New Year, New Ads

With the New Year upon us, there’s no better time to think about trying something new. You could take the stairs or swap your coffee for green tea. But neither would be as gratifying as taking a fresh approach to your campaigns by employing a few trends that marked the past year.

Video Star

One of the biggest trends of 2008 was video, and with good reason. You can pack a lot of messaging into a video ad and still present it in an interesting and engaging way. It affords access to the popular video content that resides on consumer-generated and professional content sites.

Publishers have worked hard in recent years to ensure they have appealing videos to offer and to incorporate long-form video, like TV shows and Webisodes, that are more conducive to video ads. To date, many brands have remained conservative about their video advertising investments. But we can’t overlook the audience exposure this avenue can provide.

According to eMarketer, 80 percent of Internet users will view video ads by the year 2012. Sixty-seven percent are seeing video advertising today. Next to Google, YouTube is the largest search engine, for goodness sake.

Perhaps 2009 will bring a better balance between supply and demand. If your promotional video content is relevant to a Web page’s editorial content and user-friendly (don’t forget the close button and ability to pause), it has the potential to become one of your most effective formats.

Don’t Purchase. Partner.

If you have a reasonable budget to work with and an open-minded client, you have an opportunity to go beyond a standard media buy to create a customized campaign. Don’t be concerned about not knowing where to start. Just give your site rep a call.

Publishers are increasingly eager to devise custom ad placements, video advertorials, and promotional microsites for your clients. A more elaborate collaboration can bring heightened revenue, and it allows them to have a hand in ensuring your campaign delivers the results you seek. Lest we forget, this is what they’re ultimately after, too.

Nobody knows their site profiles better than your sales contacts, so call on their expertise to influence your creative and infuse your campaign with some new elements you might not otherwise have considered. Employ a site’s editorial team to incorporate your product into their articles, or enlist them to appear in a video series that test-drives your latest line for consumers. You could end up with a client who’s happy to see you haven’t lost your passion for his brand, plus fodder for a great agency case study.

Get Serious About Mobile

If this were a New Year’s resolution, it would be the one you keep coming back to because it never comes to fruition. It seems every year is deemed to be the “year of mobile marketing,” yet so many marketers remain oblivious to the value and potential of this game-changing medium.

The time has come to request a corporate upgrade to an iPhone and immerse yourself in the mobile space. Specialized mobile marketing and mobile site development companies are making it easier than you might think to connect with consumers through this channel.

Start slow. Try an SMS (define) campaign in combination with a contest, special offer, or loyalty program. If your clients question the wisdom of such experimentation, tell them U.S. mobile subscribers now send and receive more text messages than phone calls. Then work your way up to a mobile Internet media buy directly through the publisher or through a mobile ad network.

Finally, recommend implementing a mobile site for your client’s brand, if one isn’t already in place.

It’s a new year full of potential, just like these advertising opportunities. Gather your nerve and resolve to give them a try.

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