Getting Started with Local Online Display

Of all the types of online marketing available, display advertising tends to be the least understood by local marketers. A big part of the reason for this is that until relatively recently, it was impossible to restrict where display ads show up on a geographic basis. With the rise of RTB-exchanges (RTB stands for real-time-bidding), this has changed. Now, it is possible to run a display ad campaign that gives advertisers exposure to audiences within specific geographic locations, even down to the zip code level. But what even many experienced advertisers don’t realize is that running a local online display campaign is very different from running a nation-wide campaign.

For a local business owner, online marketing can be a bewildering endeavor.  You start trying to figure out what is what, and quickly become inundated with a wide range of options.  Should you start a blog, have a Facebook page, use Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, make a video, have an app, and so on.  Then there is the jargon: SEO, SEM, content, HTML, flash, and more.  Many get so frustrated that they just avoid the subject and stick with advertising in the paper or the yellow pages, even though they know that these are not getting the readers that they used to.

Display advertising has many similarities to how traditional advertising works.  Just like placing an ad in a newspaper, display ads are placed alongside the content that your prospective customers read online.  Display ads go beyond what is possible with newspapers because they have the ability to be much more engaging, with rich media like animation and videos. They also have an advantage because you can place ads on a much wider range of content than just a single newspaper, and at the same time be much more focused in the type of audience you target.

The best way to get started is to remember the KISS method – Keep It Simple Sweetie.  What do you need to get started? The main requirements are:

  1. A website
  2. A banner ad
  3. Place the ads on websites
  4. Monitor the campaign

While there are some DIY options out there for making this happen, most business owners find that their campaign does better if they work with an experienced professional. To help explain the process of setting up and running a campaign in better detail, you can download a copy of my new eBook, “Getting Started with Local Online Display,” at my blog on the Vantage Local website.

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