What Is Display Advertising? What are the types?

What Is Display Advertising and What are the types - Know Online Marketing

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Display Advertising

Display advertising is a type of online marketing where marketers use visuals like banner, rich media, etc., to promote the product or services on the website or mobile apps. The display ads run on any third party website or mobile app in the form of a static image, GIF, HTML, video and more. Display advertising allows advertisers to create effective brand awareness campaigns. It also helps them to drive more traffic to their website. There are more advertising platforms to run display ads.

Moreover, this is one of the highly converting digital advertising methodologies. It helps to reach billions of people around the Google Display Network and others. In addition, similar to other advertising models the display advertising can be run based on various types of targeting.

Statistics show that an average US user sees around 63 display ads per day:

  • 5709 ads per quarter
  • 1903 ads per month
  • 63 ads per day

The first display ad

The first display ad was run on October 27, 1994, on HotWired.com. This ad was run for AT&T Internet. The copy on the ad was “Have you ever clicked your mouse right here?“. Below is the ad.

The first display ad
The first display ad

The ad was served to offer visitors a virtual tour of an art museum. The interesting fact is about 44 percent of the people who saw it actually clicked on it. Meanwhile, the visitors who clicked the ad were landed on the below page.

Landing page of the first display ad
Landing page of the first display ad

Also Read: What is Brand Marketing? Types and Examples

How does the display advertising work?

Firstly, let’s introduce two concepts here. The first one is Advertiser and the second one is the Publisher. All the ads are running based on these two concepts.


An advertiser is the owner of a product or service. Whenever they launch a new product or service, they want them advertised on the internet to make awareness of the product. So that people get to know their product and start purchasing it. But where to advertise? Here comes Publishers.


The publisher is the owner of a website or mobile app, who sells ad space on their website or mobile app for advertising. So, the newly launched product can be advertised on the website and reach more people.

Publisher and Advertiser
Publisher and Advertiser

When an advertiser wants to advertise their product approaches the Publisher directly or approaches an agency. Agency will have a bundle of publishers and advertisers. Agency act as a bridge between publishers and advertisers. Moreover, they have access to multiple ad serving platforms.

Meanwhile, as an advertiser if you want to advertise your products or services on Google Display Network, you can use Google Ads. If you want to advertise on a specific website, you can reach out to the website owner and ask for a proposal.

Also Read: Social Media Marketing Strategies

Types of display advertising

There are no. of display advertising types which has their own characteristics with different interaction rates. Let’s discuss some of the main display ads.

Standard/Static banner ads

Standard/Static banner ads
Standard/Static banner ads

Standard banner ads are static image ads. They do not have any motions. They are also known as static banner ads. Standard banners are in pre-defined sizes that are approved by IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau). IAB is a standard organization for digital advertising which defines the rules and create principle to be followed by the advertising industry. Below are the very common standard sizes marketers and advertisers use.

2160×600Wide SkyscraperDesktop
4300×250Mid Page Unit (MPU)Desktop/Mobile
5300×50Mobile Leaderboard or BannerMobile
6320×50Mobile Leaderboard or BannerMobile
7300×600Double Mid Page Unit or Half PageDesktop
10970×250Masthead or BillboardDesktop

Know all the IAB approved sizes here: IAB.com

Animated/HTML banner

Animated banners are with motion/animation. It attracts visitors with its look and appearance. Such banners have more conversion rates than static banners. Because it’s visuals triggers visitors to click the ad. The animated banners also in the above-listed sizes.

Animated/HTML banner

You might be interested in: Free Digital Marketing Course by Google

Expandable ads

Expandable ads in the standard ad size. But it expands to a certain size when you click on the ad. The expanded ad will have details of the product or service like features, price, embedded video and more.

Lightbox Ads

Lightbox ads appear as an overlay on the website when you click the ads. They served in the standard ad sizes. The overlayed ad appears with a close button. So that it can be closed.

Interstitial Ads

Interstitial ads appear on the whole website or mobile app as an overlay. It also has close buttons. The website or mobile app can’t be accessed until we close the ad.

