If you are considering image/display advertising for your business or organization, you should consider utilizing image ads with Adwords to do this. You can run image ads across the Google Display Networks (GDN) and continue to pay on a cost-per-click basis instead of a CPM (Cost-per-thousand impression) basis which most other platforms will require you to do. CPC ensures that you are only paying for people that have at least a bit of interest in your ad. Your ads can be incredibly targeted as well. With the Google Display Network you can target your ads based on:
- Placements - Actually choosing the domain names and positions you would like your ad to show
- Display Keywords - Your ads are triggered when searchers use these set of terms and then visit a site in the GDN. These keywords should be closely related to a topic. Remember, quality score still comes into play and determines what you'll pay for a click!
- Topics - Do you know what topics your target audience is interested in? Then reach them on the sites they might be viewing based on the topics.
- Interests - Tell Google the interests of your target audience and they will use this info to show your ad on appropriate sites related to the interests
- Gender and age - Bid boost or specifically target a gender or age
- Campaign Exclusion - Allowing ads to run automatically can make people nervous. Don't worry...you can specify categories in which you do not want your ad to show
- Geography - Similar to normal AdWords ads, you can make sure that you are reaching the appropriate geographic area of your target audience.
By utilizing all of these tools you can be sure that your image ads are running a wide variety of websites that have visitors that fall in line with your target demographic and interests. You'll only pay for clicks, so if you have a well structured landing page your ad spend is likely going to be more effective than only paying on a CPM basis. You can still determine what your CPM is if you are comparing metrics.
Comparing Display Mediums
For a client in the tourism industry we are currently running image ads on the GDN and comparing as closely as we can to an advertising effort through Trip Advisor. The ad budgets, geographic settings, ads, and targeting has been set up as closely as possible. The biggest difference is that the Trip Advisor ads will be run on a CPM basis while AdWords will be run on a CPC basis. After the efforts which will run for just over a month we will compare cost of advertising, management, and on-site metrics to determine which effort should be focused on as a long term effort. We're really excited to see the results! If you are doing anything like this, don't forget to try out the awesome ROI calculator created by @dkemick!