Plumbers Are Differentiating their Companies Online with Display Advertising
Display ads are all around us whenever we browse the internet. They play a key role in how local businesses, including plumbing companies, build brand awareness with potential customers in their market. Before you decide whether display advertising is something you want to add as an extension to your marketing strategy, you need to know what display ads are, how they work, and the benefits they provide.
What Are Display Ads?
Display ads are run through the Google Display Network, Facebook, and other social media platforms. These types of visual ads are the equivalent of an online billboard for your company.
You’re going to find display ads in many places online:
- Websites – Plumbers investing in display advertising can deliver ads to unsuspecting visitors on third-party websites.
- Social media platforms – Like third-party websites, display ads run on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms build brand awareness with unsuspecting customers, right in their social media feeds.
- Mobile apps – Plumbers can even run display ads in mobile apps, such as games, if the app allows it.
Most display ads are charged on a cost per click (CPC) basis. That means every time someone clicks on your ad, you are going to be charged.
What Do Display Ads Look Like?
Display ads come in all shapes and sizes. Let’s look at the most popular form of display ads for plumbers.
Banner ads are the most common form of display advertising plumbing companies invest in. They appear to internet users as they browse other, third-party websites (not as they browse your website).
Banner ads are found:
- At the top of websites (example A, above)
- In the left or right sidebar of websites (example B, above)
Sometimes, when you open an article, YouTube video, mobile application, an ad will play. These are called interstitial ads and are found across desktop, tablet, and mobile devices.
Rich Media Ads
In an attempt to engage the user, distracting them from the idea that they are dealing with an advertisement, these ads are often fun. Here’s a screenshot of a Mike’s Hard Lemonade rich media ad:
Playing on the brand name “Hard” in Mike’s Hard Lemonade, users were challenged to try “harder.” If you could make it through all of the rounds of this game you were considered worthy of the “harder” lemonade.
Unsurprisingly, users spent an average of 75 seconds interacting with this ad!
These are the ones you are most likely to skip when trying to get to YouTube content you’re interested in…unless they manage to engage you.
These ads can be delivered to you by various ad networks:
- Google Display Network – Access to millions of sites via your Google Ads account
- LinkedIn Audience Network – Access to millions of LinkedIn users via their platform and targeting abilities
- Facebook ads – Like LinkedIn, Facebook knows its users very well and plumbers can use its rich set of data to target the right customers with display ads
- YouTube ads – The second biggest search engine in the world, owned by the biggest search engine in the world: YouTube is a great place to advertise
How Do Display Ads Work?
Display Ad Targeting Options
Using the Google Display Network, plumbers opting for display advertising have a distinct advantage over their competitors who don’t. The most notable advantage is the unique targeting abilities the Google Display Network provides:
- Website targeting – Website-based ad targeting serves your display ads to users who visit specific websites. Pick and choose which websites your ads show on, and which they don’t, using this type of display ad targeting.
- User targeting – User-based ad targeting serves your display ads to internet users who fit specific criteria (e.g., age, location, etc.). For example, user-based targeting is a great way to advertise your plumbing business to homeowners ages 35 and above who live in your most desirable service areas.
- Topic targeting – Topic-based ad targeting allows you to dial-in your targeting to specific users who have demonstrated an interest in a specific topic, like home improvement.
- Keyword targeting – Simply create a list of keywords and your ads will be matched to pages that have similar types of content.
- Audience targeting – The Google Display Network gives you the ability to target new, unsuspecting internet browsers with your ads who fit a similar demographic to your existing website visitors. These are often called “lookalike audiences,” as the goal is the serve your ads to internet users who, to Google, look like your customers.
- In-Market targeting – Google is smart. Use in-market audiences to serve your ad to users who search and internet browsing history indicates they might be “in-market” for a certain service or product, like plumbing services and equipment.
- Interest targeting – Through interest targeting, you can serve your display ads to internet users who recently started viewing other plumber websites or consuming plumbing content online.
Once you’ve set your display ad targeting options and launch your campaign, Google will serve your ads to the most relevant users based on your targeting options set.
The Google Display Network has more than 3,000 predefined targeting options available to plumbers. In order to maximize your online visibility AND give you more time to focus on running the day-to-day of your business, we recommend working with a certified Google Premier Partner (like Blue Corona!) to get the most of out of your display advertising campaigns.
Display Ad Design Tips for Plumbers
Keep these tips in mind when designing your display ads:
- Pick the most relevant imagery – Imagery subconsciously associates your products and services with a specific need or issue with a user. Running display ads that promote a rebate for a new tankless water heater … be sure to include an image of a tankless water heater.
- Add concise call to actions – You don’t want to trick users into clicking your ad. Your call to actions (e.g., “Learn More,” “Claim Your Rebate,” “Schedule an Estimate,” etc.) should be short and to the point. We recommend three words or less.
- Support your brand – Don’t forget to include your company’s logo and other branding elements in your display ads.
Display Ad Call to Actions for Plumbers
As we saw in earlier examples, display ads are designed to make internet users take a specific action. For plumbers, this often comes in the form of:
- Installing a new fixture or piece of equipment – Plumbers use display ads to serve relevant, timely ads to customers, like installing a new hot water heater, water purification system, bathroom vanity, and more.
- Signing up for a maintenance agreement – Homeowners often neglect the critical systems that keep their home running. Using display ads to promote your company’s maintenance agreements and service specials are a great way to generate more leads.
- Visiting your website – Let’s not forget, display ads can also be a significant contributor of traffic to your website every month. Encourage internet users to click-through to your website, should they have a lingering plumbing issue.
Benefits of Display Ads for Plumbing Companies
It’s important to keep in mind that each type of advertising is aimed at a specific audience with specific intentions. So, what is the intention of display ads? To create and sustain brand awareness. That means they can’t be used as a standalone strategy, but only in coordination with other types of advertising, like Local Services ads for plumbers, pay per click (PPC), and SEO.
Pros of Display Ads
There are many benefits to display advertising, including:
- Increased brand awareness
- Affordable clicks
- Hyper-specific ad targeting
- Cheaper conversions (when combined with other forms of plumber digital marketing)
Cons of Display Ads
So, what’s the bad news?
- There’s a low conversion rate (sometimes as low as 0.5%), so if you’re expecting display ads to be the silver bullet to solve your lead generation problem, think again.
- Many people use ad blockers which prevents display ads from showing in their browsers
Ask This Question Before Choosing Display Ads
Now that you know a bit more about the how and the what behind display ads, make sure you think through these questions before moving your plumbing business into display ads.
Is this your first time using ads?
As we noted above, display ads don’t work on their own, but rather as part of a comprehensive advertising strategy. Don’t start with display ads if you’re not investing in:
- Local Services ads
- Pay per click (PPC) ads
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
Need Help Growing Your Business? Blue Corona Can Help
Blue Corona is an award-winning digital marketing company specializing in helping plumbers increase leads and sales, optimize their marketing costs, and differentiate their brands online. We’ve worked with hundreds of plumbers across the United States, from small plumbing companies to nationally recognized franchises.
If you need help growing revenue or simply aren’t happy with your current digital marketing provider, give us a call or contact us online!