The digital revolution is reshaping the advertising industry fast, and hard, each year. In 2003, all the rave was for pay-per-click ads. By 2008, social media has taken over, and in 2010, handheld devices were reshaping the advertising industry. Modern digital advertising has moved way beyond simple search engine marketing. Businesses can no longer afford to ignore the customers who increasingly choose to interact with brands on their personal devices. Rather than be intimidated by innovations in digital advertising, businesses, especially, start-ups, should see them as opportunities to reach customers in a manner more intimate than ever before.
It doesn’t make much sense to develop an advertising plan without first knowing where customers prefer to see ads, what they expect, and what engages them most. Only a company that understands the progression of modern digital advertising can answer these questions. Therefore, before your company develops a new advertising strategy, learn about these trends that are transforming online marketing:
Advertisers call this “content collaboration.” Usually, businesses try to advertise by reaching out to customers in ways such as buying Google ads or by search engine optimization. Traditional advertising expects companies to go to customers. In 2015, customers are expected to come to the companies. It’s not as weird as it sounds. Research indicates as almost three-fourths of millennials, and over a half of middle-agers, want to share their opinions about brands. They are also increasingly searching for platforms to share what they think about brands. This is a goldmine for creating brand awareness. Instead of going out of the way to tailor-make content for a specific customer base, the customer base can do it on its own. A great example of content collaboration—Starbucks white cup contest, which allowed the company’s fans to express their thoughts, and solidify the status of Starbucks as a household name.
Behavioural Data-supported Content
No matter how much online content you generate at your company, there’s no point to it if that content doesn’t reach the right people. Imagine throwing a ball into a room full of people. Would you rather throw it nonchalantly hoping someone might catch it, or throw the ball at a specific person who you know will catch it?
“Targeting makes all the difference between a trending brand and a boring one.” – ConversionX tech team.
Even social media channels like Facebook, and Google, now only offer highly targeted ads that reach a selective group of people. This is an opportunity for companies to customise ads for a certain group. The hard part is doing this right. A brand should never speculate what their customers might like. Instead, advertising strategies must be supported by behavioural data. These track patterns in consumption, such as what do fathers with daughters prefer to browse online, or how do smartphone users locate coffee shops. Clearly, these will give any brand valuable insights into how to best create an ad that hits the target.
Mobile Messaging Apps are the New Facebook
When Facebook first launched, it allowed advertisers to reach a lucrative pool of customers. Now, the exponential growth companies like Facebook and Twitter used to experience has moved towards mobile messaging apps like Snapchat, WhatsApp and Viber. Data indicates that mobile Internet usage is growing about twice asmuch as regular Internet usage. Mobile data usage and time spent on mobile devices are also at all-time highs. On the other hand, text messaging is down from last year. This is because mobile messaging apps offer texting, doodling and multimedia sharing for free. For companies looking to create brand awareness and promote brand storytelling, mobile messaging app users are the ideal captive audience. Ignoring this group means giving the competitors an advantage. Be like GrubHub, who recently ran a Snapchat doodle ad campaign that went viral.
All in all, there are two things that can make or break a brand with today’s digitally-savvy consumers. First is how relatable an advertisement is. Modern customers look for their personal preferences in the ad. Second is where the ad is placed. No one will see a pay-per-click ad at the bottom of a web page, but many people will see a branded Instagram photo shared by thousands of people. Digital advertising is always changing. Accept the fact and become familiar with using new platforms. Know your audience’s habits, needs, and use the hippest media to generate a lasting impression about your company and your brand.