Display ads, which combine text, images, and animation (but are not interactive – those are rich media ) to convey a message, are usually more economical than rich media ads, but have some advantages and disadvantages:
- Cheap – Although placing an ad on top websites can cost thousands of dollars a month, prices are usually cheaper for display ads than for rich media ads (due to costs in creating, hosting, and annoyance factors).
- Easy to Create – Static display ads (jpg, gif, sometimes png) can easily be created in most free graphics programs (or that program for digital photos that came on your computer). Even animated display ads can be created using free and low cost software. Creating good display ads requires a bit of design and marketing knowledge.
- Attention – Ads placed within a block of content are more likely to be clicked on (especially if the ad is related to the content). Medium rectangle ads (300×250) are especially effective in content.
- Basic – With little complexity display ads are fairly easy to understand in terms of creation, placement and analytics, making them a great place to start for beginners.
- Ignored – Ads placed on the side or page in “traditional” ad spots tend to be ignored (because people know that they are ads without paying attention to them – especially if they are animated).
- Blocked – As with most ads which are served from an ad server, display ads may be blocked by viewers who either turn off scripting in their browser or have some other type of software that blocks ads (there are some ways that ad servers try to get around this – more on that in a future post).
- Limited – Display ads are limited in the amount of information they can convey. Even with animation you usually only have 10-15 seconds of time to get your message across in a limited space.
- Little Information – Information collected about display ads is usually limited to impressions, clicks and possibly some information about who clicked on the ad (if the site has registration tied to their ad serving – more on analytics in a future post).
While display ads have some limitations, they are a great way to start advertising. Display ads in content are the best bang-for-your-buck to advertise your business. (See also Types of Online Advertising)