A Beginners Guide To Display Advertising A Beginners Guide To Display Advertising

A beginner's guide to display advertising

Learn how display advertising can grow your businesses.

Looking to grow your business? Customers increasingly choose to do their shopping online. It is projected that there will be 289.91 million people that choose to do their shopping online in the United States in 2027, according to Statista.1 This trend presents an opportunity to connect with more potential shoppers through digital marketing. In this series of posts from Amazon Ads, you’ll learn more about display advertising, a powerful tool for SMBs looking to grow their businesses.


Display advertising is a type of digital marketing involving the use of images, videos, or other rich media formats to promote a product or service. You generally see display ads along the sides or top of a website, and sometimes in the middle of the content you’re reading. Display advertising offers reach, scale, and performance, through relevant audiences, diverse ad formats, creatives, and measurement solutions.

Hero image of lady with a laptop

Benefits of display advertising

Display ads are a measurable, flexible, and cost-effective way for businesses to reach their marketing goals.

You can measure the success of a display ad campaign against a plethora of marketing metrics. Common marketing metrics include click-through rate (CTR), cost-per-action (CPA), return on ad spend (ROAS), impressions, ad-attributed sales, and conversions as examples.

Display ad costs vary, but what makes display one of the most cost-effective advertising methods is the flexibility they offer with real-time changes. With some traditional advertising, brands can’t change the visuals, CTA, or message, after an ad begins running. That means that if the ad isn’t effective, the cost per action may be higher. Display advertising is dynamic - allowing advertisers to change course during a campaign gives businesses greater flexibility to optimize campaigns and maximize the efficiency of their budget.

"We are really excited that we can use Amazon Audiences to help reach and engage the right audiences, like owners of Nissan vehicles."

— Alyson, President, Cedar Marketing

Getting started with display advertising

Display advertising can seem complex, so we’ve broken down how to create a display campaign in 5 steps.

1. Select your campaign goals and settings
Start by defining the goals for your campaign and setting a budget for your campaign. Choose the key performance indicator (KPI) and cost type that best represent the outcome you’re looking to drive such as reach, page visits or conversions. Display ads can have two different cost types: cost per click (CPC) or cost per impression (CPM). CPC is the price an advertiser pays each time a customer clicks on a display ad. CPM is the price an advertiser pays per one thousand advertisement impressions.

2. Define your audience
Define who you want your ads displayed to. Choosing the right audience helps ensure you’re showing your ads to the most relevant audience for your business. Choose an audience that describes your core customers—for example, “yoga enthusiasts” for a yoga studio.

3. Create your display ad
Communicate the key benefits of your business or unique value proposition of your brand through a compelling display ad. Design your ad with the following best practices in mind: 1) Keep it conversational, 2) Focus on a benefit, 3) Less is more, 4) Make it actionable.

4. Monitor the metrics of your display ads
Pay close attention to how campaign settings, audiences, and creative elements may be impacting the success of your display campaign. Think about how you might make changes to your campaign to reach your goals.

5. Optimize your display campaigns and note learnings for future campaigns
Better reach your goals by making optimizations to the things you can control such audiences, bids, and creative elements. Take note of what worked and what didn’t for the next campaign.

"With Sponsored Display, there are so many Amazon Audiences to choose from to help you reach relevant customers."

— Anna, Granular Marketing

Grow your business with Amazon Ads

Sponsored Display is a self-service display advertising solution that helps marketers reach their marketing goals. Now US businesses that don’t sell in the Amazon store can access Sponsored Display to help grow their business. With an easy-to-use interface and no minimum spend requirements, advertisers can create compelling display ads in just a few clicks.

Visit Amazon Advertising to get started today.

1Statista, 2023, US