It’s all about the numbers.
When evaluating ad formats to determine which formats drive the most action, nothing is more important than the number of views an ad generates. The more people who see an ad, the more action you’re going to get.
Of course, it’s helpful to define what “driving action” really means in the context of digital advertising. We’re talking about a digital ad prompting an immediate response. For most display ads, that means getting a reader to click on the ad. However, it can also refer to soliciting email signups or getting social media “likes” and “follows.”
A call-to-action (CTA) tells why a reader should click on an ad and what they should do once they click. Driving action means finding a way to get people to click on the ad in the first place.
The “best” ad format is typically the one that drives the most action for a given advertiser. Depending on the client’s goal for a given campaign, the mechanisms for driving action might be different. For example, for advertisers that want readers to watch its videos, a YouTube ad format could be best. Advertisers that are looking to generate more “likes” on social media might prefer an Instagram ad format.
The biggest request that we hear from publishing clients is that their business advertisers want clicks. Driving action for the majority of online advertisers means increasing click rates and generating engagement.
The Best Ad Formats to Leverage
The average click-through rate (CTR) for display advertising is .06%, but we know that many smaller publishers are doing much better than that. Advertisers who work with independent online publications benefit from the direct relationships that those publishers have with their readers and the communities they cover.
Independent publishers also retain a level of autonomy over their site that larger publishers do not. This allows them to do different things on their site that create a better advertising product, to really help drive action. When we analyzed click-through rates for clients across the entire spectrum of Broadstreet’s ad formats, it was clear that the No. 1 ad format for driving action was The Billboard ad format.
The Billboard Ad Format
What is it about The Billboard that makes it so successful for advertisers that want to drive action? A lot of it has to do with size. The Billboard is one of the largest ad formats out there. It works best on websites with a set background color, and it can be targeted to an empty zone or a popout zone. This helps The Billboard “pop” out to readers. High quality images also drive action when used in The Billboard. The Billboard works best when it’s placed at the top of a website. Prominent placements increase the likelihood an ad will draw attention. The combination of size, imagery, and a prominent placement make The Billboard such a sought-after ad format. It’s frequently used by publishers to showcase retail, real estate, and firm branding.
When Broadstreet ran a massive billboard ad with a trade association on the association’s website, the ad drove 50 webinar signups in just one week. That figure ended up accounting for 25% of all signups, all due to the placement of a single Billboard ad unit.
When selling display ads, it’s important to focus on driving action. Compelling creatives are key to driving action; remember that readers won’t click unless they have a reason to do so. Of course, the more people who see a message and the more prominent that message is, the more action you’re going to drive. However, components like the ad headline, description, and creative content also play a major role. Successful ad formats like Broadstreet’s Billboard are the key to boosting engagement and buying intent.
If you want to learn more about how to drive action through display advertising, schedule a demo with Broadstreet’s team.
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