As 2016 comes to an end, there are a myriad of articles and reports summarising the advertising trends of the past 12 months, as well as predictions on what’s hot and what’s not for 2017. After a few days of ingesting what feels like an infinity of write-ups, all looking into the crystal ball to foretell what we should expect in the following year for advertising, here is our take on the top five ad trends that are most relevant for the Asian market:
1. Video advertising
Videos have emerged as one of the most popular advertising formats. At least 4x consumers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it, social video generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined, and 79% of all global consumer Internet traffic will come from video by 2018. Video advertising is proven to be effective and its usage will continue to grow in 2017.
When planning for your 2017 ad campaigns, leverage on live streaming features and immersive videos on social platforms (and to a certain extent, out-of-home media), and embed videos in your e-newsletters for increased reach. Ensure that your videos are mobile optimised as mobile video views grew six times faster than desktop views in 2015. In Q4 of 2015, mobile video views exceeded desktop views for the first time ever. It is predicted that mobile video will increase 11x between 2015 and 2020.
2. Mobile first
By 2020, smartphones will account for 81% of total mobile traffic (up from 76% in 2015). As we now live in a ‘mobile first’ era, we should always consider mobile when planning our campaigns. But before jumping onto the “mobile first” bandwagon, you have to have a crystal clear idea on what that term means and the role it plays for your campaign. To us, ‘mobile first’ means interacting with customers through an optimal mobile experience, and that does not mean just Facebook advertising. There is an entire world on the mobile web for mobile advertising other than Facebook. Consider messenger apps like Whatsapp and WeChat, just to name a few, and Google, who has a larger share of mobile ad revenue than Facebook.
When planning for mobile advertising, bear in mind that mobile is the most personalised screen where people often engage with friends and family on. You need to have a clear plan when you interrupt these conversations. Think about your brand’s role when it appears on mobile screens. Also consider the following: The screens are small and limiting, therefore your ads must be less interruptive, and persuasive enough for customers to opt-in; if you’re going with apps, utility is key; your mobile ad strategy should be a part of a larger marketing whole; and your customer’s mobile journey and experience should be mapped out based on data.
For your mobile advertising to be successful, you have to understand context. Ask yourself if your ads are adding value or causing clutter. Does your ad contain content people will actually like? It is useful? Consider the answers before investing in any form of mobile ad campaign.
3. Augmented reality/Virtual reality
The difference between augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) is that AR merges the digital world with the real world by overlaying graphics onto the real world, while VR simulates an alternative world inside a headset. Based on the Pokemon Go craze and the rising popularity of Snapchat, and seeing that Facebook bought Oculus for $400 million in cash and $1.6 billion in stock, it seems like we are slowly but surely heading towards a “Minority Report” and “Ironman” kind of future.
Still in doubt? Consider these: AR/VR could hit $150 billion in revenue by 2020, with AR taking around $120 billion and VR $30 billion, and more than 12 million virtual reality headsets will be sold in 2017, with sales of augmented reality smart glasses expected to be worth $1.2 billion in the same year. What could this mean for your 2017 plans?
Be creative when coming up with AR/VR content. The best AR/VR campaigns are immersive, interactive and native, selling mostly the brand ‘experience’. These amazing augmented reality ads and Marriott’s virtual giveaway campaign are perfect examples of how to apply AR/VR in advertising.
4. Programmatic advertising
To those of you who are not yet familiar with the term ‘programmatic advertising’, it is the automated process of buying and selling ad inventory via artificial intelligence infused with technology solutions. It typically refers to the use of software to purchase digital advertising, as opposed to the traditional processes of bidding and purchasing. In plainer English, it’s essentially using machines to purchase ads. Why does it matter? It is efficient, and is predicted to grow 31% in 2017, ahead of all other channels.
Based on 2017 trends, here are some tips on how to apply programmatic advertising to your overall campaign plan:
5. Cross-channel advertising
While a lot of brands are advertising in multiple channels today, often the channels have disparate messages. With the availability of cross-channel tools like data management platforms (DMPs) and creative management platforms (CMPs), 2017 will see better cross-channel campaign unity, with many brands seamlessly delivering the experience from channel-to-channel, platform-to-platform.
When conceptualising your campaign, think cross-channel first. As we at AdEasy always believe, integration of online and offline advertising is essential. Consider the customer purchase journey, from online to offline touchpoints, and plan your ad messages based on each stage of the journey, with consistent execution throughout so that all the ads can be identified as coming from one campaign. Contrary to popular belief that traditional advertising is dead, traditional media still accounts for three quarters of media consumption, TV will still dominate global ad spend, and out-of-home advertising is set to hit new heights in 2017. In summary, the key takeaway here is “online and offline integration”. Uniting online and offline channels along with data mining will bring about better performance and results.
Conclusion: Exist in the digital and real world
Although most of 2017’s key trends are digitally-skewed, creatively incorporating traditional media to the mix will ensure that your brand exists in both the digital and real world for top-of-mind recall and effective call-to-action at each stage of the customer’s purchase journey.