Tips to Make an Impact in the Digital Advertising Business

digital advertising


When was the last time you clicked on a web banner ? Or a mobile banner ?

Chances are you don’t really remember. If you do – you must have an elephant’s memory then – since a lot of us don’t remember doing it.

Consider this.

As professionals in the business, we know that the online destinations we frequent would logically be carrying advertising messages targeting us, right ? After all, people like us have placed them, because they are relevant to us.

And yet, the chance that messages will actually register, let alone create an impact, seems to be on the downside. What are the chances that the scenario is not replicating itself elsewhere ?

This is nothing but thinking out loud. It is interesting to note that, as per research carried out jointly by IAMAI and IMRB, the Indian online advertising market is expected to reach INR 2,938 crore by March, 2014. The report also states that the online advertising market, comprising search, display, mobile, social media, email, and video advertising, grew by 29% YoY to INR 2,260 crore by March, 2013. It was valued at INR 1,750 crore in FY 2011-12.

Whispers about the decline in Google’s CTR across devices are borne out by a 27.1 percent year-over-year and 18.6 percent quarter-over-quarter decline in the first half of 2013. Facebook still struggles to adequately monetise its white space opportunities – while not publishing its average CTR. Independent analysts have come to find a downward trend in those numbers, too. Alongside, there has been a build-up of targeting capabilities, personalisation possibilities, innovations, and rich advertising formats.

So, what’s the best way to make an impact in the digital advertising business, minus budgets, innovations, creatives, time, the works? How do we give Cinderella the makeover she deserves ?

Not-so-secret sauce tips here:

  • Ever heard of advertising for Facebook Graph Search? Acknowledge that your brand needs a digital push. Wisen up to its benefits and how they matter to consumers. Always have a clear and tangible offering, and go back to brand basics. Even if it is just for a digital banner.
  • If your creative perforce has to mirror an offline campaign, focus on keeping it short and sweet. Try to throw in an incentive.
  • One banner creative CANNOT drive impact during a two week long campaign. Rotate creative options. Align them with consumer interests and surfing patterns.
  • Make sure the banner is able to get through and complement what is being shown in the creative. Too many times I have clicked on a gorgeous pair of earrings only to reach a website where it is just a static image ( “for reference only “ – types ).
  • A Facebook stamp ad needs to be treated with the same care as a print ad. It carries your brand message and manifests your capabilities. Ensure telegraphic, but impactful copy, as well as visuals that create an impact in a 20 kb file size. Trust me, it is possible.
  • Consumers don’t mind advertising, or even deals, if that means they’ll get something relevant, or extra, or for free. Witness the success of pre-roll TVC’s that enjoy decent enough viewership.
  • Remember that digital advertising needs to be flexible enough for viewing on both small (tablet / smartphone) and large (laptop) screens, not just in appearance but in content and impact.
  • Tap in to the power of Social Media. Digital Advertising that integrates with the opinions and choices of consumers is going to have more impact than one that does not. After all, you’d want to check out the cool new smartphone your best buddy bought, right?
  • Powering up with Content. The effort to create fresh and engaging content is driven by the consumers’ thirst to know and enjoy the latest and greatest. Advertising messages that integrate content with a clear call-to-action based on user tastes and habits are the stuff that dreams are made of; for both the advertisers and consumers. Think organic food with wellness based content.
  • And finally, banners that go beyond the basic, are based on insight, and represent the entire campaign, along with having proper integration with other media channels. That’s a whole new world.

All so that the next time your client decides to run a digital media campaign, the quality and performance would end up being vastly different from what it always has been.

p.s. Google “the world’s best digital banners,” and prepare to be delighted.