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Group of People Attending Digital Advertising Conference

Online Advertising For Content Hungry Consumers

I recently had an opportunity to attend the Experience Digital Thought Leadership Conference in Chicago, IL. It was sponsored by some of the most influential advertising agencies in the world and the speakers dropped some serious knowledge on members of the online advertising community. Here are some of the most important conference takeaways:

1. Digital consumers are hungry for content and relevant feed-based ads.
2. Brand storytelling works best when paired with native advertising.
3. Digital consumers don’t have time to engage with all the platforms and brands.
4. What does the future hold for online advertising campaigns?

Feed Me!
Big players in the advertising game are moving toward relevant, feed-based, display advertising campaigns to engage the attention of their target demographics. With the latest enhancements for retargeting on Facebook, sponsored BuzzFeeds, mobile app ads and promoted tweets, big brands are finding unique ways to disguise their messages in the form of relevant content. Don’t believe me? Well, the fact that Facebook saw an 82% increase in revenue from advertising in the 2014 Q1 Earnings Report has to count for something.

Digital consumers are becoming more and more receptive to relevant, feed-based advertising because the targeting has gotten so much better. If you show me an ad that is relevant to me, I’m much more likely to engage, share and possibly buy what you’re trying to sell me. As someone who likes to try new things, I’m happy that you’re giving me the opportunity to be an early adopter of your product or service. In addition to hyper-relevant targeting, the ads show as part of your news feed, which is unobtrusive and allows the viewer to decide whether to keep swiping through or engage with the content.

But Tell Me A Story First
Something that pairs very well with feed-based advertisements is a concept called brand storytelling. In the online space, brand storytelling is the idea that your consumers tell great stories about experiences with your product or service and can become some of your best advertising campaigns. Taking those stories and advertising them to a targeted market in the form of relevant content makes it all the more powerful.

Whoa, That Was Intense…
Ever feel like you’re on Internet overload? Like you just can’t take another minute of seeing friends’ vacation and baby pictures, sponsored ads with t-shirts that have your name on them already (creepy), and every brand you’ve ever engaged with trying to communicate with you? Well, you’re not alone. The fact is there will come a time when people will start prioritizing who and what they communicate with on the Internet. If you’re not part of that circle, then you might as well forget it.

Trying to reach people who have blinders on will become a tough if not impossible task. Many people have already experienced this type of online “advertising blindness” and ad impressions just don’t stand out like they used to. However, there is a solution! We live in a society that loves on-demand services because they can tailor the content to a current need, want or like. Well, what if online advertising started to transition toward more on-demand messages?

What’s It Worth To You?
There are several emerging platforms that are trying to shift the industry into a better place, but the cost of reaching your target market is much higher than traditional online campaigns, so naturally there is going to be push back. Take a look at a few of these examples.

Digital Ad Engagement Process

Source: Truex.com

New Google Engagement Ad Formats

Source: Google.com

You won’t find an advertising executive in the world who isn’t trying everything in their power to get more engagement from their online advertising campaigns. The future of online advertising relies on both the promoters and the publishers to achieve a cooperative synergy that combines engaging content and on-demand platforms to support it. If online advertising has any chance of competing directly with TV commercials for the $66 billion revenue share they currently command, something is going to have to change.

The reason these placements are more expensive than traditional banner and text ads is because they require more real estate on a webpage and they produce much higher engagement rates. The future of Internet advertising relies heavily on innovative, on-demand advertising experiences that people choose to interact with rather than run away from.

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