One of the questions spa owners have been asking me lately is “What are digital display ads and how can I use them to get more clients for my spa?” You may not understand the ads or even like them, but digital display advertising, sometimes known as banner advertising, has become a dominant force in the online marketing space. Many of your competitors are probably using digital display advertising, which is why this is something you will also want to consider for your business.

Every person who has ever been online has been exposed to digital ads. However, most spa owners that I consult with do not fully understand or appreciate their value. It is my intention to provide some valuable insights to those individuals who would like to gain a better understanding of the topic, especially those considering it as part of their spa’s marketing strategy.

What Are Digital Display Ads?

Simply put, digital display ads are those small image ads you frequently see displayed in the header area, sidebar, within the body text, and even the footer areas of virtually every website you visit. In some cases, the website owner will place their own promotional ads in those areas, but for the most part, especially for larger brands, that space will be made available for other companies to advertise in exchange for a portion of the revenues. The same scenario also exists for many mobile app developers, especially those that do not charge for the apps, but rather subsidize their operating expenses through ad revenues.

Retargeting Versus Cold Traffic

Digital display advertising falls into 2 categories; the first being cold traffic and the 2nd being retargeting, or remarketing as it is sometimes called. Our primary focus for this article will be on the latter.

Retargeting works as follows.

  1. Someone visit your website to get more information about a product or service you offer.
  2. A browser pixel or cookie is placed in the visitor’s browser.
  3. Whenever they visit another website such as,,, or millions of other similar sites that offer advertising, one of your ads will be displayed to create top of mind awareness for your brand and gently remind them of your offering.

Cold traffic works in a similar fashion, however as the name suggests, an ad would be placed on another website to introduce your brand to those individuals who had previously visited your website.

Creating Top of Mind Awareness

Top of mind awareness, also known as “TOMA” in the advertising world, is vitally important for this reason- the majority of people who visit your website are not ready to make a purchase at that moment. This is why it is critical that your company is the one they think of when it IS the time to buy. In fact, Kissmetrics stated in their blog that “Approximately 96% of visitors that come to your website are not ready to buy.” That is obviously a huge percentage that certainly warrants putting a strategy together to automatically follow up with those potential clients. There are several strategies available to accomplish that such as creating an opt-in form or using push notifications, but we favor retargeting.

What Are Your Website Visitors Really Looking For?

Generally speaking, your website visitors fall into 4 categories.

  1. There are those that are looking for the most authoritative spa to do business with so they want to see that you have a great reputation. They are looking for your reviews, videos, or other social proof, especially on your homepage, that will convince them that you are an authority with regards to the product or service they are looking for.
  2. Other visitors may be looking for a very specific spa product or service. This might be the latest procedure or trend they heard about in the news or from a friend or colleague.
  3. The third type of person is looking for really great offer. They want to feel confident they are receiving the best deal on the product or service they desire.
  4. The fourth category is a person who may be a combination of 2 or more of the above categories.

Since you don’t know what each viewer is looking for when they first visit your website, it is imperative that you have a strategy in place to automatically and consistently follow up with them when they are ready to move forward and make their purchase. This applies to new clients as well as existing clients who are looking to experience more of your great services.

Digital Display Advertising Trends

To illustrate just how massive the digital display advertising world is, The Wall Street Journal projected that digital ad spending in the US will surpass television spending in 2016. That projection held true.

eMarketer accurately predicted that digital display ad spending will surpass search ad spending (PPC, also known as pay per click) in 2016. That should give you an idea just how large this platform has become and how important it is to consider adding this to your marketing arsenal.

Digital Display Advertising or Pay Per Click?

Many spa owners may already utilize search advertising/pay per click such as Google AdWords. With pay per click (PPC) marketing, relevant ads are displayed at the top of the search results page and sometimes in the footer area, based on the search term used by the visitor. This can prove to be an effective strategy when the campaigns are properly designed and managed, however there are some inherent downsides, especially when compared to digital display ads.

PPC can often be quite expensive, sometimes costing $10-$20 per click and often much more depending on the market. There is also no branding or the ability to follow up with the people who click on your ad, unless they engage in some type of lead capture mechanism you have on your website. But even that could be very small percentage out of those who click the ad.

With digital display ad marketing, you have the ability to place ads on an unlimited amount of websites based on the content your target market is interested in, as well as the engagement they have had with the various pages on your site. Rather than paying per click, pricing is usually based on the cost of impressions, meaning the number of times that ad was displayed, and usually cost per 1000 impressions (CPM). You benefit from the ability to automatically follow up with your visitors and promote long-term branding for your company.

Ready to Get Started?

Our agency has just launched a new digital ad design department and we are looking for feedback, reviews, and case studies so we can tweak and test our platform before rolling it out nationwide.

During this beta testing phase, we are offering a free digital ad for a very limited time to those med spas or day spas who would be willing to provide us feedback on their experience. This ad can be used anywhere online such as your website or social media platforms. To take advantage of this limited time offer, please visit

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