It's time to say goodbye to sidebar ads.
Accelerated forces of new technology, consumer changes and marketing innovation have changed the world of advertising. These changes deserve a big response. Sidebar ads are overdone, with 55 percent of Americans calling them “annoying,” according to a recent report by InsightsOne. They are not easily shared, and interaction with viewers is limited to whether they click on them. Comparatively, Facebook ads saw a 197 percent better return on investment.
The future of online advertising lies in sponsored content, digital video, mobile advertising and targeted ads, providing better opportunities to engage viewers.
Sponsored content. Sponsored content provides an opportunity for brands to share a message without seeming overly promotional. Sponsored content, or informative content presented as a story or a video that also promotes a brand, is one of the fastest-growing ad segments, and can be utilized on your website or social media platforms. Last year saw an estimated $1.9 billion in ad spending on sponsored stories, according to Emarketer. That is a growth rate of 22 percent -- more than twice that of traditional banner ads.
Digital video advertising. With the amount of video content steadily increasing, digital video advertising can’t be ignored. Video provides a great medium for storytelling. In 2013, digital video spending increased 43.5 percent to a whopping $4.15 billion. You’ve seen these types of ads on YouTube, the site that currently dominates the digital video category with a 20.5 percent share. If you have video content on your site, try incorporating digital video advertising as part of your strategy.
Mobile advertising. This type of advertising is on the rise and presents brands with big opportunities. Global ad spending on TV, newspapers, magazines and radio is expected to continue to decline by 2016, while mobile ad spending is expected to increase, according to ZenithOptimedia. Mobile ad spending has steadily increased since 2010, with a 105.8 percent change from 2011-12. This year, EMarketer.com predicts that $20.3 billion will be spent on mobile ads worldwide.
Smarter advertising. With the abundant platforms and options available for advertisers, the focus is beginning to shift not to where you advertise, but how. Smarter advertising can be described as advertisements tailored to reflect the interests of the viewer. This can be seen in personalized product showcases or tailored website advertisements that take viewers’ social media behavior into account.
For example, when you like a product on Facebook or frequently visit a brand’s website, you might see that same product or brand in a banner ad on a website you’re browsing. On Facebook, you might be prompted to like a brand’s page because your friend likes that brand. Take a cue from social media advertising and apply it to your website by utilizing social media network behavior to determine relevant ads. Behavioral targeting has been linked to higher conversion rates, which is a huge draw for advertisers.
Joacim Jeppesen is responsible for business development and digital innovation at Valtech, where he works with some of the world's leading brands spanning industries including retail, consumer goods, automotive, publishing and technology. He works to implement deep transformation processes that change and improve business capabilities including digital marketing strategy, e-commerce, definition of targets/KPIs, processes, people and platforms.