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Six Ad Types You Should Be Experimenting With

Written by Taylor Hawes

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

Six Ad Types You Should Be Experimenting With

Whether you’re a long-running company or a long-time consumer, you’ve probably noticed a trend in traditional forms of advertising; namely, they don’t work. The Internet has changed the marketplace, making customers more discerning, and marketers savvier. Standing out is a matter of creativity, and with these six ad types, you can find new life in your campaign, and new customers on your site.

 

Native Advertising

Banner advertising is on the way out. How ineffective has the method become? According to research, you’re more likely to survive a plane crash or win the lottery than you are to click on a banner ad. No matter how you slice it, that’s bad.

The problem lies in the overt solicitation involved in banner ads. Users have learned in time to identify these ploys for attention and filter them out entirely, either consciously or through browser extensions like AdBlock. Instead, users want a more comfortable and perceptibly trustworthy medium that connects with them on their terms.

Native advertising involves posting advertisements in social networks in their native format. This may include a branded photograph on Instagram, a board depicting usage of products on Pinterest, or a Facebook post that starts discussion about a day-to-day problem that your company solves. The result? An average ad impression nearly twice that of banner ads.

 

Promoted Tweets

Native ads on social media are a powerful tool, reaching your audience of followers and leading to greater engagement as a result. If you wish to reach a broader audience, however, this approach will do little to help you. Fortunately, Twitter has developed a rich form of native advertising that rectifies the problem in spades.

Promoted tweets are, in essence, native advertising. What makes them valuable is the ability to target keywords, interests, genders, geography, and devices on a mass scale. Outfitted with analytics to help track effectiveness, promoted tweets are native ads on steroids, delivering targeting combined with nearly unlimited reach and the feedback needed to optimize performance.

 

Rich Media Ads

Talking at your customers has been the dominant form of advertising for some time, proffering benefits with little conversational give-and-take. In a new online ecosystem predicated on engagement, this model has fallen out of favor, and in its place, new solutions have arisen that make the consumer a part of the process.

Rich media ads are effectively enhanced versions of traditional visual advertising. By displaying a video and allowing users to select which version of the ad they wish to see, user targeting and the power of choice combine to leave a stronger, lasting impression. And this approach pays dividends. According to research, rich media mobile ads are four times more likely to generate click-throughs than banner ads.

 

Blogging

If engagement and value are your goals, then most forms of advertising fall just a touch short. Pleasing images and platitudes can convey brand image and curry favor and positive sentiment, but they are, at their core, a one-way medium, limited by the perception of your business as an entity attempting to elicit a sale.

Blogging offers an alternative that’s gaining ground by the minute. Brands are recognizing that the relationship between business and consumer is facilitated by conversation, not by bald-faced sales tactics. Business blogs provide the opportunity to put a human face on your organization, delivering valuable information and emotionally resonating with customer lifestyles. In the process, your company builds a loyal following of returning visitors, creating a synergistic effect through your reputation as an author and your role as a retailer.

 

Appvertising

With more businesses than ever vying for a modicum of users’ attention, marketing professionals are being forced to get creative. From installations to guerilla advertising, the world of physical ads is alive with opportunities to impress passers-by. But what options does your business have if your only medium is code?

The answer is “appvertising”. Businesses like Victoria’s Secret, Lululemon, and Starbucks have built apps that embrace the lifestyle and personality they espouse, providing simple tools that enable their discovery and facilitate their constant presence in customer minds. With app development becoming a mainstay of modern marketing, your business can leverage the prevalence of mobile technology and engage users in the process.

 

E-Mail

While hardly the most glamorous option on the list, e-mail is easily the most overlooked medium in the market at this time. Native ads, blogging, and sponsored tweets all compete for attention with other content on the Internet, diluting their impact and increasing the possibility that they’ll be skipped entirely. E-mail, on the other hand, represents a direct connection with your customers in a distraction-free environment.

The key to leveraging it properly lies in understanding the specific expectations levied at e-mail messages. Users checking e-mail make snap judgments, which means that the subject line should be succinct and avoid pandering or cheap ploys for attention. The message should be concise and is generally more effective in visual format. Finally, ensure that what you’re giving your e-mail subscribers is unique, worthy of their time and attention, and justifies your possession of their contact information.

As the marketplace changes, so must marketers. Old forms of advertising have fallen by the wayside and in their wake are new, innovative ads that connect with users in exciting new ways. From native ads, to business blogs, to mobile apps, your business can connect with customers in new ways, and build revenue and return visitors in the process.

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