How to improve the performance of your display campaigns in 2022

Shopping ads in search ads lead a warmed-up customer straight to a purchase. But the client is not warming up on his own.

Display advertising is a long game and its effectiveness is not as obvious as in other ways of promotion. In this article newage. will tell you how to evaluate the effectiveness of media advertising, and increase it.

What is display advertising

Display advertising is a type of advertising that forms the image of the promoted product or brand and creates demand for them.

Display advertising is often compared to performance tools. But these are not opposite things, but complementary. Imagine a simple sales funnel:

  1. Cold audience. People who know about the product or brand. They do not plan to do anything yet, but they have already heard somewhere that there is an interesting product.
  2. Neutral audience. They understand that the product is useful and believe that in general it is not bad to get it.
  3. Hot audience. Users who study the market, compare prices and delivery conditions in different stores in order to make a purchase just now.

Performance promotion is an advertisement that works with a hot audience and is aimed at specific customer actions: adding a product to the cart, contacting a sales manager, ordering a call back, etc.

Performance tools allow you to “collect” already formed demand. For example, everyone knows what a smartphone is, what it looks like and why it is needed – there is already a stable demand that can be collected with performance tools. But if you’re making a completely new, revolutionary product and you want to generate demand for your devices, you need display advertising. It will acquaint consumers with the device, and some will have a desire to purchase it.

Display advertising should be launched when all non-media, performance, channels are working at full capacity. Otherwise, those whom you have transferred from ignorance to a hot audience will go to a competitor with better SEO and PPC.

How to calculate the effectiveness of display advertising

The main mistake that advertisers make when launching media campaigns is evaluating the effectiveness of click-through ads. A novice marketer, seeing the numbers in Google Ads, can say: “What a terrible CTR! Advertising does not attract attention, no one clicks, everything is wrong!” And this will be wrong conclution.

Think about situations in which you see display ads on the Internet. You come home from work and turn on an interview on YouTube that everyone has already watched in a day except you. Naturally, a promotional video is launched before the video. No matter how interesting and relevant the video is, you are likely to miss it. Simply because at that moment you want to watch an interview, and not study some site. A similar scenario will be repeated 3, 5, 10 more times, and you will remember that somewhere you heard about a cool company with cool things worth looking for.

This is the display advertising impact – to imprinted in the memory of potential customers, and arouse their interest.

The golden rule in display ad analytics is don’t focus on clicks.

Post-click conversions make up 20-30% of the impact of display advertising. Other user actions are pending.

As a media advertising agency, we base all our campaigns on the Comprehensive Analysis of Display Advertising methodology. It allows you to comprehensively evaluate a campaign, from launch to iterative optimization. One of the components of the Comprehensive Analysis is the analysis of the actions of the audience, including the pending ones.

  1. Post-click – transitions directly from the ad. They are in any advertising account and everyone can immediately evaluate them. By the way, random clicks get here when the user wanted to skip the video, but missed and went to the site.
  2. Post-view is a visit to the advertiser’s website or a specific landing page some time after viewing the ad. That is, the user saw the advertisement “No energy to cook – order delivery!”, Looked at the plate with the finished dinner and did not move. And after a couple of days, he really doesn’t have the strength to cook, he remembers the video and goes to the advertiser’s website, for example, through a search.
  3. Cross-device – visits to the site after a while and from another device. For example, the user saw an advertisement at home, from a computer, but remembered dinner in the evening, at work. He looks for delivery from his phone and visits the site from a new device. But since he has one Google account on both his home PC and his phone, it is easy to link actions from different devices. We know that this is not someone random new, but the user who has seen the ad three times.

According to our experience, about 70-80% of the initial transitions to the site after media advertising fall on Post-view and Cross-device conversions. And among those who make a purchase after the campaign, their share increases to 90%.

For more information on how to build Holistic Analysis in your campaigns, read the article Dashboard newage. 2021: How to automate the work of a media agency? . Here we share an example of a dashboard that automatically uploads and analyzes campaign data.

How to increase the effectiveness of display advertising

Once you’ve set up your analytics and understand the effect you’re creating with your display campaign, it’s time to optimize it. Consider the characteristics that need to be improved first.

Optimal frequency

If you show ads one time, there will be no media effect – users will scroll through the ad, immediately forget about it, and the promotion budget will go to waste. Videos and banners are displayed several times, “catching up” with the audience at different sites, so that the message is still remembered.

But if you slip ads dozens of times it’s bad for the campaign. When the user remembers the message, it makes no sense to spend the budget on it – if he wanted to, he would have moved on long ago. The optimal frequency helps to find a balance between extremes.

