This is a guest blog article by Sheila Kloefkorn of KEO Marketing.
Trends in Digital Advertising
For the first time, more money is being spent on digital advertising than in any other medium. Digital ad spend this year is expected to top 38% compared 35.5% for TV advertising. No other medium breaks a 10% market share.
Where are smart marketers spending their dollars and what are they seeing? Here are the trends that are impacting online advertising.
Google, Facebook, And…
Google and Facebook are still the top guns when it comes to digital advertising. The two take in a combined 56.8% of the U.S. digital ad market, topping $60 billion. Both Google and Facebook are expected to see slight declines in ad share as Amazon becomes a bigger player. Currently, Amazon has a 2.7% share of the digital ad market, but that’s expected to double in the next two years. Snapchat is also an emerging advertising platform, although it currently accounts for only 1% of the market spend.
IP video is expected to be 82% of all Internet traffic by 2021. Smart marketers have embraced video as a major emphasis. They are using video across multiple platforms, social media channels, and their own websites and apps.
Video can increase your search rankings, increase traffic to your website, increase your click through rate (CTR), and your email open rates. The cost to produce high quality videos has come down dramatically in the past few years.
Live streaming, live webinars, and events have been effective at reaching new audiences.
Social media is still an effective way to get your message out, but the free ride is over. To be effective at social media marketing, you are going to have spend money to target the people you want to reach. Facebook continues to have the largest user base – topping two million – but is struggling to attract and retain younger consumers.
Content marketing has become all but ubiquitous. 91% of B2B marketers say content marketing is part of their marketing efforts. Of the 9% that are not doing it, more than half report they plan to start within the next 12 months.
Content can position your company as industry experts, provide important information and solutions for your customers, create pre-purchase awareness, and build post-purchase loyalty.
So-called “native advertising” that folds into a website’s look and feel is the fastest growing form of digital advertising. Between traditional websites and social media, native content and native display ads are expected to drive 74% of all digital ad spending by 2021.
The content that converts best provides valuable information rather than a veiled sales pitch.
All About Mobile
Mobile now makes up the majority of web traffic. That is no surprise when you consider 68.4% of the U.S. population now owns a smartphone. As such, it attracts the majority of digital advertising as well.
Customization, Machine Learning, And Targeting
Intuitive marketing that customizes messaging is growing with the increased use of big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. From simple A/B testing to predictive analytics, marketers can optimize creative to get better ROI.
Real time bidding allows for determining the optimal bid on each impression in order to achieve your desired performance. Machine learning allows testing at various levels to predict the probability of conversion at different levels of spending.
Lookalike targeting can create pools of potential customers to match the profile of your best buyers. It is no longer limited to age, gender, or income. Combined with data, remarketing, and retargeting, you can pinpoint audiences already inclined to engage with your online advertising or content.
Transparency, Trust, And Privacy
There are several significant trends emerging that portend to shape digital advertising:
- Ad Blockers are a significant concern for advertisers. eMarketer predicts as many as 30% of U.S. internet users will use an ad blocker in 2018.
- Ad fraud is wasting $18 billion of advertiser spending in in 2018. That is approximately 9% of the total digital advertising dollars being spent.
- Privacy and data security are paramount for consumers. Fines for violating European privacy laws could cost Google, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram more than $9 billion. The Federal Trade Commission is considering a record $1 billion fine against Facebook.
Advertising is all about getting the right message in front of the right person at the right time. The more you customize and shape the message to the recipient, the better chance to make a meaningful connection. However, regular reports of data breaches have put privacy and security front of mind for consumers.
Marketers will need to ensure they can effectively target the right customers, keep their data safe, and protect their privacy.
Your customers are turning more frequently to digital to connect with businesses. 72% of adults report they prefer to communicate with businesses digitally. They also expect to engage with you on the platforms they pick. That means being able to respond on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media channels, websites, apps, chat, and traditional channels like phone and email.
Potential customers are now conditioned to expect an almost immediate response. When you advertise, you need to have a system and structure that can respond on their time and on their terms.
No matter what you type of advertising you choose to invest your digital dollars, remember that there are some business fundamentals you must continue to bring to market regardless of the digital marketing trends. That includes a customer-focused approach to business that provides solution to problems, focusing on benefits and not just product or service features, and consistently providing great customer service.
Finally, you must continue to build your brand so that when potential customers go online to search, they already know your name. If they go to search, you might be listed among all your competitors. If you build your brand, and target your advertising, you can get them to come directly to you.