The Super Bowl. The Winter Olympics. March Madness. Out of any two-month stretch in 2018, it seems that February and March have the most consecutive advertisement-heavy events, leading to extensive digital advertising opportunities. Consider the numbers:
- The Super Bowl is the most watched television event of the year, with 103.4 million tuning in for 2018’s game on television and 170.7 million people discussing the game on all social media platforms.
- The Winter Olympics offered over two weeks of continuous sporting coverage globally, and while final numbers indicated that broadcast viewership decreased in the U.S., digital consumption of the games increased. Online conversations are expected to increase from 2014’s 2 billion hits across all social media platforms.
- March Madness routinely draws millions of TV viewers and streamers, with 2017 being the highest rated tournament in 24 years. 2018’s ratings are expected to be even higher, with 2017’s tournament generating over 350 total social impressions across Facebook and Twitter.
With all of these opportunities early in 2018, it can be hard to determine the best way to fully leverage the mediums available, make your message stand out, and get it in front of the right audience – not to mention ballooning traditional ad buy costs.
Today’s digital environment is more wide reaching than ever before. The continued shift to mobile advertising is expected to rise in 2018, as more than 87 percent of internet users now use mobile devices to access the web on a regular basis. Targeted digital advertising is a worthwhile avenue to directly engaging with audience specific to your campaign.
Location, Location, Location…or Digital, Digital, Digital
Advertisers are now more plugged in than ever – content platforms and publishers are offering space for ads at all hours of the day, in all locations imaginable. According to the latest Interactive Advertising Bureau study, digital advertising revenue grew 22.6 percent in the first half of 2017.
Consumers also typically experience media on two different screens. A 2017 Statista Report indicated that 89 percent of participants used their mobile phones while watching TV. Advertising revenues on mobile devices have seen a 40 percent increase from 2016, proving that mobile digital ads are more important than ever before.
If you are not advertising across a digital platform (mobile, social, etc.), you are missing out on a huge opportunity. To reach the right people at the right time, one must take advantage of digital targeting. Whether its audio ads delivered through your favorite Pandora listening station, or video advertising on a popular YouTube channel, many platforms can help you reach your intended audiences.
These three examples: Pandora, YouTube, and Comcast, provide a snapshot of the benefits of identifying and targeting your unique audience:
- Pandora’s largest age group represented in their number of users is 35-44, meaning that for campaigns targeting that age group, Pandora is a better means of placing digital advertisements than a channel with a younger audience like Instagram. Pandora delivers ads to users based on advanced listener analytics, including users’ playlist behavior. For example, if you are running a campaign for a children’s product and want to target parents, Pandora can make your ad – whether it’s a banner or video – appear for users that subscribe to children’s music stations.
- For YouTube, 80 percent of views are from outside the United States, making it an effective outlet for campaigns that need to reach an international audience. YouTube Advertising offers a unique opportunity for ad campaigns, and with over 1 billion users, you can target your campaign to run in certain zip codes, hit certain demographics, and appear for audiences that are interested in similar topics.
- Comcast has a commanding lead in broadband internet subscribers, which means that their digital advertising reach is greater than other providers. Comcast Spotlight can deliver targeted ads to the 79 television markets it serves across a user’s account. This targeting is particularly useful for political ads since Comcast’s multi-screen customers are highly engaged voters: 80 percent are registered to vote, 72 percent voted in the last Presidential election, and 62 percent voted in their last state election.
Utilizing the right platform for your audience is crucial for delivering your message. As the home assistant market continues to grow – Amazon’s Alexa is now in roughly 20 million homes – partnership opportunities abound for digital ad placements on products that people order through voice. A recent AdWeek article reports that Amazon is considering introducing ads to Alexa and is in talks with companies like Procter & Gamble and Clorox.
The Foreseeable Future
In a recent Forbes interview, Bounce Exchange Co-Founder Ryan Urban, leader of the cloud-based behavioral marketing and analytics tool, talked about emerging trends in digital marketing. Urban remarked on the two trends he foresees as the digital marketing tools of the future: Push notifications and minimalist marketing.
On push notifications, he notes:
“Web push, which is really in its infancy now, will be ubiquitous. Most popular marketing strategies already have diminishing returns because consumers are desensitized to them. With push notifications, though, we’ve been trained to immediately respond. Whether it be Slack, a text, Uber or food delivery, we automatically click. I believe this new marketing frontier will become the highest-impact real estate.”
On minimalist marketing, Urban describes how the brands and campaigns that will thrive in the future are those that use minimalist marketing strategies, tactics that are non-intrusive and enjoyable to the consumer.
Imagine being able to send a push notification during an event to a registered voter, who you know is interested in a certain topic, which then spurs them to sign up for email updates from your advocacy group or coalition. Alternatively, consider the possibility of running a campaign simultaneously on three different outlets, knowing that one outlet’s users are much different the others, and tailoring your content accordingly. Through the innovative ideas of the digital marketing platforms we mentioned above, these capabilities are available, and will only continue to grow in popularity and effectiveness.