How to Measure the Success of Your Display Advertising Campaign

How to Measure the Success of Your Display Advertising Campaign

In our previous article on display advertising, we explored how to plan and execute your first B2B display advertising campaign. In this article, we’re going to examine how you can measure the campaign’s effectiveness to see if it is meeting your goals.

If you established your campaign objectives while planning your campaign and identified your key performance indicators (KPIs), then measuring the success of your B2B display program should be relatively straightforward. Display campaigns, like lead generation programs, can be designed to target certain audiences, from the top of the funnel (TOFU) to the bottom of the funnel (BOFU). When your campaign results are aligning with your objectives, KPIs, and targeting, then your campaign is working.

Measuring the success of your B2B display campaign means tracking the right data. Some of the objectives we discussed in the previous article include driving consideration of your brand, generating qualified traffic, and increasing user engagement.

Useful data to track if you’re trying to meet these objectives include:

  • Conversions: If, for example, your display ads drive traffic to a landing page, where a visitor can fill out a form, download an asset, or make a purchase.
  • Engagements: If your ads are directing the audience to spend time with a web page or an online tool like an ROI calculator.
  • Site visits: If your campaign is driving TOFU prospects to a page on your website or to your homepage.

Site visits are useful to track because they demonstrate a measure of interest from your prospects. But don’t be afraid to dig a little deeper into your data. Site visits are good, but time spent on the site is even better, because someone who visits and stays is a better prospect.

Exploring Display Advertising Metrics

Dividing your objectives by the total number of impressions will allow you to put an engagement rate to your campaign. If your display campaign drove 200 engagements to your online ROI calculator from 10,000 display impressions, you drove a 2 percent engagement rate.

200 engagements / 10,000 impressions = .02 x 100 = 2%

Divide the cost of your campaign by the number of interactions, and you get a cost-per-action (CPA) or cost-per-result metric. If you drove 250 interactions with your calculator after spending $15,000 on your campaign, then you paid $60 per action.

$15,000 / 250 interactions = $60 per action

There’s no shortage of data to explore as you work to measure the success of your display campaign, but don’t drown yourself in the numbers. Some of the metrics available to you probably aren’t worth analyzing in great detail. Stick to metrics that drive solid business outcomes.

Less useful data to track includes:

  • Clicks. Click-through rates (CTRs) are low, and from the dawn of display advertising, “serial clickers” in the audience have been responsible for a disproportionate number of clicks. Without conversion or healthy time-on-page data, clicks don’t mean much.
  • So-called “vanity metrics.” These include social media likes, shares, upvotes, and similar low-value reactions. The truth is, most of the content shared or liked on the Internet is never read by the person sharing or liking it.

Optimizing Your Display Campaign

One of the great things about digital marketing is the ability to track the performance of a campaign while it’s running. This will allow you to make adjustments if your results and objectives aren’t aligning as you expected.

By starting your campaign with multiple ad creatives (i.e., the actual banner images or text links that are your ads) and landing pages, you will be able to eliminate or reduce the frequency of the poor performers over time.

There is no shortage of A/B test results available online, especially when it comes to landing pages. Marketers love to analyze how creatives and landing pages can vary in performance based on headlines, colors, font sizes, and calls to action. The best advice here is to find what works for your campaign and strike a balance between effectiveness and over-analysis.

The danger of over-analyzing your creatives and landing pages is that they may not be responsible if your campaign isn’t meeting your expectations. Your campaign needs to have the right message in the right format, but it also needs to find the right audience. If optimizing your creatives and landing pages doesn’t improve your B2B display program’s performance, then it’s time to revisit your targeting options.

Post-Campaign Analysis

It’s never been easy to measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns that aren’t directly connected to a purchase. Department store magnate John Wanamaker is credited with saying, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”

Fortunately, digital marketing offers advertisers metrics and insights to help guide their investments. That doesn’t mean the numbers will tell the entire story, however. How do you demonstrate the effectiveness of a campaign and show that the budget you were allocated to increase revenue actually performed?

If someone is tracking it and you have access to the data, compare the cost of acquiring a customer from your campaign to the Lifetime Value of your brand’s customers. Lifetime Value is derived by simply adding up the value of the average transaction customers make, the average number of transactions per year, and the expected number of years the relationship will last.

Value of average transaction + average transactions per year + expected length of relationship = Lifetime Value

The Return on Ad Spend (RoAS) is even easier to calculate for most programs. Calculate the RoAS by simply dividing the revenue generated by the campaign by the total cost of the campaign.

Revenue generated by campaign / total cost of campaign = Return on Ad Spend

The slightly more complicated Campaign Revenue metric takes the Lifetime Value you calculated above and multiplies it by the total conversion your program delivered and the closing rate (i.e., the rate at which your brand closes deals with leads).

Lifetime value x total conversions x close rate = Campaign Revenue

How to Measure TOFU Goals

But what if your B2B display campaign has very TOFU goals, such as increasing awareness of the brand? Not every campaign generates conversion data to plug into a formula.

Brand lift and brand awareness studies are used to survey the target audience about their awareness of and feelings toward a brand before they see an ad campaign. The audience is then re-surveyed after the completion of the campaign to see if they are more aware of the brand or view it more favorably after seeing the ads.

Make the Most of Your Display Campaigns

Display advertising is an important tool in the B2B marketer’s toolbox. If you take the time to plan your campaign carefully and monitor its performance, you’ll find that display advertising can help you build brand awareness, increase engagement, drive qualified traffic, and more.

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