There is a fierce battle raging online right now between brands and consumers, and the effects it will have on the state of marketing is difficult to understate. At the heart of this debate, many will find the past, present, and future of digital marketing, as well as the user’s advertising experience. To put it bluntly: consumers are sick and tired of traditional online ads that they label “interruptive.” One of the ways they have fought back is through ad-blocking. At least 419 million people are blocking ads on the mobile web, and global usage of ad blockers grew by a shocking 41% from 2014 to 2015.
Almost all traditional media content found online today is free and readily accessible to the reader. The most well-known and often-read publishers like Vice, Mashable, and ESPN, among others, offer largely unfettered access to their daily writings and video content. The primary source of revenue for these sites, of course, is display advertising.
Display Ads on Space.com
But here is the thing for digital marketers out there: a lot of people have a palpable distaste for online ads, in particular banners. At best, they take up space and draw the viewer’s attention away from the main content they were originally seeking. At worst, these types of ads can drastically slow down website loading speeds, cover content the visitor wants to see, and in some instances crash the page entirely.
A recent study by Accenture revealed growing concern and frustration among consumers when it comes to “disruptive” online advertising, like moving banner ads and animated graphics. Nearly 85% of survey respondents agreed that advertising interruption while watching digital content are “too frequent.” As one AdBlock user recounts:
Not long ago, I moused over to AdBlockPlus.org, clicked on a green button that said, ‘Install for Safari,’ and fewer than 10 seconds later, ads had vanished. All of them. Goodbye iPad ad that unfurled down my screen. Goodbye blinking mattress ads. Goodbye car ad following me from site to site. This immediately became Web surfing nirvana: pages loaded faster, my browser stopped randomly crashing, my whole computer ran better. The Adblocker Plus plugin even told me how many ads I’ve dodged in the last couple of months: more than 35,000 and counting.
Does this spell the end of digital advertising as we know it? Is it time to go back to billboards and promotional flyers? Do not panic just yet, there is a win-win solution for everyone involved hiding in plain sight. Digital marketer can, in fact, advertise while improving the advertising experience both for the brands and the consumers.
Improve the Advertising Experience
Take a look at this part of the consumer quote mentioned above:
This immediately became Web surfing nirvana: pages loaded faster, my browser stopped randomly crashing, my whole computer ran better.
The AdBlock user quoted here is not lamenting the existence of advertising or even the specific messaging he is being hit with from brands. The problem being highlighted is essentially advertising bloat – ads that negatively impact the viewing experience by moving pages around, slowing down page load speeds, covering up what the reader is looking at, and so on.
Consumers are not directly calling for the cessation of the entire ad industry; they just do not want ads to messed with their web browsing experience.
The notion of meeting customer needs has been significantly degraded. Advertisers are using technology to get ads in front of consumer eyeballs without regard for the user experience. The result is predictable: Users want to block the advertising.
Both brands and consumers would be best served if digital ads moved away from that “interruptive” moniker that has the market up in arms.
Here are five ways to improve the user’s advertising experience without sacrificing the business objectives of brands:
5 Ways to Maximize the User’s Advertising Experience
- Be contextually relevant. There is no shortage of available software, both free and paid, that helps marketers measure and analyze crucial data. From user behaviors to website visitor tracking to campaign monitoring, digital marketers should always understand who they are marketing to, what their expectations are, and where to find them. Being contextually relevant can mean a number of things: ad messaging that matches tightly with the page content it is displayed next to, copy that reflects real-time news, syncing ads with purchase intent.
- Integrate, and not interrupt. If a user is trying to move from Point A to Point B and an ad is placed smack dab in the middle of that path, it is an interruption. However, if the ad helps the users along that journey, it begins to take on a different light. Native content is an example of advertising that offers real value to a viewer. Just ask The Onion, who creates custom components for over 90% of its ad inventory.
- Inform or entertain. Who ever said that ads have to be purely functional? Would you rather see a display ad that says “Use our product; it’s great!” or would you rather see an ad that offers a free e-book download with behind-the-scenes knowledge and is on-topic for the page you are currently reading? The same goes for having some fun and being entertaining, even when it flies in the face of convention. Geico’s “Unskippable” pre-roll ad on YouTube is an excellent example of this.
- Avoid ambushing consumers when possible. While there are certainly times that pop-up ads and lightbox ads work (particularly for email capture), consider the impact any moving image may have on the user experience. Do not cover the content they are reading, do not make it difficult to scroll down the page, and resist auto-playing video and audio ads.
- Be flexible and adaptive. The old adage “go where your customers are” rings true in the digital ad world, but the challenge marketers face is that the goal posts are constantly moving. Digital marketers are just beginning to figure out social media and search advertising when all of a sudden new technologies are gaining market adoption. From chatbots to wearables to voice-controlled digital assistants, the future is here. Marketers should learn to experiment with new platforms and adjust their strategies accordingly so that they can meet their customers where they choose to spend their time.
