James Svoboda (@Realicity)
  • It’s always easier to push it as a value play, growing their offer’s reach while benefitting from the power of big G’s network. – Cleofe Betancourt (@askppc)
  • Powerful opportunity for volume growth as long as diligent effort invested in finding efficient placements & expanding negatives. – Chris Haleua (@chrishaleua)
  • Display is great for finding people that didn’t know they were supposed to be looking for you. – Jonathan Ng (@ThankYouJon)
  • Display remarketing, brand awareness, reach mostly. – Ashwin Chandra (@ashwin_chandra)

Q2: Clients are often weary of the Display Network – how do you encourage participation and set proper expectations?

  • Start with a lower budget that you can stand to part with, optimize and raise budget slowly. – Michael Fleming
  • Explaining all the levels of targeting available. Generally find most clients don’t realize how granular you can get. – Timothy Jensen
  • The GDN custom bid level setting introduced with enhanced campaigns simplified the layering of multiple targeting types. – Chris Haleua
  • With that type of client, I convince them of retargeting first, then try to move them into general display if it makes sense. – Nate Knox
  • Expectation: Display takes time. You have to ramp up and weed out. We’ll monitor performance closely. Depends on the goal & tactics used but at it’s broadest it feeds the funnel. It can be low funnel, too, though. – Amy Bishop
  • Showcase the lower CPC and excluded placements to eliminate bad traffic. – John Budzynski
  • Start slow and present a well crafted plan that includes MUCH targeting. – Matt Umbro
  • Using Audiences created for RLSAs on the Display Network is a natural extension and low risk test. – Matt Wilkinson (@WilkinsonSEM)
  • Showing the targeting and exclusion options helps. Then show the focused strategy after we get the new visitor on the site. – Joe Martinez
  • Remarketing is a quick and easier sell. Start with that pitch if short on budgets. – Ashwin Chandra
  • Focus on aligning Display with “Offer” in your ads and Goals for your campaign. Find your audience, not entire web. – James Svoboda
  • Temper expectations. Display performance won’t match search initially, so a slow rollout can be beneficial. – Cleofe Betancourt
  • Display is great for branding & exposure, but you need to be prepared for higher impressions and lower CTR’s. – Margo da Cunha (@ChappyMargot)
  • The first thing I tell clients about Display is that the return (at least via last click) will be less than the Search Network. – Matt Umbro
  • Start with fairly targeted campaigns to get a stable base. After that, clients will be more open to broader tests. – Amy Bishop
  • By the time I pitch Display to clients, it’s usually for remarketing or to expand on maxed-out search results. – Theresa Zook
  • Use Engaging Ad Formats & Logical Targeting. Start Low On Budget–> Propose & Prove Targeting –>Scale –>Move to next thing. – Rohit Palmurkar
  • Search: start narrow – broaden over time |
    Contextual display: start wide – tighten targeting over time. – Richard Fergie (@RichardFergie)
  • I want to make sure clients understand that Display is for reaching new audiences and not ROI (at least right away). – Matt Umbro
  • Identify what it is that makes them weary. If because of past mismanagement, detail how you can handle things differently. – Kirk Williams
  • It’s also great to start weary clients off with an All Visitors remarketing campaign. – Margo da Cunha
  • I’m doing remarketing from the start with the initial budget, same time I start Search. Regular display comes later. – Michael Fleming
  • Typically clients are on board with retargeting, I haven’t really had any hesitations there. – Amy Bishop
  • I start with tight targeting first, then go wider. Builds client confidence and results before testing wider reach. – Michael Fleming
  • I always try to figure out what the client is talking about first if “weary of Display” so we’re not talking past each other. – Kirk Willaims
    • Agreed, you have to understand the concern before you can address it. – Amy Bishop
  • Different for retargeting and more modern things like that. But for contextual I find I have to throw at the wall & see what sticks. – Richard Fergie
  • I’ve had clients ask about Display when they see competitors ads on certain placements. – Robert Brady
  • Iit’s easy to push lots of data at the client for “why it works” but if not addressing their main concern, it might not help. – Kirk Williams

Q3: What is your ideal Display campaign setup, i.e: individual campaigns around topics vs. placements, layered campaigns, etc? What segmentations do you generally begin with?

