When it comes to Internet advertising, display ads were once mainly used by online businesses or national brands that could benefit from the global nature of online audiences. Instead of running ads that show to all viewers to a website, web publishers now allow advertisers to geo-target different ads based on where the viewer is physically located.  This has caused a major shift in how banner ad campaigns are planned and delivered, including changing the makeup of what types of business can benefit from the strategy.

Geo-Targeted Online Display Advertising

To understand how geo-targeting works, imagine that visiting a website is like ordering a meal from the drive-thru window of a fast-food restaurant. When you pull up to the window, the order goes in to pull together an assembly of content that is delivered to you in the form of a webpage.  At the same time as you are placing your order, the person working the drive-thru window sees where you are from by looking at the license plate of your car (IP address of your computer), and picks different wrappers (ads) for your burgers based on where the car comes from.  So someone on a road trip from Florida will get a different promotion that they can use back home, than the people coming through on their way home from work.

Brand Awareness for Local Brands

The best purpose of a pure display ad is the building of brand awareness.  This is because of the way that viewers get exposed to this type of ads. Banner ads get placed on websites near content that the viewer is reading for information or for entertainment.  At the time they see them, viewers may not be actively seeking something similar to what the advertiser has to offer.  But repeated exposure will mean that the viewer will recognize the business and even remember the message from the ad once they are in shopping mode, increasing the likelihood that they will choose that brand over a competitor.

Locally Targeted Campaigns

This is where geo-targeting can really pay off. For a local business, it means that they can now invest in brand awareness within a pretty narrow geographic region, such as just a few zip codes. Even national brands can benefit, since they can offer different messages in different regions that they serve. Also, since it is easy to break out which areas are responding best to the ads, it is possible to gain a clearer understanding of regional differences in brand acceptance.

The best part of all of this is that not only does geo-targeting make online display advertising work for local businesses, it also makes online display ads work better for all advertisers.  This is because viewers respond more favorably to ads that are more locally relevant to them.  To learn more about how to make the shift to local display advertising with your ad campaign, consider contacting Vantage Local today.