advertising_topics_2015Over the course of 2015, a number of important trends have emerged in the world of online advertising and digital development. From understanding ad viewability, banner fatigue, and dynamic ads, to making use of new concepts like mobile advertising, video, and social media, every brand is constantly on the search for new ways of making their particular product or service more appealing to the masses.

In the world of marketing, online advertising is always going to be an essential way to improve your brand presence, get your voice heard, and enhance conversions, but in order to stay ahead of competitors, it's crucial that you know the latest tactics and trends in place. For instance, do you know how to utilize retargeting and behavioral targeting as a way of reaching out to your audience on a more personal level? Do you understand the risks that you face with advertising online, and how to fight back against threats like click fraud?

As we approach the New Year, now is the perfect time to cover some of the most significant advertising elements that continue to be in play, so that you can start your upcoming campaign with support from the latest, and most relevant information.

1. Ad Viewability

what_is_ad_viewabilityWhat could be more important in the World of digital advertising than ensuring you have a highly engaging and impressive piece of advertising creative? Making sure that your audience sees it. Though many businesses understand the value of measuring various metrics when evaluating success in their current marketing campaigns - some still need to come to terms with the importance of "ad viewability" as a crucial statistic.

While Infectious Media discovered that 54% of most creative goes unnoticed by potential customers, other experts have suggested that aiming to optimize viewability in any advertising campaign could improve your interaction by as much as 50%. After all, if the people you want to advertise to never see your media, they're not going to take the action that you intended them to take.

The concept of ad viewability was still being defined over the course of 2015 with the help of a definition given by the American Association of Advertising Agency, and is likely to continue its clarification in 2016. At this point, ad viewability is regarded as ensuring that at least 50% of a creative's pixels can be seen for an excess of one second, but that description is likely to change as more people discuss the true value of ad viewability, and the importance of showing full advertisements to potential buyers.

2. Ad Fatigue & Banner Blindness

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Aside from ensuring your target market have the opportunity to actually see your advertisement, it's crucial to show them the right creative, at the right time, in the right way to avoid negative results like banner blindness and ad fatigue.

For those unfamiliar with the terms, banner blindness describes the tendencies of a user to automatically filter out advertisements, because their brains are used to ignoring the same old ad formats. On the other hand, ad fatigue can describe the falling click through rates that may occur after banners are left to stagnate for a longer-than-usual period of time. A consideration of banner blindness and ad fatigue during 2015 has taught marketers everywhere that in order to keep having an impact with their creative content, they must constantly make it relevant, and dynamic.

3. Dynamic Advertising

Dynamic_AdsThe way that we used advertising content during 2015 was much different to the standard options of older days. In fact, as we move further into the future, it's easier than ever to see just how far advertising strategies have come. Dynamic advertising, for example, has given companies the opportunity to develop personalized and relevant advertising based on the needs and requirements of their users. In other words, dynamic advertising allows you to show advertisements to your viewers as they search for products - based on the content of your website.

Often, businesses who have content-rich websites are the ones that benefit most from using Dynamic Search ads, as these strategies use the organic crawling methods of Google technology to automatically target relevant searches according to the content of your website.

4. Mobile Advertising

In 2015, if your aim was to get hold of your audiences' attention, then one of the things you had to consider, was how you were going to grab their interest not only on desktops - but on mobile formats too. Various studies across the recent year has found that mobile optimization is a crucial consideration for online advertising today - a truth that is likely to become all the more crucial during 2015, as mobile use exceeded PC use for the first time in the United States this year.

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Since mobile users offer the highest amount of online traffic, it would be ridiculous to suggest that any online company - regardless of their industry, should ignore mobile strategies when improving their online presence and creating new ads. After all, as smartphone screens get bigger, allowing for the better reading of articles and viewing of videos, the chances are that mobile information consumption will only continue to grow. From developing apps that make the most out of mobile marketing space, to ensuring that your advertisements show up perfectly on a smartphone format, mobile is not only crucial today, but essential for the future as well.

5. Social Media and Facebook Advertising

Social_Media_Advertising_facebook_advertisingOf course, the way in which online advertising has evolved over the past year, as we move from 2015, to 2016, can be seen in more than just the kind of creative our advertising campaigns use. It's also possible to see growth in the platforms and tools that are used to share advertising and draw in new customers. For instance, of the 3.010 billion internet users online today, research suggests that around 2.078 billion have their very own social media account. Numbers like that have pushed the marketers of 2015 to consider social media and websites like Facebook as a crucial factor in their online advertising strategies.

After all, social media offers a new and exciting opportunity to the World of commerce and advertising that has never been seen before. Not only does it give brands access to the consumers that are perfect for their different marketing campaigns, by showing off what people different like, sharing information, and more, but it also gives customers access to their favorite companies on a brand new scale. For insrance, Facebook allows for companies and customers to connect, and for new metrics to be measured based on how old your followers are, who their friends are, and what they show their interest in.

