The Changing Face of Online Advertising

Online Advertising Progress

Over the next few years the online advertising landscape will change dramatically. Consumer consumption of video, mobile and social are all starting to play a role in the way we plan and buy media however by 2015 our online media schedules will look very different to how they look today.

Video Advertising

Video advertising is one of the fastest growing segments in the online advertising market. In fact it is growing so fast Google predicts by 2015, 50% of ad campaigns will include video ads bought on a cost-per-view basis (that means that user will have choice whether to watch it or not).

Video advertising is still however in its infancy despite the fact that consumption of video by Australian consumers is significant. According to the IAB, Australians are now watching almost 1 billion videos online each month which provides a lot of opportunity for advertisers. And even though video based advertising grew by 83% year on year in Australia, total video spend by advertisers equated to 5.3% ($33.4m) of total digital advertising spend. This demonstrates just how far the industry will come in 4 short years if Google’s predictions are correct.

Whilst video advertising provides a significant opportunity for marketers it is not without its challenges. As some video channels / networks allow viewers to skip advertisements, marketers will need to provide more than a traditional TV style commercial– engagement and entertainment will be far more important in the video ad space.

Mobile Advertising

By 2015 it is anticipated that mobile internet will surpass desktop internet usage – and with that mobile advertising is expected to undergo rapid growth. In fact according to Gartner, global mobile advertising spend will total $3.3 billion in 2011 and this figure will balloon to $20.6 billion by 2015.

Like video, mobile too will bring several challenges. Small screens / ad formats will make it more difficult for marketers to communicate their message. The power of mobile combined with local however will also provide new opportunities for marketers to connect with consumers when and where it is relevant. We have already seen the power of mobile and local via Foursquare which has enabled retail brands to connect with consumers however this is the tip of the iceberg. Over the next 4 years will see significant investment from Google, Facebook and start ups in the mobile / local space, which will also result in new ad formats and opportunities for brands to target new and existing customers.

Social Advertising

In 2011, US marketers are expected to spend $3.08 billion on social network advertising, which is roughly 10% of total ad spend online and an increase of 55% from 2010. Whilst we are behind the US when it comes to digital, marketers take up of social media in Australia is on the rise so there is no doubt that social advertising will make up a larger slice of the advertising pie in the future.

McDonald FarmvilleSocial advertising doesn’t just refer to display ads on Facebook. Whilst Facebook is one of the key social channels that marketers are advertising on, the social phenomenon is giving rise to new advertising opportunities. One of the growing trends in the social space is that of social gaming. As a result we are seeing social gaming organizations like Zynga building branded experiences into games. This includes McDonalds use of Farmville to provide virtual McCafe to players so they can work at double the speed as well as Honda’s virtual billboard in CarTown to name a few.

Social games aren’t however the only trend in the social advertising space. Social behaviour will also have an impact on how ads are consumed in years to come. According to Google just like most news articles on the web today can be commented on, shared, discussed, subscribed to and recommended, by 2015, 75% of ads on the web will be “social” in nature—across dozens of formats, sites and social communities.

Like mobile and video these social advertising trends will also present several challenges for marketers. Consumer’s ability to comment, share and rate advertising will change the fundamentals of advertising. Consumer’s will have a right of reply to a brand message and this is going to provide all sorts of challenges to marketers. Whilst new social advertising opportunities like those within social gaming platforms and across social networks will mean marketers need to become more creative, to deliver more than just their message.

What other trends do you think will impact online advertising in the coming years? Share your thoughts below.

Learn more about social and digital strategy by attending the iStrategy conference in Melbourne. With digitalmarketinglab you can save 10% off the cost of your ticket by entering this code: DML10.

Continue Reading

Email & Social Media – Bed Buddies Not Arch Enemies

Since the explosion of social media, email marketing has been put on the endangered species list. If we venture into the wild world of email we find it is still thriving and has done so particularly since the economic downturn, however many are sceptical about its life span. The email vs social media argument has been re-ignited in 2010 with a recent Gartner report signalling bleak times for email. However a recent post on eConsultancy interviewing many of the leaders in the email field see it very differently.

So is it time to start preparing for emails devise? Hardly rather social media is probably giving email a new lease on life, giving email a new partner in crime!

So how is the landscape changing and how can marketers leverage the link between social and email to improve communication and response?

Convergence

Whilst each channel provides its advantages and draw backs – industry software leaders know that convergence is going to play a big role in the evolution of the 2 channels.

Facebook knows that email plays an important role in its future and as such is currently investing in a full webmail service – called Project Titan. Whilst Google & Microsoft are also rapidly integrating social functionality into Gmail and Outlook. These changes in functionality will mean that email becomes the start of a conversation from a brand, one which can then continue amongst a subscribers’ network and peers.

Email and Social Media IntegrationCollaboration

Social media provides email marketing with the vehicle to enable one to one communications to become many to many. Providing the ability to share content from email however is not enough. Good online content that is topical will be rewarded and discussed within the social space outside of the confines of email. The viral nature of social media provides the element that email needs to ensure this information is being given to those who will benefit from it most (not just those subscribed to receive it) – and this is what pull marketing is all about.

Database Extension

One of the most valuable tools social media provides for email marketers is the ability to gather new subscribers. Fan pages, groups etc provide brands with the notification that they have a loyal base of followers. However if these consumers subscribe to receive email information it provides the brand with the direct connection with the user to foster a deeper relationship. Advocates that are empowered with this information then become the brand vehicle and gateway to access a wider audience in the social space.

The above demonstrates that in a web 2.0 world it is not a channel fight of the titans but rather a teaming up of email and social that is going to take email marketing into the next decade as a discipline and also important strategy for your organisation.

Continue Reading