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The Ultimate Guide to Local Display Advertising

Updated: Aug 26, 2021

Display advertising serves as an enhanced digital billboard for your business. The ads that you serve can communicate your business’s unique value to desired audiences in a stylish, visually appealing, and dynamic manner.

Billboards serve a purpose for businesses that want to reach broad general audiences. However, like most traditional advertising, it lacks the targeting power that digital can provide. Display advertising bridges that gap.

Today, we’re going to cover the basics of display advertising and review how it can help grow your New Jersey business. First, let’s start with the basics.

Programmatic Display Advertising Explained

Display advertising is a form of programmatic advertising. Similar to legacy media, programmatic advertising involves purchasing available ad space online. Over time, buying digital programmatic ad space has become more efficient with more advanced targeting capabilities to generate a greater potential for a higher return on investment.

Programmatic campaigns leverage a process called “Real-Time Bidding” (RTB). Once a user visits a specific page on the internet that offers display advertising space, the RTB auction starts. As the page loads, information about both the user and the page is transmitted to the ad exchange where advertisers are bidding on impression placement.

As the page loads, the ad exchange conducts an auction for the available ad space. Within milliseconds, the auction concludes and the impression is awarded to the advertiser with the highest bid. Their display ad will be shown across the available sections of the page in a variety of dimensions and formats.

How Can You Use Display Advertising to Target Local Audiences?

As a programmatic product, display advertising can leverage a full range of advanced targeting capabilities. This allows you to tailor your message to ideal audiences on the platforms and channels they are actively engaged with.

Some of the targeting methods you can use include:

Site Retargeting

Retarget users that have already visited your website and interacted with your business previously. After leaving your site, the user will be served a retargeting ad to entice them to revisit your site in the future.

Behavioral Targeting

This targeting strategy allows our team to reach users based on their online behavior like keywords and phrases they’re searching and engaging with, websites they visit, and the content they’re reading about.

For example, say you manage a bank and they’re looking to reach people who are interested in opening a savings account. Through a Custom Intent tactic, we can deliver your ads to users searching for keywords like “best bank accounts for college students”.


Reach users based on their personal characteristics and subjects that interest them. You can target a person based on aspects of their personal lives, such as:

  • Age

  • Marital status

  • Education level

  • Parental status

  • Income level


By drawing virtual fences around brick-and-mortar locations, We can use display advertising to serve your ads to individuals who have visited these physical locations. This strategy drives targeted brand awareness to your audience while they’re visiting their favorite stores with the goal of increasing foot traffic to your physical business location.

Lookalike Targeting

If your client collects and maintains a CRM list, the display team can actually leverage this list and deliver your ads to your existing customer base. This strategy can be used for promoting seasonal offers to your current clients, for example.

Display Advertising Examples:

Here are some examples of how you could use a display campaign in your own marketing practices to reach ideal audiences relevant to your industry. Please note, display advertising is not limited to these industries or scenarios by any means.


Due to HIPAA and COPPA laws, healthcare does face some restrictions that other industries do not. However, that does not mean that display advertising cannot prove effective for your organization. Using tactics like whitelist targeting, you can reach people who are visiting health-related websites like Another example could be using display targeting to promote a senior living community among audience members above the age of 65.

Higher Education

Colleges and universities can leverage display advertising campaigns to reach those that are considering attending a higher learning institution. Use search behavior data to find people who have entered search terms like “best colleges near me” to find ideal audiences members who have an interest in enrolling.


A financial advisor looking to grow their portfolio of wealth management clients could target specific municipalities with higher median household incomes than the surrounding towns and cities. For instance, you could serve your ads exclusively to towns in Monmouth County like Rumson, Colts Neck, and Deal where home prices are commonly in the millions. During the summer months, you could further expand that campaign to also target people in Elberon, Asbury Park, and Mantoloking.


Draw a geofence around municipal and county courthouses near your firm’s office. Whenever someone passes through these facilities with their phone’s location turned on, you can serve ads that offer your legal services to people who may need to consider hiring an attorney in the near future.

Real Estate

A real estate agency could leverage display ads to target people in their local area who are researching home prices. If someone searches “Homes in Ocean County, NJ” on Google, you can capture that data and serve ads that promote your Toms River office.


Insurance agencies sell security to their customers when they need it most. Using powerful images with the right message can communicate the immense importance of having the right coverage for life’s least-expected moments. A Middlesex County insurance agency looking to promote renters insurance could draw a geo-fence around large apartment complexes and serve ads to those already renting the spaces.


When you are selling high-quality goods to consumers, visual appeal is everything. For example, if you operate a downtown clothing store, you can preview the latest upcoming fashions using a display campaign. With retail, the sky is the limit with the right blend of imagery, messaging, and targeting strategy!


Seasonal campaigns require driving the most amount of awareness and consideration possible for a timely product, service, or promotion. Whether you’re operating a year-round business advertising a limited offering or only open for part of the year and want to maximize your profit potential, using display advertising can showcase your unique value in the moment.

For example, if you manage a large amusement park on a Jersey Shore boardwalk, you only have a finite window of time to capture consumer interest before closing again in the fall. Targeting individuals who are already visiting these shore towns can help generate immediate awareness and consideration.

Best Practices for Display Campaigns

If you are considering a programmatic display campaign, keep these best practices in mind as you prepare to launch:

Use High-Quality Visuals

Nobody wants to see a grainy, unclear visual. This will confuse audiences and affect the outcome of your campaign. Instead, create your ad using crisp, clear imagery that can fully demonstrate your business’s unique message.

Don’t Go Overboard with Text

When placing text on the visual for your display campaign, keep the messaging succinct yet complete. Focus on the absolute strongest unique selling points of your product or service and maximize them!

Create a Full Ad Set

Having a full ad set accounts for all possible ad space dimensions. Without one, it will limit the spaces where your ads can be served across the web. Instead, your campaign will only land on pages that support the limited range of dimensions in your ad set.

A full display ad set includes the following sizes. They can be in HTML, JPEG, or PNG:

  • 300 x 250

  • 300 x 600

  • 320 x 50

  • 160 x 600

  • 728 x 90

  • 970 x 250

  • 320 x 480

This may require you to alter the design of your display ad to fit within these dimensions. However, that extra effort will be well worth the time investment when you can serve your ads to countless more pages online.

Upgrade Your NJ Business’s Display Advertising Capabilities

At NJ Digital, we’re as passionate about growing your New Jersey business as you are. We apply our local knowledge and digital expertise to deliver highly relevant display advertising campaigns to the audiences you actually want to reach. To learn more about how we can provide a solution for your programmatic needs, let’s connect.



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