Digital Advertisement concepts are going through some significant transformations, and this is no secret for anyone in the game. After all, these changes have been taking place over the past couple of years.
However, being aware of something happening is not the same as understanding it. Let alone benefitting from it.
The digital advertisement world is made up of some pretty big players. Some would even say the biggest players on the board. And, as it often happens when companies like those rearrange their pieces, the effects come slowly at first before crashing down in overwhelming, market-reshaping fashion.
Well, we are well into 2020. And with new optimization trends already making ripples, we may very well be cresting on one of such waves in terms of advertisement as well. If you don’t know in which direction to paddle, you risk getting crushed against the hard sand when the time comes.
Today, we are going to take a look at three elements of the digital advertising landscape, and consider their implications as barometers of what’s about to come.
Established Ad Platforms Are Trying on New Hats
2019 was the scenario of some pretty exciting moves for two big names in the digital advertisement world: Google and Amazon.
Google has made no effort to hide their push to stop being just a search engine. And even though they are taking home the lion’s share of ad revenue, they are constantly looking for ways to claim a bigger piece of the pie. Gallery Ads and Discovery Ads were the two names that rocked the boat the most (more on this later.) But we also had shopping actions popping up across the board, including Search, Google Assistant, Image, and even YouTube!
What do these efforts reveal? While traditionally considered a “middle-of-the-journey” platform in ad terms, Google seems all-in in their expansion to the beginning and end of the buyer’s journey as well. A failure to recognize (and act) on that might leave you lagging behind businesses that update their strategy to these new channels.
Then we have the big A, that, not content with having transformed the retail world already, is showing amazing performance in regards to digital advertisement.
Almost at the other end of the spectrum, Amazon seems determined to shed away its perception as a transaction-exclusive platform. Making great strides in creating an environment where brands can not only advertise but set off branding and consumer loyalty campaigns.
Their Sponsored Brand product – formerly known as Headline Search – expanded the inventory available for the format. Moreover, by displaying the advertiser’s logo, tagline, and product catalog, has made their ads more brand-centric. Add to it that some ad elements drive traffic directly to the advertiser’s amazon store page, and you can see how a company can create a nice ecosystem there.
Effective New Channels Are Constantly Popping Up
While many are quick to discard a new platform until proven useful, marketers should instead recognize the R&D – and company track record – behind some of these. After all, investing some resources in experimenting with them can yield high returns if you know what you are doing.
Take Google Discovery as an example.
After Facebook’s News Feed Ads’ raving success, you could tell Google was eager to dominate the format this time around in the mobile arena.
Yet many a marketer cried foul on the tool for lack of control capability and visibility limitations – even though Google told us Discovery was part of their machine-learning-powered tools.
Set to serve ads in Gmail and YouTube’s homepage on top of the Discovery feed itself, what most of its naysayers seemingly disregarded, however, was that what Discovery lacked in specificity and transparency, it compensated in scope and functionality.
Well, now, even though it might still be too early to call Discovery a raging success, early results seem encouragingly positive across the board. With early testers recognizing its viability and potential for e-commerce, tech, and SaaS business to benefit from.
All that said, the idea here is not to make a case for taking every new ad delivery service as the second coming. But at least temper first impressions with flexibility for experimentation and data-driven decision making.
There’s More to Social Than Traditional Digital Advertisement
We all know and love traditional social media ad campaigns. Done right, they can be a reliable channel to accrue points for your marketing efforts. More importantly, they are easy to measure and implement.
The problem is that that ease-of-use sometimes takes away from further exploring other implementations social may have – such as influencer marketing.
Social is huge already, and is doing nothing but continue to grow as we move on to the new decade. So, the better you get at figuring out how the social media puzzle looks for your brand, the more you’ll be able to reap from it.
Sponsored content is becoming more of a thing each year, and yet I see few companies truly exploring their full potential. A lot of them because they mistakenly overestimate what such a campaign might cost. But most of it comes from a lack of understanding of how the influencer game is played, and how it can benefit certain niches at an exponential factor.
Video-centric platforms like YouTube and TikTok represent an untapped wellspring of potential marketing expansion for many a business in this regard. With engagement numbers that would water the mouths of most marketers in a second when cost-compared with more traditional avenues.
As significant as these elements are, the key takeaway here is that they represent but a part of a way deeper change.
Most of the time, it’s impossible to flawlessly predict what “the next big thing” is going to be – Ask all those content creators kicking themselves for not establishing a TikTok presence before the 2019’s boom.
What you can do – and should be doing already – is to keep close tabs every time one of these platforms makes a major change to their marketing strategy and ad delivery systems. And toss away any preconceptions you might already have as to how any given established channel is supposed to work in terms of digital advertisement.
Doing so will allow you to be more flexible in your analysis and planning, and give you an opportunity to benefit from ripe opportunities you would have otherwise missed.
Which could be just enough to direct your own strategy to ride the new waves just as they come in.