5 Tips for Making Display Relevant for Brands
There's a misperception that display metrics only measure direct response. Brand advertisers rely on impression tracking and brand survey services like Vizu and Bazaarvoice, which are excellent for measuring memorability.
Yet I'd argue there's untapped brand insight from display. It's understandable that brand advertisers aren't concerned with clicks or individual conversions, but they do want to know if ads engage consumers. This is something easily done with existing technology.
There are two simple steps to make display meaningful for brand advertisers:
- Track in-ad interactions, not clicks. Consumers who interact are more engaged in the messaging, have a more positive response and have better brand recall. Interaction rates say something about an ad's influence and how it's perceived.
- Identify brand-focused key performance indicators (i.e., utilization of brand assets) as proxies for conversions. This way, you can tie interaction to brand-relevant conversions to see lift.
Making this work requires compelling ads with plenty of interactive opportunities. Below are five tips for using today's display technology for brand awareness:
1. Incorporate brand assets. Display is an excellent venue for your existing brand assets that are designed to drive awareness and build loyalty. Videos, games, social media feeds and comment fields can all be functional in a display ad.
2. Use multiple in-ad tabs to highlight complementary brand assets. Insert a video in one tab, promote a social cause in another and house a registration form in a third.
3. Include calls to action. Ask consumers to join a loyalty program, follow a blog, become a fan/follower or enter a sweepstakes. Provide tools to share content through email and social media.
4. Display your company logo prominently. Make it easy for consumers to remember which brand the ad promoted.
5. Get creative. Too often, marketers are so focused on cool technology that they forget the creative potential. Brands are constantly generating creative campaigns for TV, print and online videos. Display is a natural extension of these efforts. It's easy for consumers to engage with creative content when it's delivered right to their browsing page. Imagine how much faster a creative campaign would go viral if a consumer could share it right from an ad.
The American Heart Association's "Go Red for Women" display campaign in 2012 put all these tips into action to raise brand awareness. By substituting traditional conversions with brand-focused performance indicators, it was able to attribute increased brand activity to campaign ad interactions. This resulted in a 62 percent lift in program registration, a 145 percent lift in "Tell Five Friends" executions and a 152 percent lift in brand video views.
With a little creative thinking and re-education on display capabilities, display shifts from a direct-response-only tool to a meaningful asset for brands. By being open to alternative uses of existing technology, advertisers can get more insight from display starting today.
Tony Zito is the CEO of Rakuten MediaForge, a provider of online display advertising solutions.
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