Making Your Brand Stand Out In The Digital Display Jungle

You’re a brand advertiser spending a ton of money on engaging consumers with your product. You are not seeing the sales uplift from brand advertising on digital devices -- PCs, tablets, and smartphones. This can leave you wondering: “Is digital working for me?”

One key reason that TV ads work is that the same ad is shown on different channels throughout the campaign period. There is consistency in telling the brand story to consumers, no matter what programs they consume. Is the same true for your display ads on digital devices? Is there consistency in your brand messaging across any digital device? Is your consumer thinking –- “I saw this cool ad on my PC this morning and now I’m seeing the same cool ad on my smartphone at work?”

“Out of sight, out of mind” is a key issue in reaching today’s digital consumer, as the usage on different devices comes into play at different times of the day. How can brands tackle this new phenomenon in digital content consumption?



Here are a few tips for brands to consider for maximizing digital advertising ROI.

The Eye-Catching Test: Give your ad a quick, visual look on every device -- PC, tablet and smartphones. Does your ad stand out? Or does it dissolve into the mush of sameness? Remember, your audience will see your ad in different form factors on different devices. If your ad stands out, you’re ahead by a mile. If not, it is time to put some oomph into your creative -- think about any of the combinations of 3D, motion, video and animation in your creative, on every screen.

The Pre-Click Engagement Rule: The first impression is the best impression for many things in life. Banner blindness is prevalent online, and mobile ads are prone to accidental clicks. Eschew static banners. The colors, the design, the typeface should be consistent with the image of your company. Is your ad creating that great first impression?

Consistency Across Devices: Next comes an equally important aspect: consistency. Brand recall is deeply tied to delivering a consistent message to the digital consumer. It doesn’t have to have the same visual or the same headline, however, your creative messages across devices should look like they all come from the same brand. After all, your ad is your “familiar face” in the crowd. And it’s uniquely yours -- no one else’s. If you created a 3D ad for PC, make sure that your ad is also a 3D ad on tablets and smartphones; the only difference being the form factors. Consistency is absolutely key to engaging the consumer on digital devices and to encouraging higher brand recall.

Keep Form Factors In Mind: The headline and visual of your ad should answer the question “what’s in it for me?” If it doesn’t do that quickly and effectively, your audience may gloss over it without ever bothering to read it. Customers want to know right off the bat what the product can do for them -- the big benefit. Ask your creative team to address the challenging task of outlining the consumer benefit on every screen. If you don’t design the ad with the screen form factor in mind, your ad won’t go the distance. And the sale could go to your competitor.

Killer Post-Click Engagement: Post-click engagement must be customized to every screen. Mobile devices are mostly touchscreen, and advertisers can leverage unique capabilities on mobile to make the user interaction with the brand enjoyable and fun, such as call, maps, viral sharing, lead gen, coupons, wiping, swiping, shaking, camera, puzzles, and games. Consider the types of interaction that aligns with the product being promoted, and choose the post-click engagement that takes maximum advantage of device capabilities.

Ad Placement Is Very Important: It is very important where your ad is shown on different devices. Insist on marquee ad placements on each device. Consider page view times for every digital screen before deciding on placements best suited for your ad. Online and mobile are not the same, and people consume content differently on these devices. Mobile apps have a higher propensity for brand engagement than the mobile Web, simply because the user is consuming content in the “app walled garden”. If your ads are placed appropriately for every device, you’re a step closer to your audience -- and a sale.

Dynamic Budget Allocations: Choose inventory partners who can adjust your campaign impressions between digital screens dynamically, in order to divert more impressions to devices that are more engaging to users than others. As a rule of thumb, if you are spending $1 on a digital campaign, start with $0.50 allocated equally among all screens (Online, tablet and smartphones). Distribute the remaining $0.50 of the budget in the ratio in which each screen has performed.

Zoom In On the Metrics:  You have done all the hard work of creating a cool ad, choosing the placements for different devices and identifying the right partners to run your campaigns. It’s time to get deeper into engagement metrics and analyze what is working for you. Look at both pre-click and post-click engagement on every publisher that has run your ad. Take a deeper look into when, where and why users are interacting with your ad. How many users engaged with the ad, and what is their breakdown per digital screen? What types of content are users interacting with on each device, and what is the duration? How many users engaged with the ad on a smartphone after seeing the ad on their PC or tablet? Or vice-versa? How many devices in a “digital home” has your message been served to, and what are the user interaction rates per digital home?

It is partly science, partly logic. The success of multi-screen digital advertising hinges on brands creating eye-catching ads that engage the user before a click, while maintaining consistency across every digital device in order to derive maximum mileage out of every digital screen. Digital display advertising may be a jungle, but brands that follow a thoughtful approach to changing consumer behavior can be the king of the jungle.


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