With a new year comes new possibilities, fresh ideas, and a commitment to doing things just a little bit better—or at least with a different perspective—this time around. This is especially true in advertising, an industry devoted to capturing consumer attention spans, the majority of which are no longer than a commercial jingle. With so much innovation, product development, and promotion hitting the market today, standing out can be a challenge, and requires that brands truly know the audience they’re going after, as well as the solution they’re supporting.
To this end, Salesforce recently released some of the top advertising trends set to impact the industry in the coming months. Let’s take a look at some strategies to remember:
The Year of Video
Inc. recently released a report on humans and technology, including some interesting stats around the power of video to connect consumers. According to the report, the average person is distracted in eight seconds, with some losing interest in only 2.8 seconds. One major way to grab their attention: video. They note that posts with videos attract three times more links than text-only posts, people are 85 percent more likely to buy a product after viewing a product video, and as a result, estimate that 79 percent of all Internet traffic will be video content by 2018. Evidence to this movement, Facebook recently announced that the amount of video shared globally from people and brands in the social media channel’s “News Feed” has increased 3.6 times year-over-year. McDonald’s is one company that used this tool to its advantage, releasing one short recap video each night during the 2014 World Cup, gaining 196,000 new Facebook fans, 6.3 million views, and 323 million impressions. The takeaway? Images alone aren’t enough anymore to keep an increasingly social and mobile audience interested. Video is changing the game, and incorporating it into your advertising campaign can help boost your relevancy, increase your visibility, and up your potential for connection.
Test, Test, Test
Of course, not every Facebook post, tweet, or e-mail marketing campaign needs a video included in it. All forms of creative content are subject to environment and audience, and one of the best ways to help boost efficiency is through user testing. Data results from user testing can be used to drive more compelling and on-target advertisements that truly further your brand message, rather than confuse or distort it.
Thoughtful, Tailored Content
The term “tailored content” brings to mind personalized, targeted campaigns designed to appeal to customers’ preference for personalization, and in many ways, this is right on the money. This year, tactics such as continually testing target audiences and segmenting users based on interests are still helpful—allowing companies to focus on delivering the types of messages their audiences most want to hear. Of equal importance: creating content that will help your business meet its specific goals, and that reflects the overall objectives of your company. In this case, “throw it against the wall and see if it sticks” can result in wasted time, dollars, and focus. Taking the time to truly figure out what you want to say and finding the best audience ready to listen is worth the investment.
The Grown-Up Carousel
As their name implies, carousel ads allow users to scroll through multiple brand images and links in one online ad. As a result, companies can squeeze much more information and outreach potential into one segment than previously possible. The self-service is already available on Facebook and Instagram with recent extensions into mobile app ads, and Facebook recently reported that since their introduction, carousel link ads have driven 30-50% lower cost-per-conversion and 20-30% lower cost-per-click than single-image link ads.
As we move forward, it’s clear that this year is setting up to be one of the most innovative, technology-driven ones to date, and to keep pace, advertisers must invest in the tools and trends shaping not only their specific industries, but also the environment their target audience inhabits—and this means embracing the power of carefully crafted, visually dynamic content to sell smarter and stay ahead.
Givens, Hilary, “The Top 6 Advertising “Do’s” for 2016,” Salesforce, December 28, 2015, https://www.salesforce.com/blog/2015/12/top-6-advertising-tips-2016.html?d=70130000000tP4G.
Kim, Larry, “16 Eye-Popping Statistics You Need to Know About Visual Content Marketing,” Inc., November 23, 2015, http://www.inc.com/larry-kim/visual-content-marketing-16-eye-popping-statistics-you-need-to-know.html.
“What the Shift to Video Means for Creators,” Facebook Media, January 7, 2015, http://media.fb.com/2015/01/07/what-the-shift-to-video-means-for-creators/.
“Improving Ad Performance with the Carousel Format,” Facebook for Business, May 11, 2015, https://www.facebook.com/business/news/carousel-ads.