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Static Ads vs Dynamic Ads: How to Choose the Right Display Ad Type

Stephanie Cook

Lifecycle Marketing Manager @ AdRoll

Digital banner ads are a fundamental aspect of your marketing strategy. While there are numerous options for designs, types, and placements, banner ads typically fall into one of two buckets: static and dynamic. But which ad type will have the greatest impact on your strategy and performance? Just like most marketing concepts, there’s a time and place for each. We’ll take a look at both static and dynamic ads, explore their strengths, limitations, and best use cases so that you can get rolling on your strategy.

Static Ads

Put simply, “static ads” are ads that don’t change. Think: print ad but in digital form. Static ads are by far the most common ad type and including them in your mix builds a solid foundation for the rest of your ad strategy. But what are the main benefits of static ads and how can you use them to their fullest potential?

Pros of static ads

  • Complete creative control. While other ad types sometimes limit you to specific templates or character counts, static ads give you complete creative control within best-practice dimensions. Static ads not only allow you to represent your brand however you’d like, they also create space for you to test different images and copy. 

  • Your brand shines through. Complete creative control means you aren’t limited in how you’d like to display your brand. The products displayed, value props mentioned, and overall personality are up to you!

Including static ads in your marketing mix feels like a no-brainer, but what should you keep in mind when creating static ads and deciding where they should live in your overall efforts?

What to keep in mind

  • You can’t include it all. While the creative control aspect of this ad type is a huge pro, you’re still limited by space. It can be difficult to show a would-be first time visitor everything that your brand offers within the limited dimensions. 

  • Relevancy can be difficult. Having to be selective of the images and messaging you display in your static ads means an increased likelihood that your ad doesn’t resonate with your targeted user as you intended. Maybe your chosen image doesn’t represent the product they’d be most interested in or your messaging doesn’t align with the pain point they’re hoping to solve for.

Keeping in mind both the strengths and limitations of static ads…

How to make the most of static ads

  • Keep them general. Make the most of your limited space by showcasing your brand’s range! Include imagery that best represents your full product/service range and keep messaging focused on your high-level value props. Static ads work best when they can set expectations and encourage your visitors to come back to explore further!

  • Brand awareness and upper funnel. Because relevancy is harder to guarantee with static ads, this type is best suited for new visitors who are still getting acquainted with your brand. Your ability to fully customize static ads to your liking means you’ll have full control over how your brand is first perceived.

Example static ad

Dynamic Ads

Unlike never-changing static ads, dynamic ads adjust the product shown to the behavior of the visitor it’s targeting. These dynamic product images most commonly reflect whichever product the visitor viewed or added to their cart, but some platforms (like AdRoll) will also display best sellers or recommendations based on browsing behavior.

Pros of dynamic ads

  • Guaranteed relevancy. While static and video ads rely on an assumption of what your visitor would most like to see, dynamic ads will reflect what they already showed interest in. This functionality helps your product and brand stay top of mind until they’re ready to convert. Dynamic ads take the guesswork out of designing your creative.

  • They can be easy & free to create! If you’re an AdRoll customer with a connected product feed (either through our ecommerce integrations or a manual setup), you can create a free set of dynamic ads in your dashboard today and get a headstart on your digital marketing efforts.

Things to consider

  • Less relevant to new visitors. Because dynamic ads display products based on a visitor’s behavior, they work best when targeting potential customers in your lower funnel. New visitors or visitors who didn’t view specific products are unlikely to resonate with a dynamic ad, which displays products they have little to no knowledge of.

How to make the most of dynamic ads

  • Target lower funnel. Dynamic ads will be strongest in your lower-funnel efforts. Think: visitors who viewed a specific product or advanced to their cart. You’ll be getting back in front of them with relevant content and potentially recommending a few additional products to help boost your AOV.

Example dynamic ad

Static + Dynamic Ads: Better Together

While important individually, static and dynamic ads become that much more powerful when combined. By devising a strategy around both the strengths and weaknesses of each ad type, you create a cohesive and nurturing experience for your potential customers all while allowing your brand to take center stage.

Start Benefiting From These Ad Types With AdRoll

Ready to start building your static and dynamic ads? You can create both for free in your AdRoll account!

Already an AdRoll customer who wants to get your free ads? Request yours.

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