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Are Consumers Really SEEING Your Online Ads?

Everyone has an opinion about online ads. Are they worth the investment? Do website visitors even see, let alone pay attention to, the ads your business is buying?

As a digital marketer that consumes an immense amount of online content, I also get served a lot of online ads. And guess what? Digital advertising isn’t going anywhere. In fact, digital advertising is expected to grow to an annual spend of over $335 billion by 2020. Conversely, ad blocking tools are growing at a rapid rate, with usage up 30% globally in 2016 — and even higher usage rates among younger generations. In fact, nearly two in three millennials report using ad blocking software.

So, in an ever-changing industry that is rapidly growing, what is the best investment for your online ad dollars? This year, the digital ad space will grow in size and complexity, creating more opportunities for ad placements. In this blog, I’ll provide a brief overview of the different types of digital display ads and what they mean for marketers.

Banner Ads

Banner ads have been hit hard over the past few years. In fact, 92% of banner ads aren’t even being noticed. Ad blocking is blamed for costing the advertising industry $22 billion in 2015. However, retargeting is providing a comeback for banner ads. Ad retargeting allows you to directly target and reach people who are interested in your product or service by placing a small piece of code on your site so you can follow people who have bounced from your pages and serve them relevant ads.

Let’s break it down so you know just how effective ad retargeting is:

  • A website visitor who’s been retargeted with a display ad is 70% more likely to convert.
  • The average click-through rate for ads is 0.07%, while the average click-through rate for retargeted ads is 10 times that ‚ 0.7%.
  • 72% of online shoppers abandon their shopping and only 8% of those lost consumers return to complete the purchase. Ad retargeting brings 26% of lost consumers back to finalize the sale.

The placement of banner ads on websites can also effect your ad’s visibility. A study done by Infolinks found that up to 156% more visitors saw adverts that were at the top of the webpage as opposed to the bottom, thus confirming that the best place to put a banner is toward the top of your webpage.

Overall, as technology progresses and the amount of data collected through our data management platforms and reporting tools increases, our ability to understand consumer behavior will continue to grow. Next-generation display advertising will adapt to the reader’s natural activity stream, using sight, sound, motion, and interaction to offer the user the ability to interact with ad content in the same manner as content on other parts of the page.

Native and Video Advertising

Native advertising is a form of online advertising that matches the form and function of the platform on which it appears. Although overall growth has slowed, native will make up 57.4% of worldwide mobile display advertising in 2017. This is also true of the new breed of digital video ads that are presented in a content feed rather than a video stream. These native video ads have seen greater brand lift compared to pre-roll video ads and are generally seen as more integrative and less intrusive according to the consumer.

Did you know?

  • Consumers interact with native ads 20% to 60% more than they do with standard banner ads.
  • Native ads with rich media such as images or videos drive up to 60% more conversions than those without rich media.
  • Reading a native ad headline yields 308 times more consumer attention than processing an image or banner.
  • Native mobile ads deliver 6 times more conversions for brands versus traditional banner ads.
  • 18% more (52% vs 34%) of native ad viewers show purchase intent.

Native advertising is an easy way to get natural-looking visibility and an undoubtedly effective way to get your consumer’s attention. It is a type of display advertising that is “pay to play” because brands must pay for their native ads to appear. Overall, native ads increase brand awareness and are great for engagement.

Go Mobile or Go Home

Mobile advertising has grown 110% over the past five years. In fact, at 53.5%, mobile saw the largest growth in 2016 of all digital ad spend, while MAGNA predicts that mobile advertising revenues will grow 54.2% overall in 2017.

As global smartphone usage continues to climb, and with 36% of Americans now simultaneously connected via multiple devices (smartphones, tablets, computers), mobile will overtake desktop to become the primary internet advertising medium in 2017.

Mobile is already the primary means of accessing the internet, and now the advertising market is catching up with the consumer to determine how best to communicate using the mobile internet. The decline of traditional display is a result of the rapid transition to mobile advertising. Banner ads are less effective on mobile devices and consumers find them more intrusive, and they’re more likely to click on an ad by accident than by design.

Online video is benefiting from the switch to mobile with improvements from the mobile viewing experience, such as better displays and faster connections. And for many consumers, checking their mobile devices on social media has become a regular habit, providing a benefit to social ads that blend seamlessly into the mobile app feed.

For many years, online display ads were all about building brand awareness and simply getting your company's name out there. While this is still a strategy that many brands need and will continue to use, we are beginning to see advertisers take a closer look at how we can drive not only online sales but in-store metrics. Advertisers will have to adapt with the technology and begin to develop a multifaceted approach to online advertising. Traditional marketing will no longer dominate in the information age, and the best way to get your online ads seen is to test several different methods of digital advertising and allocate your marketing budget to a handful of products.

Swift Local Solutions offers many options for digital display advertising. Get your business infront of one our niche audiences and speak with one of marketing experts today. 

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Hannah Vergara

Written by Hannah Vergara

Hannah Vergara is a firm believer in holistic living and marketing. Using her creative passion and love for technology, she recognizes the importance of interactive engagement through a steady flow of relevant, user-oriented content in today's fast paced digital world.

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