It's no surprise that agencies and brands have been struggling to find online advertising technology that can produce digital ads that live up to the quality they've come to expect in other mediums like print and TV. After all, TV and print have been around for decades…the Internet, only half that time.
So much time and money is spent planning, coordinating, and executing thoughtful and engaging creative collateral for the more traditional advertising mediums.
And then there's online advertising.
Tripping Over the Challenges
Just like a novice track and field runner, tripping over the hurdles in practice runs, today's display advertising marketers aren't yet showing that they can play in the big leagues with television and print.
Display advertising is still in its awkward phase, and it seems like everyone in the industry is talking about the need for incorporating interactive rich media elements within ads in order to drive higher consumer engagement rates and "fix" the medium.
According to a recent study commissioned by Say Media, adding rich media features, like product carousels and video, do, in fact, increase click rates - as much as three times more - compared to similar ads without interactive elements.
But while the addition of interactive elements is an important part of creating effective online advertising, it's one of the many hurdles that marketers face when they're tasked with building truly engaging digital ads.
Here are four of the biggest challenges agencies and marketers come across when trying to create high-quality, result-yielding online ads:
Adding interactive elements into an ad unit. Repurposing your brand's existing creative is the easiest and fastest way to populate your digital ads with interactive elements. Pulling video content from YouTube or Vimeo, or showcasing product photos from your catalogue are ways to add interactivity into your digital ads without having to create brand new content from scratch.
A solid rich ad builder can eliminate coding hassles and is key for marketers who want to wean themselves off of needing an engineer to produce new interactive ads.
Bridging the gap between what creative wants and what engineering can deliver. It's frustrating for creative teams when there's a clear idea of how a brand's image should be portrayed, but the vision ends up being compromised because of engineering constraints related to time and/or know-how.
Being able to take the programming out of the creative process is a primary need for marketers. It's the easiest way to ensure that nothing is lost in translation between digital ad ideation and final execution in the marketplace.
Reinforcing ad messaging on your website once someone has clicked through or seen your ad somewhere else on the web. Whether a consumer ends up clicking on your display ads or just seeing them and typing your URL in their browser bar, it's essential that you have a way to present reinforced messaging once they land on your home page.
It's a necessary part of creating a seamless brand experience and the best way to have your marketing campaigns drive more conversions. Carrying the scent of a marketing campaign across all channels can be accomplished by using technology that's able to understand and make decisions based on both front- and back-end consumer behaviors.
My company did research on this and found that carrying the scent of your marketing campaign across multiple channels with interactive ad elements leads to higher impressions (nearly six times higher), ad interactions (nearly 300 percent to 1,000 percent), and sales.
Constraints on real-time capabilities because of ad creation time requirements. What it comes down to is that agencies and brands need the flexibility and efficiency of web development with the capability of premium brand advertising - interactive, branded ads that are built in minutes and launch in response to shoppers' unique behaviors.
Being able to create ads quickly based on real-time consumer behavior data is key to capturing opportunities as they arise. And, of course, ads need to be able to serve on all devices, including smartphones and tablets, in order to capture the attention of your consumers regardless of how they browse the web.
Aubrey is director of content for Salted Stone, an award-winning boutique digital agency that drives increased revenue for clients by producing extraordinary websites, digital collateral, and search marketing campaigns.
Aubrey specializes in helping businesses engage with their clients and respective audience. She has experience working in a broad range of industries, including technology, e-commerce, licensing, marketing, and publishing.