Guest post: Scale your store and retain long-term customers with display ads

As an ecommerce business owner, you’re no doubt looking for ways to boost sales and make buyers stick with your brand. For the ecommerce industry, one of the best ways to improve your conversion rate is to use display ads.

Below, you will find a comprehensive display ad guide that will help your brand sell more and keep your old customers by your side.

So what are display ads and how to use them?

Generally, display ads tend to follow your potential customers based on their past browsing history. For instance, let’s assume a person is reading an article on ways to style a look for different occasions. There’s a good chance that a display ad for buying clothes online will appear.

Display ads are exceptional both for building brand awareness and producing conversions when used to retarget a previous customer. Eommerce store owners can use various display advertisement types within a campaign. They can be designed with text, images, and videos.

Before jumping into some Google Display Ads strategies, let’s discuss the benefits of them for your online store.

Benefits of display advertising

#1 Targeting that works!

You can reach a new potential audience with Google display network and build brand awareness.

You can target your ads by determining:

  • Keywords related to your business
  • Sorts of sites and pages your audience is interested in
  • Groups of people within your target audience

You also have the option to create a custom audience on Google. With one, you can target anyone you intended on advertising to based on demographic and geographic information, interests, and much more. It also helps you reach the audience who have the highest potential to convert.

#2 Remarketing opportunities

With display network ads, remarketing is also possible. Retargeting lets you introduce your brand and products to the people who have already visited your site. This way, you can remind them to return to your store and make a purchase, improving your repeat purchase rates.

Remarketing is an effective way to connect with your potential customers who have browsed your site but not converted. Or, as a way to turn one-time shoppers into life-long brand fans. With the display network, you can also showcase ads that include a brand message or a specific product that your potential customer viewed previously.

#3 The “data” that matters

Google Analytics and PPC result tracking are helpful in measuring your site performance and marketing activities. Display advertising platforms have the same kind of benefit where you can know exactly how many times your ads have been clicked with additional stats. The data it provides helps you measure overall campaign performance and will make sure you get the most out of it.

#4 Invest a little, get a lot 

One of the biggest benefits of display ads is that they help you acquire shoppers who have a higher probability to convert. If you’re a fresh ecommerce brand with a small advertising budget, display ads can be relatively inexpensive to start. With a picture and some text that showcases the experience your brand offers, you can create campaigns that increase traffic. Then, you can work on getting customers to convert.

Display ad strategy and the sales funnel

Like all digital marketing funnels and sale strategies, display networks start with goal setting. 

If we consider the display benchmarks tool, the average CTR of display ads is 0.06%. But, Retargeter has boasted a retargeting campaign that generated an ROI of 486%.

This shows that the results of your ad strategy can vary. Exactly why you need to set clear goals around what you want to achieve. Some of your goals could be: 

  • Building brand awareness
  • Producing leads
  • Attracting customers through retargeting
  • Nurturing leads via buying process 
  • Reaching back out to your existing customers to encourage them to make another purchase

Some of the experts say that  display ads are more effective when serving three specific purposes:

Put simply, display ads are vital for building and maintaining brand awareness and loyalty. The correct campaign can also bring in an uplift of sales. 

Get your targeting right

Targeting will make or break your campaign. Without the right targeting, you can’t expect positive results as your ads will be displayed to the people who don’t care about your brand or product.

While setting up your campaign, consider the below targeting options:

1. Keyword Targeting: Google will help your ads that contain any target keywords you define get seen; such as “party dresses” 

2. Demographic Targeting: Enables you to target customers based on a website or their demographic profile

3. Placement Targeting: Helps you select the sites you want your ad to be displayed on

4. Topic Targeting: Allows you to select the websites that fit within a certain topic that relates to your brand. For example, if you sell supplements, you can specify to appear on a gym’s webpage

5. Interest Targeting: Google has access to several data-points that’ll help you target audiences based on their relevant search history

6. In-Market: Relevant to products that aim at those showing an interest in purchasing

7. Affinity: Examines overall topics and interests to build the identity of a specific user

8. Remarketing: Helps you target people who have already visited your website

If you wisely select your targeting options, you’ll see positive results from your paid advertisement.

Bring great visuals

After you set your targeting, it’s time to attract your viewers and make them click. Here are a few tips to follow when designing your display ad assets.

Tip #1: Use the right language

A display network permits you to target specific customer segments. This means you can speak to each of these groups independently. For instance, imagine you are running an online shoe store and assume that the majority of your customers buy for style. But, after you ask your shoppers, there may be a segment who actually goes to your store for comfort. 

You can then identify the demographic make-up of these kinds of customers and create ads tailored to their needs.  

Tip #2: Use engaging copy

You’re not the only one advertising their brand online. This is why you need to serve something outside of the box to attract customers. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Establish urgency: Make use of words like “now” and “need” to compel people to act (and click) quickly
  • Make viewers curious: Ask questions and evoke an air of mystery by using words like “beware,” “announcing,” and “before it’s too late.”
  • Use numbers and symbols: Numbers are easy to understand and great for grabbing attention. Use stats and include numbers to encourage people to click when providing social proof
  • Be bold: Make use of bold lettering and typography that stands out, especially for discounts and other offers
  • Show you value customers: Use display ads to showcase how you care about your customers on an individual basis and they’ll trust you over your competition

Tip #3: Clutter-free imagery

The imagery must be simple so your message or idea is clear. If you’re using a video or a picture, make sure it encapsulates what your brand is about and is easy to understand (within seconds). 

PRO TIP: test user-generated content in your display ads so shoppers can see how your products work for real people

Tip #4: Compelling call-to-action

Never forget your call-to-actions. They’re one of the most important aspects of any ad. Create a simple yet engaging call to action that people love to click. Something like, “Try our VIP perks”, would do the trick. 

Final thoughts

Digital competition is getting tougher, and you can’t survive unless you invest in the right places. So how’s your digital strategy going?

Looking for more about growing your ecommerce business with a retention strategy? Download our free guide to customer retention and see how your future success depends heavily on your existing customers.

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About the author

Ruta Rudokaite

Ruta Rudokaite is the Head of SEO at sixads, a tool that automates ad creation & optimization for online stores. Ruta is interested in inbound marketing, the sharing economy, tourism, and real estate, but turning mediocre websites into user-friendly websites with a large amount of organic traffic is her biggest passion.

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