Last week we uncovered the 10 Horrifyingly True Stats About Display Banner Ads. The takeaways established are that the average clickthrough rate of display ads across all formats and placements is a paltry 0.06% (Source: Display Benchmarks Tool.) Ad blocking grew by 41% globally in the last 12 months (Source: PageFair.) And study last year found that 18- to 34-year-olds were far more likely to ignore online ads. (Source: eMarketer.) Another sad truth was that 54% of users don’t click banner ads because they don’t trust them. (Source: BannerSnack.)
These were just a few of the horrifying statistics about Display Banner Ads now affecting all digital marketers, you can read the full article here.
But does that mean it’s the end of display advertising, or is there a light at the end of the tunnel. I think display advertising will continue to have its place, even though diminished, and I am sure its evolution will still continue. I am not going to try and predict this outcome but rather look at what the alternatives are such as content marketing which I think can often provide a more effective response than some display based campaigns. And Social media marketing which can be another good alternative to standard network display based advertising.
Before we take a look at some of these options here are 10 statistics that show display advertising success when done right:
10 Successful Display Ad Stats When Done Right
- Native ads are viewed 53% more than banner ads. (Source: Dedicated Media)
- A retargeting campaign from Magoosh Online Test prep generated $58,608 in attributable revenue. At a total cost of $11,000 the campaign resulted in an ROI of 486%. (Source: Retargeter)
- Users who are retargeted to are 70% more likely to convert. (Source: Digital Information World)
- Heineken Light reached 54% of audience — 35 million people — in just three days using video ads on Facebook. (Source: Facebook)
- Airbnb achieved an engagement rate of over 4% for one of their Promoted Tweets. (Source: Twitter)
- 32% of consumers said they would share a native ad with friends and family, versus 19% for banner ads. (Source: ShareThrough)
- Native ads that include rich media boost conversion rates by up to 60%. (Source: Social Times)
- Julian Bakery saw a 35% increase in conversions and a 330% increase in impressions on the Google Display Network. (Source: Google)
- 71% of publishers received no major complaints from readers for featuring native ads, while 29% received minor backlash. (Source: Digital Content Next)
- After one year of leveraging Targeted Status Updates on LinkedIn, ADP’s Company Page followers doubled to 85,000. (Source: LinkedIn)
Why Content Marketing Deserves Display Ad’s Part of the Budget
One of the biggest challenges faced by digital marketers today isn’t developing a strategic approach to marketing through new channels, but in earning the budget they need to explore new tactics and platforms.
Even with a content marketing budget, clients often face a long negotiation, and even more risk, to get the necessary money to run a long-term campaign. So, the question remains—from where should a vice president or director of marketing take budget funds in order to explore the content marketing ecosystem? And once you have identified that money, how do you justify taking it?
Let’s tackle the first question—you should take budget funds from display advertising. Now, the rest of this article will deal with the second question—the why.
Low return on Display Banner Advertising With Increasing Cost for ROI
We have already established the staggeringly low results from display advertising at 0.06% across all banner ad placments (Source: Display Benchmarks Tool.) And the small fact that Ad blocking grew by 41% globally in the last 12 months (Source: PageFair.) On top of these woes there is more dirt and grime on the Web than we’re often exposed to, including a seemingly growing number of automated, bots clicking on your links, leaving comments on your blog, and scraping your site for email addresses. All this inflates our ROI and muddies your results.
According to Solve Media, an online tool that aids display advertisers, estimated that the marketing industry waste on banner and display ads in 2014 was $11.6 billion—up 22 percent from 2013. This loss attributed to bots clicking on search and display links as they crawl the Web. Solve Media also found that in 2014, 59 percent of agency media buyers saw bot traffic impact their online campaign performance. To solve this problem, brands are forced to invest in anti-bot solutions, 34 percent of marketers planned to do so this year.
So what is the solution, is there a better way to market?
Marketers are shifting their methods for getting messages in front of their audience, especially as consumers spend more time on mobile devices. Smartphones and tablets won’t outright kill display ads as we know them today, but these devices will force media buyers and strategists to explore more progressive sponsored units.
Another report from IZEA, a leader in social sponsorship, found that more than a third of marketing professionals have grown weary of online display advertising, indicating the practice is either “dead or dying.” Instead, these professionals are looking to influencers on social media and the Web to help distribute and amplify original content.
“Brand advertisers and editorial are working more closely than ever to develop mutually beneficial, scalable social sponsorship programs that are both high impact for brands and profitable for creators,” said Ted Murphy, IZEA’s founder and CEO. He added that brand marketers seem to be scaling down their investments in online display advertising and ramping up sponsored social channels and other native advertising campaigns.
Content Technology and Strategy Should Seize Control
With brand marketers more focused on influencers, social media, native editorial ads, and content creation, there’s going to be a natural shift in budgetary demands.
According to Ad Age’s BtoB Marketing Outlook Survey, 75.1 percent of B2Bs invested more in their content campaigns in 2014 than the previous year. These enterprise organizations will funnel more cash toward content creation for mobile and social channels while maintaining their current investment in Web channels. This strategy can also be applied by digital retail marketers who are also making a shift from display to content or social channels.
To make room for this type of investment, senior marketers must evaluate their historical spending habits and decide where to pull that money from. A more aggressive investment in content creation would allow businesses to invest in a content marketing platform that makes creating content for social, mobile, native, and Web channels much easier for both an internal and external team. This cuts costs by consolidating the number of platforms that enterprise brands need for all these channels, and it reduces time spent on editorial programs. And time is money.
