Having a print catalog generates interest in your brand and attracts prospects. Many catalogers compliment print with other media channels to increase brand awareness and sell products. If you’re not already doing so you might want to consider trying digital advertising. There are two primary choices: display ads and paid search. In this article we’re focusing on display ads.

Display ads are digital advertising seen on websites all across the Internet. They depend on images, text, and can also have audio and video elements to communicate your brand and product/services to prospects.

Display ads come in many different shapes and sizes.

Standard web advert sizes

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_banner

These ads should be used to craft a powerful message. Letting prospects know about discounts, new products/service, product features, etc … Their purpose is to increase exposure to a broader audience that you may find hard to reach using traditional methods.

Because display ads are so prevalent today, it’s important that your ad stand out. It must resonate with the consumer so that they feel compelled to read it and click through it. Knowing your prospects wants and needs is a critical element, along with timing of when the ad will be presented.

One ad doesn’t necessarily fit everyone so target your various prospect groups differently to capture their attention. For some prospects you may be looking to solve a problem, and for others you might want to help make their life easier.

Craft your message to be brief. If a prospect is interested, they will click on it to learn more. Try to use a crafty call-to-action message or ask an enticing question. Ask yourself what does the customer want to see, not what do you think is relevant from your companies perspective. Be careful when using words like “free”. If something truly isn’t “free” you will disappoint potential customers. Crafty words like this can often be misused which frustrates consumers and drives your click rate (cost) up creating no value for you. Consider providing more benefit rich messages verse feature rich; such as, “how to” or “why” messages instead of messages pointing out product specifications. If you’re selling foreign language software you might want to point out how easy it is to learn rather than the platform it’s built on.

Image selection can really improve your display ad effectiveness. Pick images that are high quality and that do a good job promoting your product/service or brand. Font selection can also play an important role. Make sure the font you use is easy to read and is fits the style of your message. If you’re promoting something to a more affluent audience pick a font that the end-user would relate to.

When your display ad is ready make sure the landing page the end-user is taken to makes sense. Have a solid correlation between the ad and the landing page so the user doesn’t feel lost when they click through. When the correlation is weak this will cause them to immediately leave your page and search elsewhere to meet their needs.

When targeting prospects it’s probably best not to compete too heavily with other display ads. Pick display ad websites that have less competing space rather than ones that have a collage of ads on their page. Even if the website has lots of traffic your ad will just get lost along with all the others. You might try exchanging banner ads with another website that you think your prospects visit. They allow you to post your ads on their site in exchange for you allowing theirs on yours. This is an easy and inexpensive way to attract your target audience.

Finally, using an analytic program like Google Analytics can be your best resource for learning about consumer behavior. You can learn about traffic sources, bounce rate, session duration, etc… All of these can help you select your display ad location.

Augmenting your marketing reaching using display ads is a proven method to increase your prospecting reach.

Happy prospecting!!