Table of Contents
1. Why is Digital Advertising Changing?
No matter where you go on the internet, you will encounter ads.
Everyone is silently being tracked to gather data that can be used by marketers to develop digital advertising strategies.
However, these highly personalized ads that use our data are slowly changing.
The growing concern from consumers regarding their privacy in combination with the new data privacy regulations from the European Union (GDPR) has caused a shift in the way digital ads are operating.
Furthermore, Google’s announcement to ban third-party cookies from its ad platforms, including Google Chrome, will cause a shift in the way marketers collect data to customize their ads.
As 42.7% of internet users have an active ad blocker, digital ads have to find a less intrusive method to reach the target audience.
The following digital advertising trends cover the most recent developments to try out different ways to reach the consumer.
2. Contextual Advertising is Back
The conventional way digital advertising works is by collecting personal information like user behavior to customize ads towards the individual person.
However, in recent years, contextual advertising has risen to address the data privacy issues of traditional advertising methods.
More specifically, the content of websites is the key focus for base specific ads.
For example, when you want to promote your new grocery delivery service, your ads will now be placed on blog articles about eating healthy or recipe pages.
By only matching the most suitable content together, this advertising trend works with user intent and is stronger with people who are already looking for similar products.
This digital advertising trend prompts advertisers to actively think about where to put their ads to increase the impact they can have on their target audience.
Finding the perfect place for your ads can also combat ad fatigue that comes from seeing irrelevant ads when browsing through websites or mobile applications.
3. Google AMP
Therefore, mobile optimization is a factor that plays a huge role in delivering a positive experience to web users.
Therefore, search engines like Google also put emphasis on having fast-loading pages at the top of the search engine results page (SERP).
It is no secret that a slow loading page can cost you traffic, which can cause you to lose new customers.
AMP (accelerated mobile pages) is a project from Google to improve page loading times on mobile devices.
This is done by building pages with a less complicated web structure that takes much less effort to load.
With the most recent update, it is now also possible to build ads and dynamic landing pages that load in record time.
This is great news for companies to incorporate into their digital advertising strategies.
a. Advantages of incorporating AMP technology into your website structure
Pages that show up higher on the SERP
Loading speed is one factor that influences the ranking of SERP’s.
As these websites provide users with a better online experience, Google prioritizes them over much slower alternatives.
Users are more likely to click on AMP-labelled pages.
Especially for the types of websites that are heavier in content, like e-commerce websites, this can take away some of the frustration coming from long waiting times.
More traffic on these websites will also lead to an increase in conversions for advertisers because not only websites but also ads will load faster.
This prevents ads from popping up unexpectedly and interrupting the user experience.
4. Outstream Video
When you come across a video ad disguised as a post on Facebook or Instagram while scrolling down, that is an example of an outstream video.
In comparison, mid-rolls are ads that play in the middle of another video.
Therefore, they are called instream videos. The same goes with ads playing before a video starts (pre-roll) or at the end of one (post-roll).
Many firms now buy video space on other websites or social media to gain more visibility.
Brands are not limited anymore to playing their ads within another video, and they have more options to place their ads on almost any website now instead of just YouTube.
Another advantage of outstream is that they are less intrusive than instream videos.
With the latter one, it can be perceived as an annoyance when they interrupt your viewing experience.
In another study, outstream ads were watched for 20 seconds compared to 16 seconds for instream ads. That represents 25% more!.
On the other hand, it is difficult to track the performance of outstream advertisements.
Most platforms lack the capabilities to analyze the key metrics like ROI coming from these ads.
Additionally, some marketers depend on auto-sound to attract their audience, which is not present in every video player.
Another drawback is that due to the novelty of this advertising technology, there are not as many ad markets to place your ads in.
Website hosts are still figuring out where they could use outstream videos to increase the effectiveness of them.
5. Omnichannel Marketing
Over the years, the customer's purchasing process has gained more steps.
The increase in customer touchpoints gives companies the opportunity to be more visible than ever.
Brands can use an omnichannel marketing strategy to influence their consumers into their funnel to become clients or even brand advocates.
Implementing this digital advertising trend means using multiple channels to interact with their customers to create a seamless customer experience.
An example of a well-executed omnichannel strategy is the Starbucks rewards app.
To begin with, you will get a free rewards card that you can use every time you buy a coffee or snack.
