Whitepaper Promotion using Display Ads

Feb 15, 2020

Whitepaper promotion

So, you’ve created the whitepaper, now what?

Whitepapers can be a striking marketing tool, but there could be many compelling whitepapers that may not serve your marketing objectives and goals just because you haven’t put on enough efforts to promote it. Promotional activities build your brand and thought leadership while driving traffic that helps you in achieving your marketing goals. Many organizations use whitepapers to persuade their target audience and convert them into leads. Developing a strategy that attracts people to download and executing it properly can help marketers meet their goals. When these strategies are targeted well, it can create wonders and generate a stream of visitors. While there are many ways you can promote your whitepaper, we will discuss how display ads can be effective in your whitepaper promotions.

Display Ads

Display advertising is a marketing technique to attract an online audience on a website, social media platform or any other digital medium to take a specific call to action. These advertisements could be in any form like text, image or video that encourage the user to click-through to a landing page and take a final call to action i.e. closing a deal or making a purchase.

Display / graphics create an engaging and eye-catching ad which can target the right audience and wrap it together in a funnel that generate results. Let’s shed some light on the display ads statistics to know how it can contribute to your growth and digital marketing objectives.

Statistics on Display Ads

Online display advertising has seen a continuous fast-paced growth compelling the marketers to leverage on it completely. Online display advertising offers a unique combination of wider audience reach along with targeting specific audience. Display ads have extensive reach as it enables marketers to serve ads to a select audience no matter where that audience crawls on the web. In addition, it does offer precise targeting, because of the availability of information about internet users.

Google and Facebook still hold the largest share of total US digital ad spend, with 38.6% and 19.9%, respectively.

Display Ads Statistics

source: eMarketer

The graph shows the statistical data on the US digital ad spending, 2016-2020.

US digital ad spending

37% of online shoppers say they use social media for “purchase inspiration.”

Over one-third of online shoppers use social media to “find inspiration” for a purchase. This is higher than any other form of online media, including retailer websites, price comparison websites, and multi-brand websites.

Appearing in mobile search ad results can increase brand awareness by 46%.

Making your target audience aware of your brand is an essential step in the sales process and one that mobile search ads can help with. Studies have shown that you can increase brand awareness by 46% simply by showing up in mobile search ad results. In fact, 51% of smartphone users have discovered a new company or product when searching on their smartphones.

Types of Display Ads

Banner Ads: Banner advertising includes a graphic display that is placed on the top, bottom, sides or corners of a website or any online media. Th e horizontal type of banner advertisement is called a leaderboard, while the vertical banners are called a skyscraper, positioned on a web page's sidebars. Banner ads are a popular form of online advertising as it is image-based.


Banner ads promote a brand and get visitors from the host website to go to the advertiser's website which helps the marketers with their objective of sales conversion.

Insterstitial Ads: These ads pop up as a small window on web pages that are served to users before they are directed to the original page requested. The example below explains the interstitial ads that appear before accessing a web page or app on a mobile device:

Insterstitial Ads

Rich media Ads: These ads include interactive elements, such as video, audio, and clickable elements. The example below shows an ad that includes a call to action right within the ad itself.

Rich media Ads

Video Ads: Social networks like Instagram, Facebook, YouTube advertising platform, etc. has opened a whole new avenue for marketers. Video ads allow you to reach your audience and connect with them on a personal level and are well worth investing in.

Ways Display Ads Can Promote Whitepaper

Landing Pages: When it comes to marketing your whitepaper, a great landing page is the first impression that catches an eye for your target market. The interactive UI/UX designs further add value to your landing page. 

Some points to consider while creating your landing page: 

  • A catchy title and a cover image
  • A concise description of the whitepaper contents
  • Highlighting the benefits that visitors will get
  • Strong testimonials to make your whitepaper appealing
  • Social sharing buttons make it easy to share

Banner Ads: A banner ad, or a web banner, is an advertisement displayed into a web page. When promoting a whitepaper, nothing proves more beneficial than banner ads as it consists of an image or a multimedia object like a flash image. Thus, banner ads can be static or animated, depending on the technology used to make them. 

Display ads

Promoting a whitepaper through display ads like banners works well as they are more relevant to the content (whitepaper) of a particular web page and will typically provide the best results. Including an actual image of your whitepaper in your banner ad will add up a value to your whitepaper promotional activities.

Interstitial Ads: Interstitial ads are full-screen ads that cover the interface of their host application. Promoting your whitepaper through interstitial ads have more chances for achieving your sales objectives or call to actions since it is more focused as the ad covers the entire screen.

Interstitial Ads

These full-screen ads tend to have higher click-through rates than banner ads. In addition, you have more space to highlight the benefits that users may gain downloading the whitepaper.

Rich Media Ads: A 'Rich Media Ad Unit' is an interactive and/or non‐interactive ad unit displayed on a mobile web page and/or in any application that offers:

  • inclusion of streaming video content or animated GIFs within the ad unit
  • inclusion of sound
  • a richer interactive feature set than basic mobile click‐through. This interactive feature set includes user interaction that occurs through input other than a “click” or “tap”.

Promoting a whitepaper through rich media can make the ads more attractive and appealing as the ads include features like ad expansion, user engaged interaction, sound, animation, floating ad. The success of rich media ads for promoting a whitepaper lies on the fact how good you have interacted with the user or made your whitepaper appealing utilizing the media and technology features.

Challenge in Display Advertising

The real challenge in display ads is the banner blindness. No matter how effective you do the promotional activities for your whitepaper, people may ignore your whitepaper display ads if they fail to relate it. And, while webpage patterns and types of advertisements have evolved, banner blindness is still prevalent, states a recent research. A successful whitepaper promotional activity involves all the effective strategies that you have made to combat banner blindness while utilizing display ads. 

Tips to Combat Banner Blindness

  • Focus on your customers’ needs
  • Use design to attract attention
  • Be relevant
  • Use interactive tools rather than banners

In addition, make the best use of content while using the display ads for your whitepaper promotions. A striking ad with a catchy phrase will stay on people’s mind for a longer duration and compel the user to act on it.


A successful whitepaper rests on the fact that you leave no stone unturned while performing these promotional activities. Eventually, by addressing banner blindness and carefully understanding customer behavior you can have your whitepaper to reach millions and along with achieving your other marketing objectives

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