So, the question remains—would you rather invest in ads that get 0.06 click through or clicked by bots, or in a content marketing budget that will help circulate your message across the Web through numerous channels? The choice is yours, folks.
Research Source: http://www.skyword.com/contentstandard/enterprise-marketing/why-content-marketing-deserves-display-ads-part-of-the-budget/
Why Social Media Advertising Is Set To Explode In The Next 3 Years
Display ads and paid search ads both have their place, but as Marketing Land writer Sonny Ganguly argues, social media advertising is quickly becoming a powerful player in the online advertising game.
Social media advertising has come a long way in a relatively short period of time. When Facebook launched its first advertising option in May 2005, no one could have predicted that social media advertising revenue would be estimated to reach $8.4 billion in 2015, just ten years later.
Online advertising is a natural choice for modern businesses, but after the decline of the banner ad, businesses began searching for alternatives. Paid search is a great online advertising medium for driving visitors to your website based on user intent (i.e. their search query). But what if there are no identifiable (or affordable) keywords you can bid on to drive traffic? And what about those businesses that want to create brand awareness rather than capturing user intent?
Social media advertising helps businesses find new potential clients by using users’ own shared information to identify interest. Rather than reactively targeting users who search a certain term, social media advertising proactively targets relevant users before they even begin their search.
Social networks are a good option for advertisers because of the advanced targeting options, reliable conversion tracking, and prevalence on mobile devices.
Advanced Targeting Options
Because social networks gather such a larger amount of user information, social media advertising is able to target your audience in a wider variety of ways than other online platforms. Stretching beyond general demographic and geographic data, social media advertising has opened the door to deeper interest, behavioral and connection-based targeting methods.
These advanced targeting options increase your ad’s relevance to your users and provide a level of personalization that is not achievable on other advertising channels. Here are four such advanced targeting options:
- Interest targeting: Reach specific audiences by looking at their self-reported interests, activities, skills, pages/users they have engaged with, etc. Interest targeting is often related to keyword targeting, so some platforms will allow you to enter both. Interests can be as general as an industry (e.g. automotive industry) or as specific as a product (e.g. convertibles). Offered by: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn (under “Skill”), Pinterest.
- Behavioral/Connection targeting: With behavioral targeting, you can reach people based on purchase behaviors or intents and/or device usage. With connection targeting, you can reach people who have a specific kind of connection to your page, app, group, or event. Both types of targeting take past behavior into account to help you determine intent. Offered by: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn.
- Custom targeting: Reach audiences by uploading a list of email addresses, phone numbers, users IDs, or usernames. Facebook calls its custom targeting Custom Audiences, while Twitter calls its own Tailored Audiences. They’re largely based on the same concept: if you have a known group of people you’d like to target, you can simply upload them and target them directly (provided that the social network can match the data you’re uploading with real profiles).Offered by: Facebook, Twitter.
- Lookalike targeting: Reach new people who are similar to an audience you care about.Lookalike targeting helps businesses extend their custom audiences to reach new, similar users. For those businesses looking to acquire new customers through social media advertising, lookalike targeting can be a fantastic acquisition tool. Offered by: Facebook, LinkedIn.
Improved Conversion Tracking
With all the new options for targeting users, tracking the performance of your social media advertising campaign is even more important for justifying your spend and requesting a budget. While you can still pay-per-click to your website or choose other metrics to measure the success of your ad, most social networks now offer website conversion tracking.
Social media ads that drive the user to take some measurable action, like buying your product or registering for an event, can actually report on how effective the ad was in driving those conversions — as long as you configure it properly. Conversion tracking requires that you add a snippet of code to the page on your website where the conversion will take place, so it does require a bit of technical ability and extra effort, but you’ll then be able to attribute any conversions on that page to the ads you’re running.
Conversion tracking helps your business be smarter about your ad spend and strategy. If your ad is receiving a lot of clicks (which you are paying for) but no conversions, it’s a wasted investment. This information will allow you to better optimize your ad copy and targeting.
With total activity on smartphones and tablets accounting for 60% of digital media time spent in the U.S., there’s no denying that reaching users while on mobile devices is the next big wave in advertising — and social media advertising is the best native option. Mobile users are already checking Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and/or Pinterest multiple times a day, so advertising to them while they’re within those apps is the best way to reach them without being disruptive.
The data back this up: mobile advertising was on course to comprise 68% of Facebook’s revenue and 84% of Twitter’s in 2014, and two-thirds of social media advertising spend is forecasted to go towards mobile ads in 2018, creating a $9.1 billion market on mobile. This, coupled with the fact thatover half of mobile phone users globally will have smartphones in 2018, means that social media advertising on mobile is a huge growth market in the next three years.
When deciding which channels to use to grow your business in 2016 and beyond, try social media marketing as a supplement to your existing growth strategies.
Companies should start thinking about pulling their audiences in with rich content experiences that focus less on their brand and more about creating a true value exchange. By thinking about the consumer first and the conversion vehicle second, companies will be more apt to provide buzz worthy content that will accelerate the brand to the top of consumers’ minds.
Also companies should consider focusing more on content skills rather than just content strategy by investing in a meaningful mission rather than a metric-driven mentality. Great content marketing should also be a combination of sponsored content and consumer generated content. By allowing consumers to socialize with the brand and likeminded peers, share their opinions and–in some cases–become content experts themselves–all parties win. Companies can gain real consumer insights by listening to consumer opinions and preferences, while consumers become more loyal to brands that are seen as partners and valuable contributors.
Has your business experimented with content marketing? Tell us about your experiences in the comments section below.