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19/05/2022 | Drew Whitehouse

Auction Guides.
Why auctioneers should consider digital banner adverts over print ads

Imagine a newspaper or magazine ad, seen thousands of times by exactly the people you want to become your customers.

Sounds too good to be true? Introducing the amazing digital display advert!

The basics

Digital display ads have been around for almost 30 years. They have a similar look and feel to traditional print adverts, but with a few advantages:


Display ads (also known as banner ads) can appear on millions of websites, from national newspapers to niche fine art and antiques blogs. You’ll see them on a lot of the websites you browse daily.


Display ads can target specific audiences. Powerful targeting controls show your ads to people based on their browsing habits, what they’re Googling, demographics, geographics and more.  Campaigns can target existing or potential customers, helping promote your business to the most relevant people.


Despite these advantages, display ads are significantly cheaper per view than traditional newspaper or magazine print advertising. Win, win, win!

Eye-catching animation

Here are some recent examples of display adverts we’ve created for our auction clients:

British Medical Auctions
Elstob & Elstob

Why should auctioneers use Google Display advertising?

Auctioneers typically use display ads for three reasons:

  • Attract consignments
  • Promote sales
  • Brand awareness
Attract consignments

Display ads can persuade people to visit your website and get an online valuation or contact you for an in-person appointment. Getting in front of the right people at the right time is easier with digital ads.

Promoting auctions

Promoting upcoming sales can attract new buyers - who may also have items to consign to future sales. Keeping your brand in front of regular auction visitors and bidders will encourage clicks to your website and more online catalogue views.

Brand awareness

Display ads look great, particularly with slick animations. This makes your brand look attractive to potential customers. They’re easy to refresh from time-to-time to keep customers engaged and click rates high.

Display ads vs print ads

Although traditional print ads and display ads may look a bit alike, the digital option offers some BIG advantages:

  • 100% measurable: Track views, clicks and website interactions including valuation requests, bids, and more.
  • Cost-effective: Views are free - you only pay per click.
  • Qualified audiences: Target people who regularly browse auctions.
  • Huge exposure: Reach millions of people across millions of websites.
  • High impact: Eye-catching animated ads in various sizes.
100% measurable

Do you know how well your most recent print ad performed? Or did you just do it because it’s what your business has always done? 

Print ad performance is hard to measure. Display ads are fully tracked, providing data on how many people saw it, how many clicked on it and, most importantly, what visitors to your website did when they arrived. 

We can measure ad performance against your KPIs, including valuation requests, registering to bid or leaving a commission bid. Using this data, we make informed decisions to improve ad performance and your ROI.

Cost effective

Print ads cost much more than display ads.

A regional paper is likely to charge £250 - £500+ for an inside quarter page, while a double page spread in a national paper can cost more than £30,000.

By contrast, display ads offer greater visibility across millions of websites, and you only pay when someone is interested enough to click on the advert. 

There’s no minimum spend, but the more budget you invest, the more exposure you get. The cost per click varies depending on who you’re targeting, but is usually between 40p - 80p per click. 

So £500/month would deliver between 625 - 1,250 visits to your website from qualified leads. Print ads just can’t compete with that!

C&T Auctioneers
Qualified audiences

Print audiences tend to serve a fairly broad audience, so even if the circulation numbers are high, there will be a large proportion of readers who won’t be interested in your business.

Display ads use targeting tools to build relevant audiences. These audiences are created based on Google searches, websites visited, demographics, geographical location and more. 

An example: you have an upcoming jewellery auction. We set up display ads to target people within a 75 mile radius of your auction house who have browsed jewellery websites, recently searched for jewellery auctions, or have browsing habits relating to expensive lifestyles. A quality, qualified audience.

This targeting ensures campaigns are highly relevant, serving your ads to the right audiences, minimising budget and maximising return on investment.

Huge exposure

Papers and magazines have a limited shelf life for the cost of each ad placement. Most printed publications are only seen once, then thrown away and forgotten about.

A display ad campaign can run for longer, with ads seen by the same person multiple times on multiple websites. Instead of a single appearance in print, a display ad could run for weeks online, giving your auction house more exposure for a similar spend.

Your monthly ad views vary with audience targeting, but with a budget of £500/month, you can expect to see over 1 million views of your ad with the potential to reach over 2 million. 

High impact

Display ads come in many different shapes and sizes. With smooth animation and carefully considered copy, they attract attention and professionally represent your brand.

We work closely with your business to understand your objectives, and tailor the content and creative to deliver results. We can even trial different ad designs to learn what works best, then optimise live and future campaigns.


Display ads in summary

High impact, high volume, well-targeted and relatively low cost. The display ad is the digital evolution of the humble print ad.

For us, it’s an essential part of a successful marketing mix, ideal for promoting your brand and achieving business goals.

We’re not saying print ads should be completely overlooked - they can also be part of a successful campaign plan. But if you want brand awareness and measurable results, display ads will deliver more bang for your buck!

Next time we'll be taking a look at Instagram, how it works, and how you can build a loyal community of followers.

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