“Incentivized advertising” may conjure images of sweepstakes, giveaways and similar gimmicks, but in today’s digital advertising landscape -- where the death of cookies, and privacy regulations, loom large -- the idea has become increasingly valuable to advertisers looking for results.
While there’s been much discussion about how contextual placements may gain more traction, there’s been far less focus on the use of incentivized advertising to reach users who are averse to being tracked via traditional means.
Playing the game
In 2020, as the gaming industry grew a hefty 10%, companies like Simulmedia decided to leverage their growth to connect with the historically advertising-averse gaming audience in a mutually beneficial way.
Simulmedia’s PlayerWON platform allows advertisers to reward gamers playing free-to-play consoles and PC games with in-game rewards in exchange for watching premium brand-sponsored videos. Simulmedia says this experience allows gamers more control, showing respect for game flow by only showing ads during downtime, and instantly rewarding players who opt in.
A brave new approach
How can advertisers deploy this tactic when asking to target and interact with users online? In 2019, the browser Brave launched what it called the “first advertising platform built on privacy.”
Brave users have to opt into ad targeting, incentivized with monetary rewards (e.g., 70% revenue share to users who opt in). Users can also choose to auto-contribute rewards to publishers in their default settings.
The pros and cons
Offerings like these are a great way for advertisers to connect with audiences hard to reach in the new privacy era. Advertisers can also feel better about targeting users, since they have either fully opted into the experience or feel they’re gaining something from the interaction.
For Brave, the offering provides clear advantages, like access to those typically opted into ad blockers. However, the browser has come under fire for perceived limited tracking and targeting capabilities. Brave seems to have taken note, building a custom tracking and reporting dashboard and offering more interest-based targeting segments.
Then there’s the argument that advertisers don’t want to show ads to those who are being incentivized to view them. However, Brave has shown that although users are not paid to click on ads, three out of four click through.
Additionally, on average advertisers have seen more than a 64% lift in brand/promotion awareness, 28% lift in brand perception, and a more than 17% lift in purchase intent.
Simulmedia reported that 85% of those who viewed these ad types had more positive opinions of the brand, 89% interacted with brands after seeing an ad, and gaming opt-in ads led to a 92% increase in brand rating and purchase consideration.
The bottom line
While there are proponents on both sides of the incentivized advertising fence, there’s no denying marketers are facing an impending avalanche of changes. Today as users are more informed than ever on privacy concerns, advertisers must provide consumers with assurance that their time and attention is valued.
The key is finding the most compelling incentive for your target. This can be done via quick testing with A/B splits. Incentives can run the gamut from additional access to information, non-profit donations, tangible assets for business and/or personal, etc. While many may consider this old school - it worked then, it works now. If you are relying on amassing first party data, start testing now.