  • Well, that’s impossible to answer. I’ll just say creating an ecosystem of all ppc that works off each other. – Nate Knox
  • That really depends on the goals & what stage in expansion you are in with using display. – Bryant Garvin (@BryantGarvin)
  • Lots of segmentation – definitely segmenting image vs text ads, auto vs. manual placements. Makes bidding optimally easier. – Michael Fleming
  • Depends on what the goal is. Layered approach has always been my favorite for a strategy as focused and controlled as possible. – Joe Martinez
  • There are times when layered works well (but remember the more targeted the more expensive). Sometimes it is worth just allowing contextual,demographic or interest targeting, & placement inclusive to run separate. – Bryant Garvin
  • Remarketing! Then Social Display campaigns layered with demographics. – James Svoboda
  • Placements/Topics/Interests Layered with Age & Gender. Understanding product-demographic fit is key for display’s performance. – Rohit Palmurkar
  • I like layered campaigns but try to create a few different ones. One campaign with all the layers can restrict volume too much. – Amy Bishop
  • I’ve got one client where I segment by call to action because the value of the conversions are so different – sale vs. download. – Michael Fleming
  • I may be a little controversial here but remarketing/retargeting is completely different from core display. Core display is about expansion & prospecting, most remarketing is about recapturing users. Very different most of the time. – Bryant Garvin
    • Agreed – the theme of today’s chat is Display (not remarketing), I guess I didn’t distinguish in the description. – Matt Umbro
  • Start with solid “should-perform-well” targeting but keep it somewhat loose, remembering we can always layer/exclude as we go. – Amy Bishop

Q4: What is your theory concerning how Display ads and creatives should be written and formatted?

  • Matching website is “standard” & I like that, but prefer a very clean design. Not too much going on. – Theresa Zook
  • If using image ads, your creative must match the look and feel of your landing pages. Don’t create friction & confuse the user. – Joe Martinez
  • Be very clear with your offer. You don’t want to click bait people who aren’t in your target audience. – Pamela Lund (@Pamela_Lund)
  • Make the Customer participate thru your display Ad. Engage with him. Talk To Him. End Of the Day, it shouldn’t feel like an ad. – Rohit Palmurkar
  • Tie to a specific CTA/offer/reason to click is crucial to stand out. – Timothy Jensen
  • Don’t shy away from static .img ads. They often have as good/better results than animated. – Susan Wenograd (@SusanEDub)
    • Very true! sometimes have found that animated ads get lower CTR than similar static ads in same campaign. – Timothy Jensen
      • Agreed! I think users sometimes automatically tune out animations, knowing they’re an ad. – Susan Wenograd
      • Especially since SO many Display ads are now animated, maybe we are training people to ignore movement now! – Kirk Williams
  • Simple. Image, headline, description, call to action. Don’t get crazy with tmi. – Michael Fleming
  • Display has an even greater opportunity to prepare people for the landing page so it should, in message & design. – Amy Bishop
  • Growing divide between Native & Display. Serving ad to relevant audience on irrelevant site ok, but trend moving towards Native. – Matt Wilkinson
  • More educational about product/service to try and grab the customers who don’t know about you yet. – John Budzynski
  • Text ads have to be VERY compelling to get people to leave what they’re doing. – Robert Brady
  • The ads don’t need to be shiny and electric, but they do need to stand out and give users a reason to click. – Matt Umbro
  • Simple. Clean. But not TMI….always, test, test, test. – Coy Robison (@IamCoy)
  • Don’t copy search text ads to display campaigns. Less about matching intent, more about piquing interest. – Michael Fleming
  • Use color smartly. Clean images. Clear messaging. Grab attention. Don’t be “Too Good to be True”. – James Svoboda
  • Make Maximum usage of Rich Media Formats. They are built to improve efficiency and reduce costs. – Rohit Palmurkar
  • Actually look at where your text ads are placed. Sometimes it’s just your title that displays which can be tough to write for. – Pamela Lund
  • Consider mobile users. Too much crap on an ad doesn’t translate well when it’s squished for a smaller screen! – Susan Wenograd
  • Especially don’t discount text ads… they may be the “old dawgs” but they can perform surprisingly well at times! – Bryant Garvin
  • Also depends on your targeting. Should be a given but make sure your ads are relevant to your targets (interests, keywords, etc). – Amy Bishop

Q5: From a time and financial perspective, is it worth creating ads in all formats and sizes? Why or why not?

