73% of consumers dislike pop-up ads. 37% of online shoppers say they use social media for “purchase inspiration.” Appearing in mobile search ad results can increase brand awareness by 46%. All these numbers mean a lot for marketers.
New advertising trends emerge every year and most of them are provoked by the development and cheapening of technologies.
Thanks to social networks and other digital tools organization of massive advertising campaigns and the creation of viral content became as accessible even to small businesses as never before. Technologies in advertising turned out to be powerful equalizers, letting small creative teams with modest budgets compete with big brands in the quality of content and audience engagement.
Let’s take a closer look at trends which define the present and the nearest future of digital advertising.
1. Mobile friendly advertising
The volume of content consumption via mobile devices is permanently growing. Due to this, brands are forced to adapt their content to small screens. Vertical advertising templates which can fit into Instagram stories, vertical videos, excessive use of hashtags and emojis - all these things are products of users’ migration from PCs and laptops to tablets and smartphones.
Considering the dynamics of this trend development, we can easily assume that it will continue to dominate the advertising world in the observable future, the sphere of video advertising in particular.
2. Shorter video ads
Continuing the topic of video advertising, it’s worth mentioning that advertising videos are becoming shorter and shorter (Top 9 Video Marketing Trends 2019). This is directly related to the shrinking attention span of contemporary users, who according to numerous research can concentrate on things less than your golden fish. Actually, there are quite good examples of advertising videos which are as short as 6 seconds.
The key challenge in the creation of such content is that you must deliver a relevant message and establish an emotional connection with users very fast. You can compare such ads with fast-food, they should be “tasty”, visually appealing, easy to consume and cause addiction.
In HubSpot's post "13 Amazing YouTube Pre-Roll Ads That Last Just Six Seconds", you can find some of the most inspiring examples of such content. We recommend paying special attention to the clip by Mercedes-Benz from this selection.
This amazing video lasts just three seconds but ensures instant emotional connection and very clearly transmits the message.
Application of cinemagraphs is a relatively new visualization trend in digital advertising which originally came from the fashion industry. A cinemagraph is a type of animated image which consists of moving and still parts. The moving part of an image is played as a short, never-ending loop (What is a Cinemagraph and How Do They Work?).
UGC stands for “User-generated content” and is a real game changer of the advertising industry. People trust user-generated content more than that created by brands (3 Reasons Why User Generated Content Can Make You Money – Real Brands Examples).
People trust other people more, while the content generated by such artificial structure as “brand”, is very often perceived by users as something imposed from outside. Especially if it was created without their at least indirect participation. It means that the video review of your product or a popular comment made by a user on your official Facebook page can be more effective in terms of audience engagement than a fancy, several thousand dollars video prepared for you by an ad agency.
At the same time, if properly channeled and managed, the UGC can bring serious benefits for businesses in terms of building brand awareness, target audience engagement and increasing loyalty of customers (if interested, read more at HubSpot "The 10 Best User-Generated Content Campaigns on Instagram").
5. Native advertising
Native advertising is based on content which doesn’t directly promote the brand or its products, but concentrates more on users, their interests and needs. Such advertising isn’t perceived as classic advertising, i.e. as something imposed, but is rather presented as useful information which can help users make an informed decision.
Furthermore, native advertising is the way for a brand to demonstrate how it connects with the world outside its industry. Such advertising can become truly viral. A very prominent recent example of such advertising is a video prepared by Gillette which dwells on issues of gender equality and family relationships.
6. Opinion leaders and influencers
Engagement of opinion leaders and influencers helps to attract massive layers of target audience very fast. Furthermore, depending on the sphere where the influencer or opinion leader established its presence, this target audience will be already well-prepared and will share the interests of their idol, and thus, your content (7 Proven Ways To Boost Your Brand Awareness).
Opinion leaders and influencers become more and more important in terms of the creation of viral content and popularizing brands and products. Posts of top Instagram bloggers can cost tens of thousands of dollars, but the benefits they can generate in terms of sales and audience engagement can be measured in millions of dollars.
7. Research-based advertising
Creativity is just half of the advertising success. When developing advertising. you can use two approaches – top-to-bottom and bottom-up.
The essence of the first approach is that you impose your vision of the product promotion on users. This method contains more risks since you just through your advertising on consumers and then observe their reaction. The bottom-up approach is more comprehensive and foresees the engagement of users into the development of advertising content. Before rolling out your advertising you test it with the help of users and based on their feedback improve it.
Neuromarketing tools (check how you can improve your ad performance with CoolTool) proved to be the most effective in terms of testing users’ preferences. If analyzed properly such data is easily transformed into behavioral insights which can be used to adjust advertising to better appeal to consumers’ emotions and fit their decision-making patterns.
8. Application of augmented reality (AR)
Augmented reality in advertising is the new big thing. It helps to substantially improve the user experience and deliver stronger emotional engagement. Unlike virtual reality which creates a completely artificial world, augmented reality “improves” the real world with the help of digital features providing added value for users. This technology opens enormous opportunities for participatory advertising where users actively engage with the content or even become part of it.
Take a closer look at these examples of AR application in advertising to get a better understanding of how it works.
9. Global commitments
Contemporary consumers expect from brands far more than simple bragging about the advantages of their products online. A successful brand should demonstrate that it cares not only about its commercial interests but has a commitment to contribute to solving global issues.
Consumers prefer socially responsible brands which care about such issues as body positivity, equality of rights for man and women, protection of the environment, etc. Would you rather buy a cup of coffee in a simple plastic cup or a special biodegradable one which will cost you extra 50 cents, but will give you the feeling that you do care about the environment? Some fresh examples of such advertising will help you better understand why it’s a really powerful promotional tool.
Following digital advertising, trends are crucial for making your promotional content relevant to your target audience. At the same time, it can be tough, since a lot of them foresee heavy expenses and substantial time and HR investments.
Though, you shouldn’t be discouraged by the abundance of trends and choose to closely follow two or three of them which will produce a major impact on your business.
Cover: Viktoria Karnauhova