One of the big lessons we all learned in 2018 is that we must stop annoying consumers through digital advertising. According to eMarketer, 71% of American consumers say ads are more interruptive than ever. That annoyance is the main reason for high adoptions of ad blockers and premium, ad-free content subscriptions.
None of the above means that the industry is in trouble. Don’t forget, eMarketer also reported that digital ad spend is projected to overtake traditional ad spend this year. What that does mean, however, is that marketers must reshape how they use digital advertising to reach their audience. They need to be more thoughtful and deliberate about each ad placement, the measurement of their ads, and balancing their goals with the demands of consumers.
Many will give you their ads best practices as though they’re gospel, when in reality you need what works best for your business. We’d like to think of ours like a damn good old fashioned – you’ve had several, or maybe many, but this one really stood out from the rest of the lot.
Behold – our 2019 digital advertising best practices:
Don’t sleep on the importance of your CTA
We’ve said it before and will say it again – your CTA is arguably the most important ads best practice. You’re paying good money for your ad buys, so make sure folks who click do what you want them to do. In order to do that while empowering your audience, keep your CTA high value and meaningful to them. You can accomplish both goals by making your CTAs actionable and short.
For example: “Watch Now”, “Download Now”, “Set Your DVR”, “Buy Now” etc.
Scout your ad locations
You do it when looking for your next apartment or vacation rental, so why not consider when runnings ads? Between ensuring high viewability and engagement rates while reducing ad fraud, placing your ads in quality locations is crucial. Oh, and make sure you don’t annoy your audience while you do it. So be sure to secure premium publications with prime placements that are also less obtrusive to visitors. This may mean you reduce the amount of impressions to accomplish the above, but hell it’s well worth it. Fewer, superior customers are better than more, crappy ones. Always.
Test for everything
This is an old one but one that many often skip. Whether it’s a highly-produced video ad or a plain ole’ display asset, always test every phase of your ads. Make sure to create multiple versions of your ads. For video ads, test where you put your CTA, if you use voiceover, dialogue, or text subtitles and what type of music you may use. You should test images, CTA, copy, headline, color and exit strategy for more standard ad types. By constantly testing, you will be more understanding of what your audience likes and dislikes. Given all of the annoyance the industry has caused them, testing will pay dividends in converting them.
Connect the dots for your audience
Besides retooling the ads and placements, improving the digital userflow for your audience will dramatically improve their sentiment towards your brand and ads. By streamlining the CX (customer experience) from ad click to dropping them on their preferred destination, VuPulse and our customers are doing just that. We analyze every consumer’s digital preferences post-click and take them where they want to watch, listen, and shop. Consumers find that much more enjoyable than sending them to a generic landing page.
Employ your data to work for your ads
With all of the ad types and versions, across the various places and platforms, you are collecting a ton of data. What’s needed is an easy way to make your first party data work for your future ads. Far too often, we collect and collect great data and never use it to our advantage. That’s why VuPulse has made it easy for our customers get the most from their data. They’re able to capture really valuable customer preference data that they can use for existing and future ad campaigns, as well as create lookalike audiences to grow quality scale across any and all ad types, devices, and platforms.
Whether it’s your CTAs, CX or data, you are investing too much time, resources, and cash on your ads to half ass them. Some of the above tips may not be new to you, or you may be implementing some; however it is the combination of them that will deliver results for you and also shift consumers’ feelings towards the industry at large. And let’s be real – if consumers are happier with your ads they will convert and that is the name of the game. Gain and retain. Rinse and repeat.