Well, you’ve seen display ads all over the Internet, and by now you’ve hopefully got a pretty good understanding of how they work. You might want to start thinking about where you want your ads to appear. But how do you find websites with advertising space to sell? And how do you connect with them? Well, that’s where display advertising networks come in.
Display advertising networks are like a middleman, connecting businesses who want to advertise, with websites with ad space to sell. Let’s find out how they can help your business find, and advertise on, the right websites for you.
Let’s go back to our bike shop. Say you've found a specific website you wanted to advertise your store on. Well, you have a few options here.
First, you could contact the site directly to work out the details, and that’s certainly something that happens. But with all the websites out there that offer advertising opportunities, you can imagine this can get pretty time-consuming. This is where display advertising networks come in. They handle both the buying and the selling of display ads, linking businesses to websites that want to sell advertising space.
Another way to think of it is as a marketplace that brings businesses and websites together, helping manage the transactions. There are quite a few of these networks out there, like the Google Display Network, and they all offer different features, but there’s a few things most of them have in common.
First and foremost, they all offer ad space to businesses looking to advertise on websites.
Websites that offer these ad spaces can become a part of these networks, and they can do things like set minimum prices for how much money they expect to earn for showing ads.
Your business can then bid for the spots you want throughout all the websites in that network, deciding how much you’re willing to pay. Buyers and sellers are connected every single time pages are loaded, and the ads that win the right to fill the ad spot are shown.
Of course, each network has its own rules, processes and bidding systems, but the key is that they all match buyers and sellers to fill available ad spots.
Networks can also help you target specific audiences through two main routes: the topics of the web pages where the ads appear, and general information about the people viewing the content. While the exact criteria you can use to find your audience, or the way you actually go about running your campaign, could vary from network to network, targeting is essential to get your ads in front of the right people.
Another thing networks do is handle the money involved. Buying and selling ads happens every second of every day, and the networks collect money from businesses and pay the websites that show the ads.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, advertising networks collect and share data with businesses.
They can tell you how many times your ads are shown and clicked on, how much they cost you, where they’ve been showing, and how all of this varies between the websites and audiences you’re targeting. Many networks even let you add tracking to your web pages so you can see if your ads are resulting in conversions.
If you want to use display advertising to promote your business across the web, advertising networks are a great place to start. They’ll bring you together with the websites that want to sell you ad space. They’ll let you decide where your ads will be seen, and who will see them. They’ll manage the money for everyone involved. They’ll even provide performance data so you can see just how well your campaign is getting on.
From the start, you should design your display advertising campaigns to help you achieve your goals. Here we’ll go over some of the many things display advertising can do for you, including:
- making a great first impression
- moving customers through the sales funnel
- turning interested people into paying customers.