2017

Remarketing became old news in 2017. Since as much as 96% of your website visitors don't buy on their first visit, retargeting them with special offers and relevant products seems to be an idea that's working. It is also a well-known fact that mobile advertising spend is on the rise. In 2017, mobile ad spend in the US is a whopping 70% of all digital ad spend. While we are on the topic of online advertising trends, here are two more from this year you should continue to keep a close eye on.

 

More marketers are adopting the agile workflow

Agile methodology adopts an iterative workflow that is faster and more responsive. It makes sense in an ecosystem where consumers are constantly bombarded with information and, as a result, have very short attention spans. An agile workflow has very short sprints, which allows you to test new ideas and optimize your advertising campaigns within short intervals. It does not come as a surprise then that more marketing teams are switching to this adaptive style of working in order to improve their engagement rates.

 

Social media advertising is working

By 2019, social media advertising is expected to be equal in value to newspaper advertising, which will be around $50 billion. However, you should choose your social media networks carefully. Instagram rules the roost when it comes to preferred social media platforms for advertisers. Facebook also registered noteworthy growth in ad spend between 2015 and 2016. That said, advertising across all social media platforms might not be a very good strategy. Take the case of Twitter, for instance. Less than 25% of marketers managed to improve Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) on Twitter. Maybe it has to do with the platform's poor ad targeting algorithm, or maybe it's because users' Twitter feeds are inundated with new information and they seem to miss paid placements.

Whatever the reason is, it's important that you choose your preferred social media advertising platform carefully.

 

Best practices to adopt for the coming year

Based on those two key trends from 2017, here are some best practices for online advertising to include in your digital marketing strategy moving forward.

 

1. Dynamic creatives make sense

Multiple Door Options

You are already churning huge amounts of data to target your audience as precisely as possible. Dynamic creatives take this personalization even further by adapting to users' response in real-time. And personalization is the future of digital marketing.

They also allow more efficiency in your entire marketing process, which goes well with an agile approach. A marketing team that uses dynamic creatives does not have to set up an entire campaign from scratch every time a different creative is needed. Instead, it can tell the algorithm to switch between different pre-defined elements to alter the messaging according to pre-defined metrics. For instance, you can tell the algorithm to use a different headline for ads after a certain period of time to prevent ad fatigue. Similarly, you can set ads to reconfigure if they fall below the expected Return on Investment (ROI) or go above a certain CPA (cost per action).

In addition, going the dynamic route lessens the burden on your creative team, which allows them to come up with better creatives for future campaigns. One key solution you should be making the most of is Facebook's Dynamic Creative tool.

 

2. A/B test one factor at a time

AB Testing

The success of a campaign primarily depends on two factors -- the placement and the creative. While it may be tempting to A/B test different permutations and combinations of the two, it is better to test them separately. Keep your placement the same and test different creatives to see the kind of messaging that works. Once you have honed in on a message that works, try switching between placements to figure out the most optimal platforms. A/B testing factors for success separately allows you to hone-in on the problem areas, which increases your chances of better ROI.

 

3. Remember the 3 Cs of successful online advertising

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Marketers are spending more on social media advertising every year, which means the space is more crowded than ever. 3 Cs help you catch your audience's attention and improve your engagement rate:

Compelling

Your ads should be aesthetically appealing. Even more important is a compelling message that catches your audience's attention. Think strong headlines and words like Free and Now in your ad copy. Attractive faces also help catch people's attention.

Concise

Keep your message to-the-point. Use bullet points if you have a lot of things to say to make your ad scannable. Even better, focus on one unique value proposition per campaign.

Clear

Your message should be loud and clear. Using different fonts for different parts of your ad helps to make the CTA and your unique value proposition stand out. Similarly, your ad should render correctly across different screens and platforms to maintain brand consistency. Having good-quality images that are directly related to your offer also helps. For instance, if you have a special offer on running shoes on your eCommerce site, include a clear photo of your best-selling pair in your ad. Avoid stock photos as much as possible. They can't help you stand out from the crowd.

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