The state of digital advertising is changing from year to year. As technology advances, so does consumer attention, moving on from one platform to another. Marketers are in constant pursuit of consumer attention and it’s only getting more difficult.
In 2017, Digital ad spends reached $209 billion dollars. For the first time ever, it eclipsed ad spend for television ($178 billion). Here are the top digital advertising trends to look out for in 2018.
The Digital Advertising Duopoly Will Still Reign
Facebook and Google are on top when it comes to digital ad spend. In fact, both combined are getting close to 63% of net US digital ad spend.
And by 2019 it’s estimated to go up to 68%.
The two-headed monster is big and still growing. But both haven’t been without their controversies.
Facebook and Google made headlines in 2017 for different (and negative) reasons.
Facebook fessed up to an appalling number of reporting errors including average watch time on videos, organic reach of Facebook posts and referral traffic from Facebook to websites. While there was certainly some backlash, Facebook has actually seen growth since then.
Google faced a similar yet more costly controversy.
Google allowed for video ads from big brands to play alongside highly objectionable content. This caused big brands to react and pull it’s ad spend on the video platform.
With a combination of brand safety issues, fake news and measurement problems, both platform faced challenges in 2017 and still came out on top. The reason? Facebook and Google’s advertising platforms are easy to use and have deep targeting capabilities. You can set up Facebook ads with the click of a button and their targeting platform is the deepest on the market. As for Google, your customers find YOU and all you have to do is write down some keywords and ad copy.
Needless to say in 2018, the digital advertising duopoly will still reign.
Mobile First Advertising
The mobile phone is now in more hands than ever. In fact, it’s weird to be even talking about it in 2018 and yet, here we are.
Why are we talking about it?
Because there are marketers who are still marketing like it’s 2015 rather than looking at the now and the future. There are marketers still creating desktop-first experience even when the data shows they shouldn’t be. In fact, the average person is spending 4 hours a day on their mobile phone! Simply put, consumer attention is on the screen of their latest mobile gadget and that’s where your advertising spend should be.
In 2018, mobile-first thinking is the only thought process that’s going to win whether you like it or not.
How can you apply mobile-first thinking to your online advertising?
This means responsive landing pages, responsive banner ads, mobile first advertising creative. You simply need to ask yourself, how is this going to look and functional on mobile? Desktop is now a second through.
Going All-In On Facebook Advertising
2018 is the year you go all in on Facebook advertising.
With over 2 billions active monthly users who access Facebook an average 8 times a day for an average of 35 minutes day, and an in-depth targeting and data mining platform, it’s become the most viable digital advertising platform in 2018.
19% of time spent on mobile devices is spent on Facebook!
But why is 2018 the year to go all in?
The worst-kept secret is that Facebook advertising is powerful and as of right now, cheap. With high click-through-rates and an extremely low cost-per-click ($1.72 on average but we’ve seen it as low as $0.50 a click), now is the time to invest some money into Facebook advertising before Facebook inevitably raises its prices.
These days, users are distracted. Their attention spans are getting much shorter but at the same time much wider. Think about it, how are you supposed to pay attention when you have Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Television, Radio, Magazines, Newspapers, and Billboards all vying for your attention. Oh, and I guess I forgot to mention those bus stops that say “You just proved signs work!”. Ya well… YOU just proved no one wants to buy your ad space.
Needless to say, omnichannel marketing is becoming more important as marketers shift with user behaviors as purchasing decisions become more complicated.
In fact, 70% of businesses say omnichannel marketing is important, very important to critical to their success. So, what is Omni-channel marketing?
What is omni-channel marketing?
Omni-channel marketing is about providing a seamless experience regardless of channel or device. Consumers can now engage with a business in a physical space, online and in a mobile app so it’s important to create an experience that not only translates well to each channel but should complement each other. Omni-channel marketing is orchestrating the customer experience across all channels so that it is seamless, integrated, and consistent.
How can you use Omni-channel marketing?
Hubspot created a list of companies who are doing omnichannel marketing right. You can check that out and see how every single company provides a similar experience at every touchpoint in the customer journey.
4 billion videos are consumed on Youtube every day (and that’s not including Facebook).
92% of B2B prospects consume online video.
2018 is the year to think about video advertising. While video ads have a relatively high CPM, they generally convert much better and according to eBay and Amazon, adding a video ad to a product description can increase the chances of a person buying that product up to 35%. Now that’s powerful.
Facebook has certainly made the huge push to video content on its social network. In fact is has just recently made the push for original video content (think Netflix originals but for Facebook) that will be competing directly with Youtube. Facebook will also be experimenting with pre-roll which could be a good thing or bad thing considering the backlash that Google faced over pre-rolled ads playing over offensive content.
So where should you be putting your video ad spend?
Consider this: 39% of US digital video ad spending is going to Facebook and 27% or less is going into Youtube. Why? It’s simple. Facebook’s ease of use and deep targeting make for a better platform. Marketers are looking to take back control of their advertising spend and feel they can do that best on Facebook. With Facebook’s investment in video and it’s powerful advertising platform we suggest Facebook.
App Capitalization and Contextual Targeting
Need help with something? There’s probably an app for that.
In fact, mobile apps account for 57% of all digital media usage. Earlier in this article, we talked about a mobile-first experience but app capitalization is taking it one step further. Review apps, mapping and GPS apps, fitness apps, they’ve all been ingrained into our daily lives. This also means these apps are stealing our attention away from traditional digital platforms.
Another huge piece of the puzzle is context.
As I mentioned, marketers are looking to take back control of their ad spend. They don’t just want it to go to the right person, they want it to go to the right person as the right time.
If I’m watching an interesting video on the biography of an important historical figure who had an impact in my personal life, I don’t want to see an ad for WWE’s Royal Rumble! It’s simply just bad timing.
So marketers are pulling out of open markets and looking for private setups. Premium publishers are saying that context is making it safe, a big need since the Youtube controversy.
Contextual advertising means your ads get seen in a much more relevant setting rather than the ad following a consumer onto the dark places of the internet.
Audience targeting just isn’t the end all be all and marketers are figuring that out.
So look out for contextual targeting through app capitalization as brands move from the open market to private setups.