6. Video Advertising

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Banners and social media not having the effect you've been looking for by themselves? 2015 had a new and popular solution to offer in the form of video advertising. Particularly useful for companies that are trying to get noticed for the very first time, video advertising revealed its value during 2015, and is expected to become all the more popular during 2016, with things like Twitter Periscope introducing the possibility of instantly live-streaming product demonstrations and more.

Using Facebook video, YouTube, Vine, and even Instagram for business can all tie in with your social media strategy to deliver a more comprehensive marketing experience that truly engages and activates your audience. Through a clearly researched and properly executed video, you can grab your viewer's attention in moments and give them an insight into the value of your company. Of course, as with any form of content marketing, it's important to make sure you know the audience you're speaking to before you start making your videos work.

 

7. Behavioral Targeting

Speaking of getting to know your audience better - behavioral targeting and search retargeting are two matters that received a great deal of attention during 2015. The more we study consumer behavior, the more we learn the aims behind that behavior, and how different consumers search for different things. After all, when one person visits your website, their goals may not be the same as the goals of the next visitor, and so on. One person may be looking for information about your brand, whereas others could be searching for a product, and others may even approach your landing page by accident.

Behavioral targeting works by allowing businesses to customize and improve the adverts that they show to their users according to the information that they gather about that specific individual. In the same vein as dynamic advertising, behavioral targeting is the psychological method behind tracking an individual's presence on your website, and their behavior when they leave your site, in order to establish messages that can target a user on a more personal level. According to research, this form of targeting can effectively double the impact of just about any advertisement.

8. Retargeting Campaigns

Statistics have shown that a very small number of visitors that approach your website for the first time will go on to convert into buyers. Fortunately, the focus on ideas such as retargeting in 2015 has given marketers an opportunity to make use of tools that let them reach out to the majority of potential customers that never made that final conversion.

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Known to some as "remarketing" strategies, retargeting campaigns are some of the most effective tools on the Internet today when it comes to not only attracting customers, but improving your conversion rate, and keeping traffic coming back for more.

The basics behind retargeting campaigns are simple enough. They work by placing a small piece of code onto the website of a company, which can watch visitors and gather information as they approach your website. That little piece of code deposits cookies onto the browsers of each person who visits your site or landing page, and that allows you to keep on sharing marketing campaigns and advertisements with those users once they decide to leave your website and head elsewhere on the Internet.

In other words, your retargeting method tracks down your audience throughout their online experience and constantly reminds them of the value that you have to offer, or the items they considered buying just moments ago.

9. Click Fraud and Safety Online

online_advertising_brand_safetyWith all of the new innovations that 2015 has delivered to the World of online advertising, it would be naive to think that a few risks hadn't cropped up as well. However, the most potent risks that are present in the online advertising World today are the same ones that have been around for some time now such as click fraud.

One of the most important things a company has is its brand image - the appearance of your company that you show off to potential customers, clients, and partners around the World. When an advertising campaign is taking place, this image experiences some vulnerability, and companies need to ensure that they are taking steps to protect themselves against fraudulent criminals and competitors who seek to drag their names into the dirt.

Click fraud is one of the biggest problems facing online advertisers today - particularly those who engage in PPC advertising schemes. As a result, 2015 has been filled with marketers searching for ways to protect their campaigns, measure their ROI, and ensure that the budgets they are spending are going towards their own company - not the activities of someone else.

10. Improving Conversion Rates

Finally, this is a topic that's likely to stay popular for the years to come, as conversion rates will always be crucial to the success of an online marketing campaign, and the business that is running it. Your conversion rate is the number of people who take the action you were hoping they would take - from filling in a form to making a purchase.

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Over 2015, we discovered a selection of ways to improve conversion rates through simple measures, from constant A/B testing, to advertising above the fold as a way of ensuring that your call to action is seen by as many visitors as possible.

As we move forward into 2016, methods of conversion optimization are likely to evolve and improve. However, ensuring that your advertisements reach out to a wide audience, have the right impact, and get the best attention are all likely to remain a crucial part of online advertising.


 

Topics: Click Fraud, Online Advertising, Ad Viewability, Behavioral Targeting, retargeting, Facebook Advertising, Video Advertising, Mobile Advertising, Conversions, Social Media, Behavioral Advertising, Dynamic Ads, Advertising 2015, Banner Fatigue

Tim Nichols

Written by Tim Nichols

Tim Nichols is a founding partner at ExactDrive, a digital media buying agency with white label, reseller and managed service options available. ExactDrive plans, manages, and optimizes online advertising campaigns with the objective of delivering measurable value and empowering clients to find precisely targeted audiences. ExactDrive has offices in Minneapolis, MN and Milwaukee, WI.

Tim Nichols is also a contributing author on Forbes.com.