7 Tips for Digital Ads

November 6, 2017
Industry News
Content Provided By:

Kantar Millward Brown
[email protected] 

Digital ad spend has grown steadily over the last 10 years and it’s predicted to reach $335 billion globally by 2020. This will represent more than 46% of total media ad investment. (Source: eMarketer 2016)

Despite this, marketers are starting to challenge the effectiveness of their digital investments. In an environment so rich in behavioural data, some marketers feel they have enough information to understand the performance of their digital content. But marketers must also consider that ads that aren’t effective can also hurt a brand. Quickly understanding the impact and emotional response to content - beyond the click - is essential.

More people are spending more time on digital and mobile devices, and that’s where brands need to reach them. So how can marketers develop better digital ads to capture attention, deliver ROI, and drive brand growth? Now is the time for marketers to learn from previous campaigns, to experiment with new platforms, and to get ready for the future.

Keep these 7 tips in mind when creating digital content. They’re based on what Kantar Millward Brown know from over 20 years of evaluating digital advertising effectiveness across all forms of digital.

Tip #1 Make people feel something

Ads that evoke emotion are more likely to create positive brand associations that help drive preference, and choice at the time of purchase. And this is more pronounced for digital.

One way to create emotional engagement is through music. Kantar Millward Brown research has long shown that music, used well, can be a powerful enhancement for an ad. Although the use of music does not automatically guarantee benefits, the inspired use of the right music can affect every aspect of an ad’s performance.

Tip #2 Stand out at the Start

Grab the audience’s attention right away if you want them to watch more. Things like an unexpected opening sequence or eye-catching special effects can help.
When viewers are in a skippable pre-roll environment, like YouTube, they want to be entertained. An ad has only 5 seconds to grab attention before being skipped.
A social newsfeed platform, like Facebook, is more cluttered, and ads are competing with social posts from friends and family. In this environment ads need to captivate viewers to make them stop scrolling.

Tip #3 Give the brand a leading role

Make the brand clearly visible at the beginning of the ad. Be sure the brand plays a role in the narrative, and use established visual or audio cues that trigger brand recognition throughout the video.
Branding early on provides a chance of brand exposure even when people skip an ad. Where a brand is well liked, it can even delay the skip. There are two good ways to brand early, and throughout a video – make the brand essential to an emotionally powerful storyline, and use easily recognizable brand assets that register with the audience.
Kantar Millward Brown research shows branding is the single best predictor of in-market effects for advertising. Creating an engaging video without branding won’t add value to the brand.

Tip #4 Get the length just Right

People are less receptive to digital ads so make them short, clever and quick to understand. While longer ads have greater storytelling potential, they need to be highly engaging to hold the viewer’s attention in a digital environment.
Younger viewers are particularly likely to want their ads short. This should prompt marketers targeting Gen Z to consider how they can distil their ads into bite-sized content. However, while most people will always say they want ads to be shorter, there is no reason that brands can’t create longer form content if it’s relevant, engaging and inspiring.

Tip #5 Make a Lasting Impression

A good ad will leave a lasting impression for the brand. Focus more on the impression the ad will make, and less on a functional or specific product message.
Marketers need to find a balance between entertaining, branding and communicating. It’s time for brands to move beyond the message and focus on the impression they want an ad to leave behind as a whole.
In the digital environment, most people are either trying to get somewhere or in social they are focused on friends and family so they are less likely to pay attention to a detailed message. Arguably, delivering implicit impressions is even more important in digital ads.

Tip #6 Consider the Context

Get the content and the channel right. People engage with digital platforms in different ways, and creative works differently across contexts. Digital ads need to reflect people’s behaviour.
The right channel isn’t just about where eyeballs are, it’s also about people’s mind sets when they are in those channels. A 30 second TV ad may or may not work in the same way on YouTube or Facebook, but each offer opportunities for forming different kinds of relationships that meet people’s needs at different times and occasions.
Digital works best when it’s both integrated and customized. Kantar Millward Brown research shows that the ROI on integrated campaigns with customized creative has a significantly greater impact.

Top #7 Learn now for the Future

Invest in digital content now to learn what works, what can be improved, and to drive ROI for future campaigns.
The speed of development of digital will only get faster so marketers who have already moved to a test and take action mind set will need to shift to more dynamic learning environments. The more marketers can learn now, the greater their ability will be to move at a faster pace to reach their audience, drive growth and deliver ROI.
Click here to learn more about how Kantar Millward Brown helps marketers understand the performance of ads in hours, and to uncover patterns of success from previous campaigns to learn and improve content for stronger digital ROI going forward.
About Kantar MillwardBrown
Kantar Millward Brown is a leading global research agency specialising in advertising effectiveness, strategic communication, media and digital, and brand equity research. The company helps clients grow great brands through comprehensive research-based qualitative and quantitative solutions. Kantar Millward Brown operates in more than 55 countries and is part of WPP’s Kantar group, one of the world’s leading data, insight and consultancy companies. Learn more at www.millwardbrown.com.