  • If you can you should! so many advertisers “ignore” anything outside the top 3 and you can get great placement cheaper. – Bryant Garvin
    • Way easier to create alternate versions too. Think I must test at least 5 or 6 text ads for every image ad test. – Richard Fergie
  • Depends on the investment for creative. If you have an in house designer with bandwidth, definitely. More sizes = More volume. – Amy Bishop 
  • Yes – for inventory. And more so now they can be bulk uploaded – Love that! – Steve Cameron (@adventcom)
  • Honestly, I find that there are only 2-3 Display ad sizes that convert well for my clients. – Theresa Zook
  • I always utilize all image ad sizes – I believe there are 18 by now? – Matt Umbro
  • Yes. We usually create ads in all sizes. Clients usually paying for them for media anyway. – Melissa Mackey
  • If the client has budget available, yes, to get more site coverage. – Timothy Jensen
  • If targeting specific sites, check the ad planner first to see what types of ads each site allows. Might save you some time. – Joe Martinez
  • If the client is just testing and has to pay another agency for creative, maybe just test the most common sizes. – Amy Bishop
  • Not always. Some just don’t get the volume. Start with popular versions, then create more based on performance. – James Svoboda
  • Most common sizes also means most competition = most costly. Some newer sizes are low cost. – Steve Cameron
  • Learn From Your Campaigns. Avoid making sizes which don’t perform. A/B test performing Creatives to experiment further. Repeat. – Rohit Palmurkar
  • You’ll need your core sizes, for sure. Build the rest once the campaign is doing well to increase reach. – Cleofe Betancourt

Q6: How much value do you place in the Display Planner tool? Why?

  • Just like any other Google suggestion, use it for initial direction, but put most stock in post-data analysis. – Michael Fleming
  • A little when working w/ a client in a new industry. After a while, I go more on instinct than the tool when making strategy. – Michelle Morgan (@michellemsem)
  • Display Planner is pretty synonymous with frustration & incredulity in my book. – Robert Brady
  • I like the tool for finding placements – other than that it’s “meh." – Matt Umbro
  • Valuable for finding industry-specific placements. – Timothy Jensen
  • Been using it mostly for placement ideas. The estimated volumes have been way off from my reporting. – Joe Martinez
  • The previous Google Display Network Planner (Standalone tool) was still of some use. The new display planner tool is just meh. – Rohit Palmurkar
  • A lot. As a relatively new brand, exposure and reach is great. Value will vary over time as CR becomes more important though. – Coy Robison
  • Frequently it doesn’t show the placement types that perform the best due to publisher settings. – Pamela Lund

Q7: Answer this question. If Display Network campaigns allowed advertisers to……..I would be thrilled! 

  • Off the top of my head I wish Google had better looking ad creative templates. – Matt Umbro
  • Accurately estimate the bid necessary for a specific placement, apart from trial and error. – Timothy Jensen
  • If display network campaigns allowed advertisers to identify/map user Intent like Search, I would be thrilled. – Rohit Palmurkar
  • Better targeting to site matching. – Michael Fleming
  • Promote Content like Outbrain and Stumbleupon… cost effectivly. – James Svoboda


More PPCChats

Don’t forget to stay tuned for the next #PPCchat on Tuesday at 12 noon Eastern, 9 am Pacific and 5pm in the UK. Same Chat time, same Chat channel.


Check out the PPCChat Twitter list to see and connect with all current and prior participants.

• Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro)
• James Svoboda (@Realicity)
• Paul Kragthorpe (@PaulKragthorpe)
• Amy Bishop (@Hoffman8)
• Ashwin Chandra (@ashwin_chandra)
• Bryant Garvin (@BryantGarvin)
• Chris Haleua (@chrishaleua)
• Cleofe Betancourt (@askppc)
• Coy Robison (@IamCoy)
• Joe Martinez (@MilwaukeePPC)
• John Budzynski (@Budzynski)
• Jonathan Ng (@ThankYouJon)
• Kirk Williams (@PPCKirk)
• Margo da Cunha (@ChappyMargot)
• Matt Wilkinson (@WilkinsonSEM)
• Melissa Mackey (@Mel66)
• Michael Fleming (@SEMFlem)
• Michelle Morgan (@michellemsem)
• Nate Knox (@nateknox)
• Pamela Lund (@Pamela_Lund)
• Richard Fergie (@RichardFergie)
• Robert Brady (@robert_brady)
• Rohit Palmurkar (@palmi_)
• Steve Cameron (@adventcom)
• Susan Wenograd (@SusanEDub)
• Theresa Zook (@I_Marketer)
• Timothy Jensen (@timothyjjensen)

Creating Great Streamcaps

This is a guest post by Paul Kragthorpe; WebRanking Director of Technology in Minneapolis, Minnesota, #PPCChat Streamcap Grabber, SEO Blog Author. Connect with me @PaulKragthorpe, and Google Plus.

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  1. […] noticed an uptick in my personal followers and one week I was even featured as the top quote in the PPCChat write-up that’s published after every […]

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