Print advertising used to be a simple enough concept: pay for ad-space in a page and gain exposure to that publication’s audience. Post Web 2.0, although global brand and product reach has become a common expectation, advertising itself has become much more of a complex subject. Any new media technology that is going to be commercially launched will now be evaluated for its advertising capability; for example, one of the first debates around the launch of Google Glass is its ad potential (straight to your eye/ enhanced reality HUD/interactivity etc).
This is especially prevalent now, as publishing migrates from print (a dead-tree media) to digital first. Digital advertising presents a very different set of problems to print ads: there is now a value proposition as results are expected while click through ads means that advertising now has what seems like a quantifiable result. All the while, the advert has to compete with a reader whose browsing habits are now very used to tuning out adverts.
First things first, online advertising is such a wide ranging umbrella term that to have a cohesive strategy, an organisation will have to keep in mind the different capabilities of a device: tablets allow for more interactivity, a desktop/laptop will have more room for ad space and mobile screens have very little space. Faster moving than the hardware however, is the software.
So what are your options when it comes to advertising? The major types are:
♦ Pre Rolls – This is the type of advert you see popping up before your YouTube video starts playing. Its advantages? The user will definitely be seeing at least a part of the advert and, as it is a separate screen, is ideal to play on a smaller mobile screen. The disadvantage? Playing such an ad before the reader reads their content will affect the user experience and may not lead to navigation to that product via a click through.
♦ Native Ads – One of the more recent tactics in the industry, native advertising will provide a reader with adverts tailored towards them based on complex profiling based on demographics, behavior and other personal information. The pros? As there is more relevant advertising, there is more of a sense of engagement and higher chance of a click through. The cons? Such an experience will need either a cookie or social login to fully get the most data.
♦ Social media ad tracking – one which is soon to take off all over the web, Social media tracking will go one step further than native ads, ensuring that you get advertising based on what you have hashtagged, liked, favourited etc. On the plus side, the user will get very relevant ads and due to the browsing nature of social media sites, there is a very high chance of a click through. On the other hand, this is very reliant on the user being on social media constantly and unfortunately for advertisers, the user may be able to opt out and unfortunately for users, they may NOT be able to opt out.
♦ Local Mobile – this strategy has seen a range of very promising results; based on available location meta data, the stores in that region will be advertising directly to you with offers, coupons and awareness campaigns. The good news is that mobile usage is constantly increasing and using local mobile advertising has seen very definite results.
One of the simplest techniques to boost advertising inventory is commonsensical? Make much more engaging adverts: make the message funnier, more poignant and memorable, add in elements of gamification or make the process itself more interactive.In a long-term strategy, one common variable in all of these advertising approaches is the importance of engaging with your readers and tailoring the experience towards them. Identity management, being able to correctly identify and profile your users while encouraging a registration process to get further information from the reader, is crucial in a long-term advertising strategy.
Roman Singh, Business Development Executive