Interstitial Ads Example
Interstitial Ads

Video ad

Likewise video content makes the interaction between the visitor and the ad. Video ads come in the usual video format with visuals and it includes audio. The video ads can be delivered only where the websites have supported video players. YouTube is the best example of video ads.

Related Post: What is Viral Marketing? Types, Advantages & Examples

Display advertising cost models

Cost models are the standard units to measure digital ad delivery. It varies depends on the channel (display, search, email, video, etc.,) you choose. Let’s discuss some of the most important cost models for display advertising.

CPM (Cost Per Millie)

CPM is also known as Cost per Thousand Impression. It is to measure the no. of times an ad is displayed on the website or mobile app. One impression will be counted each time an ad appears on the website. For example, If a publisher charges $5.00 CPM, that means an advertiser must pay $5.00 for every 1,000 impressions of its ad.

CPM cost model mainly used when running an impression based campaign. That is brand awareness campaign.

CPM formula: The Below formula is to calculate CPM with impressions and cost.

  • CPM = 1000 * Cost / Impressions

CPC (Cost Per Click)

CPC is to calculate the cost for each click done by the visitors. Unlike impressions, it will be calculated only when the visitor clicks the ad. If the total clicks are 300 and the cost is $1200. Then the CPC is $4.

CPC cost model mainly used when running a traffic based campaign. So you will get more traffic to your website.

CPC formula: The Below formula is to calculate CPM with clicks and cost.

  • CPC = Cost / Clicks

CTR (Click Through Rate)

CTR is the ratio showing how often people who see your ad end up clicking it. Below is the formula for calculating CTR with clicks and impressions.

  • CTR = Click / Impression

CPL (Cost Per Lead)

CPL is calculated whenever we get a lead. A lead is known as when someone has to explicitly fill out a form on the advertiser’s website after clicking the ad. The information like name, email, the mobile number will be collected.

The CPL cost model is best for Lead Generation campaigns. So that the advertiser can collect more leads and approach them directly.

CPL formula: The Below formula is to calculate CPL with leads and cost.

  • CPC = Cost / Leads

CPA (Cost Per Action)

CPA is calculated when a visitor purchases a product after clicking the ad. The CPA cost model is best for product or service sales-based campaigns. However, this is one of the most used cost models across multiple advertising types.

CPA formula: The Below formula is to calculate CPA with actions and cost.

  • CPA = Cost / Action

Also Read: 10 Useful Tips to Get Google AdSense Approval Fast

Top Performing Banner Ad Sizes – Display advertising

  1. 300×250 – Medium rectangle
  2. 336×280 – Large rectangle
  3. 728×90 – Leaderboard
  4. 300×600 – Half page
  5. 320×50 – Mobile leaderboard
Top Performing Banner Ad Sizes

Also Read: eMarketing Institute FREE Certification Courses

Display Advertising – Conclusion

To sum up, display advertising is best for brand awareness campaigns to reach more people. Also, when we market a product or service visually, the rate of clicking the ad by the visitor is high. It is all about designing attractive, eye-catching banners. The display ads can also be run with the vCPM model. That denotes when a visitor sees at least 50% of the ad on the screen.

Further, an effective display advertising banner makes an attachment between the visitors and the brand. The display ad campaigns can be set up with Google Ads. It’s an advertising platform developed by Google, where you can access plenty of publishers across the Google Display Network. The ads can be delivered to the right person at the right time with the targeting techniques and can also be optimized further.

In short, If you are a small business you should start building your brand by setting up a powerful display campaign. For more queries and help, we would be really happy to help. Write to us at admin@knowonlineadvertising.com.

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About the author

Kavinkumar Subramani

Kavinkumar Subramani

Digital-Tech Blogger

Kavin is a passionate blogger from Know Online Marketing. He publishes insightful and value-added articles and infographics on online marketing, blogging, WordPress, hosting and domain, web design/development, digital tools, online courses, and more.

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