As an online business, your digital ads have the potential to connect you with billions of people around the globe. However, with digital ad spending passing $378 billion in 2020, you’re probably facing some fierce competition. Fortunately, there are ways to get ahead of the crowd.
In this post, we’ll deep-dive into four of our favorite digital advertising trends. Along the way, we’ll share some tips to help your campaigns reach their full potential. Let’s get started!
1. Cookieless Advertising
Despite their usefulness, we’re seeing more businesses embrace cookieless advertising, which is any audience-targeting method that doesn’t rely on cookies. There are several reasons for this shift, including new laws regarding the use of personally identifiable information, such as the Cookie Law and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).
Moreover, Google plans to ban third-party cookie tracking by 2022. With this deadline fast approaching, we expect to see a surge in cookieless advertising throughout 2021 and beyond:
You can divide cookieless advertising into two categories. Firstly, there is anonymous targeting. This doesn’t require explicit consent in order to attract users. For example, contextual advertising uses powerful Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms to target specific audiences anonymously.
Alternatively, you can use authenticated solutions. This is where the visitor grants you access to their data. For example, you might place all of your content behind a login screen or a disclaimer that the visitor must explicitly accept before proceeding.
2. Programmatic Advertising
Typically, if you want to purchase digital advertising, then you’ll need to navigate a whole system of proposals, tenders, quotes, and negotiation. Programmatic advertising aims to replace this multi-step process with automated algorithms.
These algorithms promise to take much of the guesswork out of running a successful ad campaign. With most programmatic tools such as SmartyAds, you’ll need to input some information about your campaign and your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). The software will then run algorithms to determine where your advertising money will be best invested:
Some solutions can even monitor your spending and actively search for areas of improvement. This can put you in a strong position to achieve your goals, which makes programmatic advertising an attractive solution for a wide range of businesses.
Programmatic solutions typically won’t automate the entire ad purchasing process, as most campaigns will still benefit from the human touch. In 2017, major advertisers pulled spending from YouTube when they discovered that algorithms had been displaying their advertisements on extremist content. Therefore, it’s still smart to manually oversee and review the ad purchasing process.
With a programmatic approach, the key is finding a balance between automation and human intervention. For the best results, we recommend using algorithms to manage the most time-consuming and monotonous parts of ad purchasing. This leaves you more time to focus on higher value activities that require manual input, such as planning and optimizing your campaigns.
3. Native Advertising
Many consumers can have a poor perception of online advertisements. To avoid a negative reaction, some businesses use native advertising to display their messages in a non-disruptive way.
Native advertising is paid content that matches the look, feel, and function of the media format in which they appear. You’ll find these ads all over the web, but they’re perhaps most commonly found in social media feeds:
Native ads can also appear as recommended content on a webpage. This includes the ad listings at the top of your search results, or in the sidebar:
With native ads, the goal is to create an ad that feels like part of the natural flow of the surrounding content, rather than an unwelcome intruder. By exposing customers to your message in a non-intrusive way, you can maximize your chances of sparking a positive response, and perhaps even secure a sale.
With consumers increasingly disliking the “hard sell” approach, we expect that native advertising will continue to gain popularity throughout 2021. The statistics seem to support our prediction, with native advertising spending in the United States estimated to have reached $52.75 billion in 2020.
However, consumers don’t appreciate being deliberately misled. For this reason, it’s wise to clearly label your promotional content.
Different platforms have different rules regarding ad disclosure. For example, social media platforms typically ask you to add a Recommended Post or Sponsored Content label to your advertisements. If you’re unsure, then you can check the platform’s website or documentation for more information.
4. Omnichannel Advertising
Connecting with your target audience during their day-to-day online activities can be a powerful way to drive conversions. It may also prove essential for keeping your existing customers engaged over the long-term. Maybe that’s why we’re seeing so many businesses embracing omnichannel advertising.
This is a multi-channel approach that aims to reach your target audience wherever they’re spending time. While every audience is unique, in 2020 the average social media user spent 145 minutes every single day on social platforms. Therefore, you may want to focus your efforts on social media.
To really drive conversions, it’s a good idea to prioritize the platforms that are most popular among your target audience. For example, teenagers account for 25% of TikTok’s active user accounts in the United States. If you’re trying to connect with a younger audience, then TikTok will most likely play an important role in your omnichannel advertising strategy.
If you’re unsure where to start, then you can learn more about the people who visit your website, using a tool such as Google Analytics:
It’s also smart to include email advertising in your omnichannel plan. According to the 2019 Adobe Email Usage Study, Americans spend over five hours per day checking their inboxes. This makes email a valuable advertising channel.
Regardless of which channels you choose, consistency is the key to omnichannel success. By maintaining a strong branding and voice across multiple platforms, you can build credibility, reputation and trust—across all channels.
Advertising is a fast-moving industry. If you’re going to catch the attention of potential customers, then it’s important to stay at the cutting edge of digital advertising trends. This includes exploring powerful strategies such as native advertising and cookieless tracking.
Do you have any questions about any of the advertising trends mentioned in this post? Let us know in the comments section below!