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What is Display Advertising?

Nina De Winter

In today’s digital age, display advertising has become a more prominent way for businesses to promote their products and services.

In this article, you find out what display advertising is and how it is applied in the marketing industry.

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What is display advertising?

Display advertising is a form of digital advertising that combines visual elements and copy to boost product or service visibility

Display ads usually appear on third party websites or social media platforms. They serve to guide visitors to a landing page through a Call to Action (CTA). 

The end goal of display advertising is for the audience to take a specific action. This can go from signing up for a newsletter to purchasing the advertised product. 

If you are not sure that you have ever seen a display advertisement, we can tell you that you most likely have. 

When it comes to their position, these ads often show up on top or in the middle of the page. It is nearly impossible to miss them, as they will not disappear until you close the pop-up window.


When setting up display advertising campaigns, who can you target?

Now that you have a better idea of what display advertising is, let’s dive into who you can target through this form of promoting your products and services.

In short, one can target many different people based on various criteria. We will briefly discuss some of the most common possibilities, but the list of options is not limited to these.


Firstly, display advertising can target consumers based on demographics. This includes aiming to reach an audience from a specific age group, with a specific gender, education level, and financial situation.


Although you may think this is one of the most obvious types of targeting, it is without a doubt an important one. 

It allows you to reach people in different countries that speak different languages. The same goes for citizens of specific countries: geographically display advertising allows you to get to consumers living in different regions and cities.


Naturally, you want your display advertisements to be seen by users who have corresponding interests

That is why it is handy that there is an option which makes it possible to target people based on the subjects they search on Google or the websites they visit online.



In addition to the previous points, one of the most common ways of targeting is to do so based on the actions of online users.

In practice, the algorithm looks at the types of content people click on or the products they purchase.


In this case, your display advertisements are targeting people based on the keywords they come across online. 

For example, airlines could target users who look for information about tourist attractions or special tours in specific destinations that fall within the airline’s scope.



We will explore this targeting possibility more in detail later on, but it basically compromises that you aim for an audience that has interacted with your website before

Display advertising examples

Maybe you are asking yourself what a display advertisement can look like, as advertisements come in different sizes and shapes. The answer to that question is simple: there are many answers. 

To give you a heads up on the most regular types of display ads, let’s talk about how they can occur.

Native ads

Native ads are probably the most important of the bunch. Although the name doesn’t reveal much, such advertisements are less disturbing because they blend in with the content on the platform they appear on.

Having this in mind, native ads often present themselves on social media platforms such as Facebook or Instagram. However, they are also present on other websites.

Example of Clarins’ native ad campaign

Banner ads

Secondly, marketers have the option of creating banner ads. Apart from being among the traditional types of advertising, banners can be found at the top or side of the page in a sometimes more subtle way. 

Interstitial ads

It is probable that you come across interstitial ads on a regular basis. It is also possible that you hate these advertisements, since they take over your whole screen. We totally understand that and fully support you.

On top of that, these so-called pop-up ads come into sight when you are being redirected to another page. Whether that is on a website or mobile app, they are everywhere. 

However, regardless of the frustration they can cause, pop-up ads are effective in capturing the audience’s attention. Therefore, they are definitely useful and you should include them in your campaign.

Rich media ads

Fourthly, we can speak of rich media ads. These use interactive features to engage viewers and encourage them to take action. Some examples of elements that appear in rich media advertisements are quizzes, forms, and games.

Retargeted ads

Finally, the term retargeted ads is well known in the marketing industry. Just like the name says, these targeted ads are displayed to users who have previously interacted with your website, but didn’t take any action.

Their main goal is therefore to stimulate conversion and purchase. Since having the right conversion funnel is crucial to succeed and maximize profit, it was one of the first subjects on our list of blog subjects.

On a daily basis you encounter many retargeted ads. For example, if you have been looking for laptop mockups for hours – like I did for this article – you’ll suddenly see ads with mockup possibilities everywhere.

Display advertising networks

Since we are nowadays almost always confronted with advertisements, there is a wide range of platforms to run ad campaigns on. 

We are here to give you a better idea of some of the most important networks to share your display advertisement on.

Google Display Network

Google Display Network is a network that enables companies to advertise on a wide range of websites, social media platforms, and streaming platforms

This platform has over two million websites and apps in its network and consequently offers advertisers many opportunities to share display advertisements with audiences.

There are clear differences between the Google Search Network and the Google Display Network

Facebook Audience Network

Secondly, the Facebook Audience Network gives advertisers the chance to take Facebook ad campaigns to the next level by displaying them on third party platforms as well. 

Just like the Google Display Network, the Facebook Audience Network has the advantage of enabling engagement with audiences outside of the traditional platforms

If you’re curious about this platform, you can get a taste of its benefits by reading some of the success stories

Be aware though that the Facebook Audience Network is not the same as the recently launched Meta Audience Network. 

Twitter Audience Platform

Just like its brothers from Facebook and Google, Twitter has its own display advertising network. 

Even though the Twitter Audience Platform has more or less the same features as the Facebook Audience Network, it also gives mobile app developers the opportunity to monetize their apps by showing their audiences relevant advertisements

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What does a display advertising agency do?

When it comes to launching display advertisements for your own business, it is crucial to invest your money optimally. The key is finding the right partner that fits your needs. 

We gladly help you out by informing you about what the work process of a display advertising agency looks like.