To truly maximize the user’s advertising experience, start by putting oneself in their shoes. Then consider these five tips to amp up your marketing strategies in a fast developing world.
5 Reasons Why Print Is Still Important in the Internet Era
Over the last decade, digital marketing has come to the forefront of most businesses’ marketing strategies. Also called internet marketing, digital marketing is a way of promoting a business over the internet using tools that help drive traffic, leads, and sales. Digital marketing is a broad term that consists of a range of marketing tactics – including search, paid media, content, email, social media, and more.
When it comes to the success of your business, digital marketing plays a crucial role, but this doesn’t mean that the Internet is the only place your branding appears.
While digital marketing and your digital branding are essential and fundamental, there are many times you need print marketing materials to make a tremendous real-world impression. While web pages are often skimmed in slightly less than 1 minute, visually engaging print materials can live in streets, offices, and homes for years. Print marketing can play a vital role in supporting digital marketing campaigns. It is still a very powerful method of advertising, providing a different way to engage the audience, driving an omnichannel marketing experience.
#1 Print helps you reach your target market
In the modern Internet era, everything can be done online from buying furniture for your home to movie tickets for your favorite films. The Internet has revolutionalized our lifestyles. This change is also why businesses are aggressively marketing their products and services online. However, for specific demographics and niche markets, the Internet is still unable to reach them or convert them effectively. Therefore, print publications can still work effectively in such situations.
#2 Print helps you get physical
Unlike digital marketing, print marketing materials are something that you can hold in your hands. You can see, touch and feel them. It helps to create a physical customer presence when you need to come in physical contact with your customers, like in a retail store or at an event.
#3 Print helps you grab attention and build relationships
Engagement is key to a successful marketing campaign. Without it, you would have no point in trying to advertise. Consumers often skim websites in slightly less than a minute. Studies have also shown that people are reading digital platform 20% to 30% slower than they do on printed materials. So if you want your content to be adequately understood from the beginning to the end, a brochure (or any form of print media) is the way forward. Print media is also a trusted form of marketing channel and has a host of content areas: news, information, inspiration, education, special offers, and entertainment. Tapping into print is a great way to start a solid relationship with a potential customer.
#4 Print helps your customers to remember you
Not everyone has their phone ready to look up for your Twitter handle or LinkedIn profile, and who can ever find a pen whenever they need one? Business cards are still relevant in today’s world when you’re networking with potential clients, vendors or colleagues. This goes the same if you have none of the print marketing materials ready for your customers to remember you or your business, it is hard for them to look up for you again on the Internet.
#5 Print helps you develop an omnichannel brand experience
When people are becoming more and more blind to digital advertising, print offers an alternative medium to connect with your audience. It can also help maximize impact around a product launch or announcement by building an integrated marketing campaign that brings the best of both worlds (online and offline) together.
If you take a look at your business today and ask yourself, “Does my brand stand out from others?” If the answer is no, then you will have to do more. 9 out of 10 people that compare brands will go with the one they recognize. The only way to make sure that they can recognize your brand is by getting your brand out in public and making sure your brand is on as many platforms (that matter the most) as possible.
When most people contemplate on diversifying their digital strategy, they immediately think about incorporating some digital method that they aren’t currently using – such as social media platforms, live streaming video, or blog posts. However, true diversification would be to look at exploring a medium that’s different.
Unlike other forms of marketing, print can have an effect for a longer time. And it is a form of marketing that still has a place in an integrated marketing strategy.
So start dipping your toes in the uncharted water and work with a good printing service provider to get your campaign running – and don’t be alarmed if you like what you find and end up diving headfirst into the deep end.
How Can You Use Quizzes to Generate Leads? – INTERACT
The state of digital marketing is always changing. Therefore marketers have to keep up with the pressure of adapting when necessary. Digital marketers are continually finding the most creative ways of generating leads or collecting new email subscribers. With the crowded online space, it is increasingly harder for marketers to stand above the crowd. Moreover, research has shown that the average human attention span is rapidly declining. And this will mean that the method you are adopting now for your lead generation or email collection will no longer work as effectively.
There is a rising popularity where quizzes have become a recurring motif on one of the favorite method of lead generation. Quizzes are a method that is slightly overlooked but a potential pot of gold – and it honestly makes lead generation fun.
According to Steve Olenski, you can gather tons of information about your website visitors, when they are having fun answering a quiz, and it is an excellent way to generate leads.
In this article, I will recommend a tool you can use for setting up fantastic quizzes and guide you through how to create a quiz with this tool which can have a potential of growing your email list by 300%!
12 Digital Marketing Certifications You Can Get in 2017 / 2018
Most organizations prefer digital marketing professionals with recognized certification as an additional qualification. There are plenty of certification courses that are now available online. However, without any defined guide, the learning about the various aspects of digital marketing can get very confusing. This post aims to address this issue by encompassing a comprehensive list of some very well-crafted courses so that you can kick-start your learning journey and also embellish your resume.
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