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The value of impressions & display advertising

HubSpot’s 2018 State of Inbound study noted some serious top marketing challenges:

  • 63% of marketers note that generating traffic and leads are a top challenge
  • 40% of marketers struggle to prove ROI

Both of these issues—and many others—are a factor of narrow strategy and a lack of balance between channels. According to some industry benchmarks, digital advertising grew 24% for nonprofits from 2016-2017, and we can expect a similar thrust for 2018.

Where are they spending?

Paid social accounts for 44% of total ad dollars. That’s Facebook, Instagram and twitter (mostly Facebook, with some Instagram and a tiny, tiny bit of twitter, by the way).

What shocked me in these benchmarks was that only 10% of ad spend was branding.

Put another way, nonprofits are spending too much in the middle (social) and bottom (search) of the funnel and not tending to the upper funnel area, where impressions can lead to more dollars.

So what’s the value of impressions and display advertising?

Display offers powerful targeting

Display offers unparalleled targeting options but can be summarized in two camps:

Website-based targeting: Targeting a set of websites, based on some criteria, and show ads to all users on those sites.

User-based targeting: Targeting people, based on criteria you define, and showing them ads on all sites they visit on a display network.

Targeting can include specific sites, topics, interests, demographics, affinity or keywords. If you know who is most likely to donate to your cause, you can create a list and use display to find prospective donors.

Few other channels offer you this level of targeting and control.

Display is the glue to your funnel

Impressions via display act as touchpoints through each phase of the funnel (awareness, engagement and conversion) which, when optimized, can lead to the donations you want.Display Advertising Funnel During the awareness phase, display ads can act as a form of brand storytelling and inform donors of you mission.

During the engagement phase, display can be optimized to lead donors to your site to learn more about your needs.

Once they are familiar with your organization and are compelled to help your cause, display ads can lead/remind them to give.

According to cross media research, display increases awareness and purchase intent. And when you build targeting pools based on engagement, you’re using display to move from upper funnel awareness towards conversion.

If you use display through the funnel, you’ll deepen prospects’ knowledge of your nonprofit and tie together your marketing channels.

Few other channels give you the ability to connect channels while increasing conversions.

Tips to make the right impression (buy)

Impressions can always be optimized to do more for your digital media strategy. Here are a few ways to make your impressions count:

Buy Valuable Impressions – Build remarketing pools for those who click and engage for twenty seconds or longer—then further target them with display. Rinse and repeat.  This gets you in front of the right people, at the right time and even on the right device to capture your audience and turn them into conversions.

Buy Above-The-Fold – Ads above the fold are helpful because people will see your ad first before they scroll down to see their original information.

Keep Up – Display is changing rapidly, thanks to the rise of programmatic, native and cross-device targeting.  Sites like Marketingland will help you stay ahead of the curve.

Shane Thornal

Shane Thornal is an experienced leader within the digital landscape and serves as Senior Director, Digital Media, at RKD Group. Shane understands programmatic media buying and knows what questions to ask to drive campaigns forward. He is a strategic thinker, focused and extremely hard working. Shane understands how to build high-performing teams, has great industry knowledge and knows the triggers to pull to get the best out of everyone. He is driven and dedicated to his clients’ goals and objectives, and will not rest until they are achieved.

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