However, unlike typical consumer loyalty services, Starbucks allows you to check and reload your card by phone, website, in-store, or via their application.
All changes to the card or the profile are reflected in real-time across all channels.
For example, when you are standing in line for a coffee and you realize that you don't have enough money in your account, you can just reload your card on your phone and the cashier will know it's been topped up.
This digital advertising strategy aims to provide a seamless transition between offline touchpoints and online touchpoints to guide the prospect to convert.
6. Programmatic Advertising
Programmatic advertising is the method of streamlining the ad buying process with A.I. and real-time bidding.
This means that after brands specify their target audience and ad budget, they turn to algorithms to make the decision on where to place ads for these criteria.
Via a sophisticated ecosystem, programmatic advertising allows brands or distributors to buy ad impressions on publisher pages in milliseconds.
This new digital advertising strategy aims to improve both the advertiser's and the publisher's transparency and efficiency.
An example of how programmatic advertising increases efficiency is when advertisers don’t need to optimize every campaign for different platforms themselves.
They only need to enter the most important requirements into the advertising software, and the A.I. will decide where to place the ad and at what cost.
Another advantage of this digital advertising trend is the number of ad networks like Google Ads, Facebook, Instagram, and many more that can display your ads.
Furthermore, this technology places your ads on multiple devices, which depends on where your target market is most active.
a. Case Study: The Economist
"The Economist" wanted to experiment with programmatic ads in the hopes of enticing hesitant but interested readers to pursue the publication.
As a result, the newspaper examined its comprehensive audience results.
These results surfaced new insights on how customers communicate with the publication's site and smartphone apps. "The Economist" used its data to decide what content attracted the readers and when.
Following this preliminary examination, "The Economist" established audience segments for the following areas:
For example, a person who is interested in the stock market may see an advertisement featuring one of the publication's most recent (or most popular) finance articles.
In total, "The Economist" produced more than 60 ad variants, reaching the following results:
1,000,000 unique website visitors
$650,000 in ad revenue.
9500 new subscribers with a total lifetime value of $15 million
64% increase in "awareness" from U.S. audiences
22% increase in "consideration" from U.S. audiences
The "willingness to recommend" of US audiences has increased by 10%.
This knowledge will assist you in creating advertisements that appeal to your target demographic and inspire them to take action.
7. Landing Pages for Every Funnel Stage
Post-click landing pages are independent of your website and their goal is to convert leads into customers or to take specific actions (e.g., downloading an ebook, subscribing to a newsletter, signing up for a free trial, to name a few).
This digital advertising strategy includes creating different landing pages for every stage of the funnel:
a. Top of the Funnel (ToFu)
At the beginning of the customer journey, you want to establish trust between the brand and the consumer.
Many companies offer valuable content for the customer, but in return, they want some information about the consumer.
This is where so-called squeeze pages are implemented. A squeeze page is intended to obtain a visitor's email address by providing something useful in exchange.
This type of information is also called "gated content". The goal of this strategy is to nurture the prospects down the funnel.
b. Middle of the Funnel (MoFu)
At this stage of the funnel, the goal is to further nurture your prospective clients and to gather more relevant information about them.
Here, marketers use a lead capture page that is a standalone page designed to promote a single product and to further promote action from users.
Compared to a homepage that is usually designed to inform prospective buyers about all of the products you have available, lead capture pages concentrate on a single promotion at a time.
c. Bottom of the Funnel (BoFu)
When you manage to get your leads to this point, the last step to do is to close the sale.
This is where digital advertising specialists use a sales page.
This is also a stand-alone page like the squeeze page and the lead capture page, and it is designed to promote clients to purchase your product.
In this section, you should explain why your product will solve the specific problem that your prospective customer is experiencing.
An important part of a sales page is the implementation of trust badges that indicate the legitimacy of your product (testimonials, customer badges, company logos, reviews, endorsements, and so on).
It is crucial to create many landing pages, depending on the customer's journey.
This digital advertising trend shows the importance of having multiple landing pages for different stages of the customer funnel to increase lead generation for your brand.
Digital advertising strategies have become increasingly sophisticated to circumvent a more educated and aware user base.
With new regulations around data privacy, the way in which marketers target their ads to customers has to include the concerns of the audience.
These digital advertising trends are still in the experimental phase, and they have to be tested out more extensively to provide conclusive results.