As people, the way we communicate with each other and interact with the outside world is constantly changing. Communication is made faster and more efficient, and the way we live our lives is changed based on new technology. All of those points are seen as opportunities by advertisers. Another chance to sell you on a product, or remind you of a service you didn’t know you needed until now. As all these other factors evolve, so does advertising, branching out to new platforms and applications as they gain popularity. Today, we’ll discuss advertising trends.
The Need for Native Advertising
The consumer of today is very different from that of only a few years ago. Since the world has become more connected, consumers are now smarter. People are more media savvy and advertising aware. This is changing the way companies prepare their campaigns. A new focus is also being placed on native advertising. Native advertising is best described as stealthy ads that appear not to be advertisements. Advertorials are on the rise, which are a type of native advertising. While it appears to be an editorial, there is an agenda pushing a product or service behind it. Native ads have also seen growing attention to avoid ad blockers.
Ad blockers completely changed the game for online advertisers. Especially for websites that feature prominent ads, such as Forbes, they had to rethink their approach. Forbes counteracted blockers by using detection software. Readers are only allowed entry if the disable their ad-blocking software. While this does keep ad revenue coming in, it turns away many potential visitors to their site. There is also an alternative to this: social advertising.
The Scoop on Social
Social advertising isn’t word of mouth. No, social advertising is all about social media and promoting posts on sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and others. Social media sites have the added bonus of challenging ad blocking algorithms, Facebook specifically so. Ads appear as part of the main website, and because of this, blockers are unable to detect them easily.
Attempts by ad blockers to remove these ads in some cases have resulted in family and friends posts being blocked. The war between Facebook and ad blockers is far from over. Thus, finding new ways to advertise is crucial. A great example is Facebook’s recently introduced Canvas Ads. These ads harness our desire for visuals and are optimized for mobile. Similar actions will be taken as new platforms and apps gain popularity, with SnapChat being a great example.
This is a smart move for Facebook since it cashes in on where the majority of consumers are reading, purchasing, and browsing. This has led to mobile ad spending overtaking that of desktop ads. This represents a huge shift, mainly because of convenience.
The Mobile Motive
Companies will have to quickly adapt to the platform shift or risk being left in the past. Mobile represents a huge opportunity for advertisers if it is approached properly. Part of the reason it has become so popular is due to it’s focus on ease of use. Since the creation of the smartphone, anyone who provides a website has rethought their website. This means ensuring there is an accommodating, sleek, and efficient layout for mobile users.
This mentality has carried on strongly, and mobile users expect that type of interaction. Mobile design is usually easier and more stripped down, meaning there are less point of resistance. These are points at which potential customers/users will give up and not continue pursing what they were after. Mobile offers a streamlined experience, and the same ads won’t work as effectively on this platform. Expect many companies to put a larger focus on mobile advertising, especially in terms of budget. Of course an increased budget also means a desire for quantifiable ROI.
The Advantages of Analytics
As more companies push towards social and mobile advertising initiatives there is also a larger need for quantifiable results. Tracking impressions, conversions, and key performance indicators is crucial in justifying the new ad spends. To reflect this, many social media platforms have rolled out their own data gathering features. Facebook Insights was the first, then Twitter, and most recently Instagram is now offering Insights as well as a demographic breakdown if you have >100 followers.
Google Analytics has the advantage of being the data king, and also offering it’s powerful advertising service, AdWords. AdWords is continually being updated to track and follow the consumer to wherever they go next. It also pairs extremely well with Google Analytics. Expect more companies to pursue this type of data on new platforms.
This marks the end of our advertising industry spotlight. We hope it gave a brief overview of the current trends and explains the industry shift towards digital and mobile. If we left out something crucial, please let us know in the comments!