The optimal frequency in advertising is the number of ad impressions at which the number and cost of conversions are most profitable for the advertiser.

A huge number of factors affect the optimal frequency. Starting with the initial brand recognition, and ending with the quality of the creative, the clarity of the message embedded in it. It differs from campaign to campaign and must be redefined each time. When we introduced the Ukrainian brand to the Italian market, the optimal frequency was 7-8. The audience was not previously familiar with the brand and it was necessary to work on recognition.

To determine the effective frequency for your campaign, summarize your reach by impressions and conversions at each frequency. Typically, the chart shows that as impressions increase, the number of conversions increases to a certain point, after which it starts to decrease. This peak is likely to be the effective frequency for the campaign.

Test the output by adding the conversion cost for each number of impressions to the graph. Often, the CPA with the highest number of conversions is lower than the values ​​before and after it. If so, then you have determined the optimal frequency correctly. If conversions at other frequencies are more profitable, use them for the campaign.


A common mistake in display advertising is to run the same video on Youtube that was made for TV. Digital and television have a different culture of content consumption. On TV, the viewer, since he has already started watching the video, will most likely see all 15, 20 or 30 seconds. But on the Internet, the user can skip ads after the first 5 seconds. And he misses!

As practice shows, 5-7% of the covered users watch commercials to the end. Even if the video is super creative, attracts attention and generates interest, it only adds a few percent to the screenings, because. By default, users skip ads.

Marketers should adapt to this and show everything important in the first 5 seconds of the video, namely:

  • brand name;
  • a description of the product, service or promotion;
  • CTA or slogan, etc.

If you are reworking a TV commercial for digital, make several versions of creatives with different messages. Wait a few days for the statistics to collect and evaluate the effectiveness of advertising in terms of creatives.

Note! When evaluating creatives, there is a great chance to compare them by CTR. But, as we said above, delayed actions show the media effect. Conduct Post-view and Cross-device analysis before disabling any creative.

The situation is similar with banners. Make several options, test them for a couple of days, and then redistribute the budget to the best ones.

Read more about our approach to optimizing media advertising in the column Brandformance: How To Optimize Media Campaigns With Performance Tool

Audience segments

Don’t run campaigns for broad segments, like “women, 20-45, live in million-plus cities”. Before launching a campaign, segment your audience by interests, demographics, intent, and other options. 2-3 days after the launch of the campaign, analyze how individual segments of the audience are performing. If some group reacts sluggishly, gives little or no conversions, turn off the segment and allocate the budget to those that interact with ads.


There are two options for working with sites that display ads – black and white lists. Typically, advertisers use all available sites and blacklist only completely unsuitable options when they come across. For example, sites with such micro-players.

But where one “resourceful” webmaster met, there will be another. You can endlessly add bad sites to the blacklist, but this is Sisyphean work.

Use whitelists. Start compiling a list of sites you trust and where you want to see your ads. Placing on a white list will be more expensive than working with all placements – everyone wants to promote on quality sites with a live audience, so the price for them is higher. But for us, the advantages of this approach outweigh the slightly higher cost.

Firstly, you can select sites with a real, not “wound” or “poured” audience. That is, to really show the ad to live users. Secondly, the context in which the advertisement is displayed plays an important role. A banner on a major news site inspires more credibility than the same banner on a strangely designed no-name site where the user wandered by accident.


  1. Display advertising is advertising aimed at generating demand for a product and increasing brand awareness. It creates a media effect and motivates the user to take actions delayed in time. Therefore, it is incorrect to judge the effectiveness of media advertising based on the number of clicks.
  2. We evaluate the effectiveness of display advertising using the Holistic Analysis method. One of its components is checking Post-view and Cross-device conversions. Thus, we see user interactions with the brand after a while after watching the videos.
  3. You should start optimizing and increasing the effectiveness of advertising after the analytics is set up and the primary statistics for the campaign have accumulated in it. Usually 2-3 days are enough for this.
  4. Determine the effective frequency of the campaign and set it in the advertising account. So you will not spend the budget on those who are not interested in the offer – instead, more users will see the ad, whom it can attract,
  5. At the start of your campaign, test a few creatives and use the ones that show the best results. The effectiveness of creatives should be evaluated not by CTR, but comprehensively, taking into account post-view and cross-device conversions.
  6. Segment your audience to evaluate how certain targetings work. After collecting statistics, redistribute the budget to those groups that showed the best results.
  7. Use site whitelists. This will allow you to control where and how ads are placed, to choose those placements that will inspire confidence in the audience. So you can protect yourself from fraud by site owners.

BrandLift is a great way to measure the effectiveness of your ads. Read our article “What BrandLift is and How it Works”.

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