Digital advertising has experienced a continuing boom over the last few years. Due to COVID-19, the stay-at-home lifestyle, wider adoption of technology, and more users on digital platforms, in general, brought in even more acceleration. The beauty of digital marketing lies in its marriage of multi-media and personalized rather intimate advertising deliveries. It’s only natural that the field is constantly evolving and creating better experiences for both marketers and end-viewers.
Let’s look at some of the newest developments in digital advertising and their potential.
Although there are privacy concerns over the way Voice Assistant applications work, the opportunities for marketers are endless. Virtual assistants like Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant, and others listen to the voices of their users to execute their tasks. Apple randomly selects small portions of these conversations to analyze them. This is done to see how they can improve the quality of their service.
A 2019 report revealed that Siri could be activated by accident! These recordings were later passed on to contractors who analyze voice recordings. Apple has since apologized to its users and committed to improving its policies, but Siri’s case isn’t an exception. Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa use similar systems. Their voice recording data is used for online advertising. This is similar to how Google Search utilizes words typed into it.
This has evolved into the emergence of voice SEO. As marketers know, what we speak about is different from what we type. That’s why voice keywords are becoming useful in better targeting methods. Marketers have already started running A/B testing between ads that use keywords from voice SEO against those that use traditional SEO. That would be an interesting exercise and may help marketers create a good SEO mix for maximum reach towards relevant audiences in the voice-enabled web of the future.
A Shift in Targeting
For a long time, marketers were obsessed with targeting their advertisements towards Millennials. But today is the era of a younger, more tech-savvy group known as Generation Z. Gen Z includes those born between 1997 and 2015, putting them in the age range of 6-24 years old as of 2021. These are children and youngsters who are consummate digital natives. Tech innovations to them are a way of life. They use mobile devices with tremendous ease and expertise. These new consumers also prefer watching videos rather than reading written content.
Additionally, gen Z has a natural distrust of advertisements. They believe that they are driven by purpose and are better-informed. In short, the traditional marketing approach won’t work with them!
But it’s not all doom and gloom for marketers.
Gen Z has a more diverse ethnic makeup than any of the previous groups. They respect authentic brands with an original message for their viewers and root for sustainability and social justice issues. Gen Z likes honest conversations with a unique tonality. Thus, messaging within digital advertisements that target this group has to be different. This segment also differs in social media preferences compared to previous generations. They prefer Youtube, Gmail, Snapchat, and Instagram over other platforms.
It’s not just Gen Z but others who seem to prefer video advertising over any other form. But videos themselves have started to evolve as a medium!
Since animation offers flexibility and gives more space for creativity, animated videos are very popular as explainer videos and advertisements. With animations, commercials can express futuristic ideas more efficiently.
It’s also easier to express social ideas behind a brand through animation. Videographers and editors use shapes, fonts, different backgrounds, and effects to create fascinating animated commercials. Interactive formats are testing the waters and straining the limits of technology’s power. These are interesting and refreshing for the viewer and can help brands stand out.
These are advertisements that allow viewers to engage with the ad in different immersive ways. That turns watching an ad into an active engagement rather than a passive one. Content that includes quizzes, surveys, open-ended questions, embedded calculators, giveaways, polls, and other interactive elements is gaining popularity. A study shows that interactive video ads can increase the time a viewer spends with an ad by 47%. In another study, 88% of marketers have also found that interactive ads are good ways to differentiate their brand from competitors.
These also create a personalized experience that makes it easier for viewers to trust the advertisement. Consumers also enjoy ads that allow them to interact with other people. That alleviates some of the alienation brought about by extended lockdowns. Interactive ads address customer socialization needs while promoting their brands effectively at the same time.
Instagram unveiled an exciting development with its checkout feature. This is an interesting combination of e-commerce and social media that brings the action (purchase) very close to brand communication. Such a feature empowers customers by giving them a more effortless shopping experience while also reducing the risk of abandoned shopping carts. Shoppable posts may be the digital marketing trend of the future if Instagram Market succeeds. Marketers should keep an eye on this trend to hop on it if it explores.
Many other new features are sprouting up across the digital advertising environment. Only time will tell which of these will bloom and which wither away. This is a dynamic, ever-evolving space, but advertising and brand communications have always been that way!