Advertising is changing at lightning speed with the internet.
When businesses started flocking online, they found amazing opportunities to reach consumers outside of traditional media like print and television. But even in the last few years, those advertising options have shifted tremendously.
Gone are the days of the pop-up – well, mostly. Gone are the days of the ads flashing in neon colors that you have to chase around your screen to get rid of – again, mostly.
People are much savvier about the way they engage online, and they are wary of slick and tricky advertising methods. Many advertisers are finding ways to improve the user experience and to make people feel more engaged with their content in order to get more exposure and clicks.
Here is a look at why many brands are choosing to use native and video advertising – and why you should, too:
Rise of Ad Blockers
Ad blockers have become one of the biggest impediments to brands reaching their customers.
No longer do online users take the annoyance of pushy ads lying down. They have fought back – hard – by using special software on their computers and mobile devices that block ads from even appearing.
Just one ad-blocking software, Adblock Plus, has been downloaded more than 500 million times. Brands said that Adblock and software like it cost them $22 billion in 2015 alone, and those numbers are expected only to rise in the coming years.
You cannot rely on the old ways of advertising if you want to reach your consumers. They have tools to block your ads, and they are savvy about which ads to avoid even if they do see them.
You need to think more carefully about how you engage with users if you want to get the word out about your brand or to increase sales.
The main reason why so many people are turned off by ads is that they consider them annoying and intrusive.
The ads interrupt what users are doing, or they make loud noises or have bright, annoying colors.
Native advertising solves a problem for both users and advertisers by providing content that does not disrupt the user experience and is, therefore, more likely to be seen by consumers.
Native ads tend to look just like other content on the page. For example, Buzzfeed hosts a lot of sponsored posts from advertisers. The posts are just like the other lists and short articles on its site, but the advertisers include some tie-in to their brand. A recent article from Hallmark talked about holiday traditions, with one of them being decorating the tree with Hallmark ornaments. The article included a link to the advertiser at the end.
Other native ads can include reviews, editorial content, or even infographics and other visuals.
These ads do not stop what the user is doing, and they flow with the rest of the content. They even have valuable information to offer in most cases.
Video ads can stand alone like traditional ads, or they can be part of native advertising. Either way, they have shown to be highly effective at connecting with consumers.
In research conducted on user behavior, CodeFuel found that online users prefer to consume content as video, including ads.
But the format isn’t the only thing that matters; the ad also has to be just as engaging as your content has to be. Our research showed that 43 percent of users said they would fully watch a video ad if it had interesting content.
Other factors that influenced whether users would view ads included whether the ad had an interesting offer or whether it was from a brand the user knew and liked.
You can use this information to your advantage to create interesting and relevant videos for advertising, whether in PPC and other traditional avenues like sidebar ads or in native advertising.
It is also important that you accompany your advertising campaign with a strong brand marketing campaign. If your ad is the first time someone is learning about your brand, the ad may not be as effective. You need to get the word out about your brand while you are also advertising your specific products and services.
While the online landscape has changed dramatically and shifted the way we advertise, there are still many opportunities to reach consumers and get a huge return on your investment. The key to success is staying in the know about shifting behaviors and interests so that you can create ads that resonate with users.
Native advertising and video ads will certainly help you get over the barrier of ad blockers and user resistance. Be thoughtful about the content in those ads and you’ll get the results you want, not only getting people to look at your ads but also getting them to become loyal customers.