Digital Advertising: Beyond the Banner

May 02, 2017   /   by  Diane Callihan

5 Ways in Which Digital Ads Have Evolved

If you’re like me, you probably feel like you’ve seen enough banner ads in your lifetime. In fact, you might not be able to see them at all anymore, due to what is called “banner blindness”, a proven phenomenon that shows that many website visitors (consciously or subconsciously) tend to ignore banner-like information altogether.

But if those boring old banners are what you think of when it comes to digital advertising, you’re missing a golden opportunity. Today’s digital marketing methods are much more sophisticated and think outside of the banner, creating smarter, more relevant experiences for potential customers.

Here are just some of the ways digital advertising has advanced:

1. Targeting & Retargeting

Gone are the days where everybody sees all the same ads. It doesn’t make sense to waste ad impressions showing 18-year-olds ads for retirement homes. Now with advancements in data collection, behavioral tracking and the targeting capabilities of digital ad platforms, marketing automation and social media sites, you can serve ads only to the specific people you want to reach.

Your ads can be targeted based on location, behavior, content viewed, industry, persona and more.

Retargeting is also a great way to specifically bring back people who have visited a certain page on your site. Have you ever looked at a pair of shoes online, and then later, seen ads for those exact shoes from the site you had been on? That’s retargeting, and it’s a very effective way to bring back pre-qualified leads.

2. Rich Media

Forget those static banners of yesteryear – rich media ads include features like video, audio or other interactive content that encourage users to engage. In fact, according to MediaMind, rich media ads drive 3X more site visits than static ads, and rich media ads that include video drive 6X more visits.

Ikea did a rich media ad that let users build their own Ikea ad. Another ad for the movie, Insurgent, had users tap on their cell phone screen and then used video to make it look like their screen was shattering, as the hero of the movie burst through. These rich media ads draw the user into an experience and are more compelling than just words or images.

3. Programmatic

Take advantage of the power of artificial intelligence and consider programmatic ads. These ads (display, social media, mobile, video, etc.) are placed using artificial intelligence and real-time bidding. Special software uses an algorithm to purchase advertising space in real time through an automated bidding system, and specifically targets your ads based on a data-driven strategy.

Programmatic advertising goes beyond traditional demographic segmentation, leveraging real-time behavioral data to determine which ad is best suited to which person at which moment on which device, providing a more personalized 1:1 marketing experience.

4. Native Advertising

Native advertising, when done correctly, does not seem like advertising. Native advertising is contextual—designed to look and feel like the content that exists on the page.

Whether promoted posts, sponsored posts or sponsored content, many people can’t tell the difference between native ads and normal content. Native ads, often seen on social media or news sites, are much less intrusive than traditional banner ads, offering that seamless experience that buyers are looking for. In fact, according to Mediapost, consumers interact with native ads 20% to 60% more than they do with standard banner ads.

5. Cross-Channel Advertising

Cross-channel advertising allows you to collect and use consumer data from one channel to another. For example, someone clicking on a Facebook ad on their phone, may later see a related ad on their desktop when they are browsing the web. It is this interactivity between channels that is improving how marketers interact with customers across the customer journey for a more seamless, integrated experience.

Let go of any outdated perceptions you may have about digital advertising. Today’s tactics are more subtle, more targeted and more engaging than ever, and are easy to track. Campaigns can easily be adjusted for efficacy, providing you with real results that can make an impact on business.

Interested in how today’s digital advertising can make a difference? Let’s Talk.

Diane Callihan

Diane Callihan

With more than 20 years of experience writing for some of the country’s top brands, Diane helped to shape Roger West’s content strategy, lead generation, and PR efforts as Director of Marketing. She currently serves as President of Callihan Content Creation.