Display advertising is a powerful tool with wide reach, precise targeting, and, arguably most importantly, creative capabilities beyond what a text-forward search ad offers. While direct ROI is difficult to attribute, display ads are a critical part of full-funnel digital acquisition, acting as an additional touchpoint and reminder to give.  

NextGen’s digital team understands the ins and outs of display ads. We can help your organization leverage them in conjunction with other digital efforts to increase brand awareness and create an overall revenue lift.  

Types of Display Ads 

  • Self-Serve: Self-serve display ads are managed directly by the advertiser through platforms that allow them to create, launch, and monitor their own ad campaigns without intermediaries. The largest and most popular choice is the Google Display Network, where advertisers can create and manage campaigns through Google Ads, targeting users based on demographics, interests, and browsing behavior. There are also streaming platforms with self-serve display ad managers, including Hulu, Roku, and Amazon.  
  • Demand-Side Platforms (DSPs): Programmatic advertising automates the buying and selling of ad inventory using your DSP of choice. It uses algorithms and real-time bidding to purchase ad space. Working with a DSP for larger-scale campaigns is beneficial because their tools enable advertisers to buy digital ad inventory across multiple ad exchanges through a single interface. NextGen partners with StackAdapt to help nonprofits achieve their marketing and fundraising goals. 

Best Practices for Display Ads 

  • Design 
    • Clarity: Always use high-quality, engaging images  
    • Visual Appeal: Include only clear and concise messaging 
    • Brand Consistency: Stay consistent with colors, logos, fonts, etc. 
    • Adjust: Add/remove elements to best fit different dimensions 
  • Targeting
    • 1st Party Data: Target your active member list or specific segments (lapsed, prospects) with personalized messaging 
    • 3rd Party Data: Target people based on demographics, behaviors, and interests that best fit your product/service/mission 
    • Retargeting: Implement pixels to retarget website visitors and move people down the funnel   
  • Testing & Optimization 
    • A/B Testing: Test different creative, targeting, etc. to see what works best 
    • Performance Monitoring: Use analytics (frequency, impressions, clicks, CTR, etc.) to track and adjust your campaigns 
  • Ad Placement 
    • Contextual Relevance: Place ads on sites relevant to your product or service and blacklist them from irrelevant sites 
    • Frequency Capping: Limit how often the same user sees your ad to avoid crossing the line to annoyance 

Let NextGen Help 

Looking to add display to your digital channel mix? NextGen can provide everything from creative ideation and design to audience segmentation and retargeting. Contact us today to learn more and get started.