Tips for digital advertising

In today's digital world, to help shape the odds in your favour you need to consider including digital advertising as part of your marketing mix. According to eMarketer, digital advertising is growing, with spend predicted to reach $335 billion globally by 2020, representing almost half of total media spend. It is, of course, important to get it right. Here are some tips to help you.

1. Use emotion

You'll have probably heard that people remember how you make them feel. American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist, Maya Angelou, who published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, several books of poetry, and was credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning over 50 years famously said: "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

The same goes for digital advertising, people will remember how they felt when they saw your ad. Even ads that must carry an important message, say regarding health, can use emotion to be memorable. Squatty Potty is a perfect example of this.  You can see the video below. The ad went viral with 50 million views on YouTube and Facebook with almost two-thirds of viewers watching it in its entirety, creating a 600% increase in online sales and a 400% increase in retail sales.

Digital ads that stir emotion are more likely to have the desired effect of creating positive associations with your brand whilst driving customer loyalty, engagement and sales. One way to create emotion is to use humour and another way is music, you just have to make sure your choices are appropriate for your audience.

2. Your brand must be the star of the ad

No doubt you've watched ads and asked yourself what was being advertised and what the brand was. You must ensure that your brand stands out from the start and is the star of the narrative. I bet after watching Squatty Potty you'll always remember the ad and the brand. If you can get your brand out within the first seconds of the ad, even if your viewers click onto something else and don't watch your digital ad in its entirety, you'll have at least got your brand under their noses for a time. To brand early and throughout the ad, craft an emotionally powerful storyline.

3. Stand out from the crowd

You only have a few seconds – up to five – to capture the audience's attention and you have to entertain your audience with your digital ad. If you can deliver something unexpected or particularly eye-catching, your audience will be more likely to continue watching, even for a longer than usual ad, like the Squatty Potty.

4. Make sure the ad fits your choice of platform

For YouTube ads, people are prepared to watch for longer, they want to be entertained and the have the volume turned up, whereas for Facebook, ads are shorter and mostly watched muted, so these factors must be built into your digital ad campaign.

5. Keep your digital ad to the right length

Squatty Potty is quite a long ad in the world of digital advertising, but it works because it manages to keep the audience engaged. Today's audiences generally like quick fixes. Younger people tend to prefer short ads, but remember that longer ads offer more scope for storytelling, so if your story is relevant, don't be afraid to go longer. Six seconds is a good length for a short ad, whilst longer ads with a grabbing narrative can even be as long as five minutes.

6. Be memorable

I will always remember Squatty Potty. Good ads attract attention and great ads leave a lasting impression. So, to be great, concentrate on making a lasting impression with your digital ad. You need to find a balance between being informative and memorable. Consider your story and how you communicate it, what you say and how you say it. Build emotional relevance and be engaging. 

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