Let’s take a look at the services of a display advertising agency. These can be classified in the following way:

Market research and analysis

Everything starts with looking at what your brand’s competitors do in terms of display advertising activities. The agency also researches their approach and target audience.

Generally, the first service provided by a display advertising agency consists of studying the market your company is active on. 

It goes from taking a closer look at the target’s behavior to finding out which networks suit them the most.

A display advertising agency is the perfect candidate to provide this service, as it possesses the necessary market knowledge.

The difference between market research and marketing research

Campaign structure and development

Based on the findings from the initial assessment, the display advertising agency develops the general structure and strategy of your advertisement campaign. 

All of this is based on your marketing goals as well as on the networks that will be used.

Display ad creation and management

Once the overall campaign plan is established, the display advertising agency starts creating the display ads. Combined with that, they manage your ads for the duration of the campaign.

This means that as soon as your partner agency launches your display advertising campaign, they will analyze its performance, mark fields of improvement, and send you reports on a regular basis.

Ad optimization

Along with the creation of the display advertisements, a display advertising agency takes care of optimizing the ads in order to generate more leads.

They do this by paying a lot of attention to CTAs that ensure the highest click through rates.


Landing page design and strategy

Aside from the design of the display advertisements, the customized landing page is another opportunity for marketers to bring more traffic to a company’s website or app. 

If you want to learn more about how to create landing pages that are optimized for conversion, make sure to check our article on this subject.

The experts of the display advertising agency of your choice will take advantage of it by making sure in the design process that the landing pages linked to your ads are in line with your brand and your offer. 

PPC campaigns

Providing this service to clients entails that a display advertising agency manages your budget better, so that you only have to pay when users actually click on the ad and go to the linked landing page.

It is beneficial for your business and your budget to have specific Pay-Per-Click campaigns created.

Video ads

Furthermore, a display advertising agency can develop video advertisements for your brand. 

This service entails that video content is made and spread on social media platforms and streaming services. Grabbing the audience’s attention is more effective this way. 

Video ads on Instagram have a CTA that appears in a blue box.

Naturally, a display advertising agency can offer more services than the ones we have mentioned here. If you are looking for display advertising services in Montreal, you can count on us at Casa and the experience we have built over the years.

We are specialized in understanding your brand, your goals, creating a strategy for your brand’s display advertising campaign, and delivering results directly to you.

Are you curious now and want to know why Casa Media is the perfect fit to assist you? We’ve got you covered in our blog post.

How does Google display ads help advertisers?

As mentioned above, the Google Display Network is the perfect tool to use to showcase display ads. Let us now give you an overview of how this platform helps advertisers.

Broad reach

Thanks to its extensive range of ad spaces, advertisers have more chances of reaching a diverse audience

The Google Display Network makes it possible for display ad campaigns to be visible on 35 million websites and apps as well as on Google-owned websites. 

In other words, advertisers can go further than just being limited to Google search and that by itself is a first reason to use it. 

Trackable results

A second benefit is the possibility to analyse the performance of ad campaigns through analytical tools such as the Google Ads Display Targeting Report.

Subsequently, advertising companies can make decisions to optimize their ad spendings and strategy

Brand advertisers

In general, the Google Display Network provides the means for brand advertisers to build a more effective connection with their audience and to target them more efficiently

This is in line with their goals, which consist of reaching the target and still keeping control of where the brand shows up. Google Display Ads makes use of a great variety of targeting technologies to optimize this process for brand advertisers. 

Moreover, there is both the possibility to manually select specific websites you want your ads to be visible on as well as to avoid showing up on specific other websites. Keyword selection makes the latter possible.

Direct response advertisers

Usually, direct response advertisers have different goals than brand advertisers. They have no need to promote a specific brand, but are rather looking to stimulate conversion at a high rate.

In this case, the principal advantage of Google Display Ads consists of the ability to match ads with the most relevant content on the internet. This function allows advertisers to make connections with the right target at the right timing.


Automation enables higher conversion rates. The Google Display Network uses automated technology to streamline the process of purchasing and placing advertisements on websites within its inventory. 

Nevertheless, the process incorporates automation in multiple ways and links it to programmatic display advertising.

 Without going too far in detail, automation happens in some of the following ways:

  • Smart bidding to optimize bids for ad placements
  • Audience targeting through machine-learning algorithms
  • Responsive display ads which automatically optimize to improve performance
  • Automated targeting used to analyze content and advise targeting possibilities

What is programmatic display advertising?

Programmatic display advertising is a subset of display advertising that buys and sells ad space through automated technology

It includes purchasing ad inventory through bidding systems, with the advertising process being based on algorithms and data analysis

Therefore, the difference with regular display advertising is that programmatic display advertising emphasizes purchasing ad space in a non-manual way. 

As the illustration below shows, many brands and agencies have already incorporated programmatic buying in their overall media strategy. This gives another reason to make sure you keep up with the trend.


One can find display advertisements on third party websites and applications. They show up in different positions on a webpage and marketers use them to reach consumers and encourage conversion.

If you feel that specializing in display advertising is not for you, you can request assistance from display advertising agencies. They can play a big role for your business in reaching new target audiences.

It is possible to target online users in many different ways and you can choose yourself how to do so. You can make use of specific platforms to facilitate the process of buying ad space and launching display advertisements.

Want to know more about display advertising? Or are you simply looking for the weight of advertisements to be lifted from your shoulders? Whatever it is that you need, we at Casa Media would love to help you out!

Want to step up your advertising game?

Casa can meet and exceed your advertising needs



29 March 2023


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