Adapt or Die: The 4 Trends Shaping the Evolution of Digital Advertising

As a result of the growing availability of media platforms, consumers have developed an insatiable appetite for content. Whether they are watching videos on YouTube, catching up on the latest news in real time on Twitter or posting BuzzFeed articles on Facebook, the accessibility to content is both limitless and effortless.

While this content explosion has become the lifeblood of marketing, it also presents a huge challenge for marketers: how to keep users engaged across all platforms and screens—the “digital display dilemma.” As the advertising ecosystem continues to evolve at a rapid pace, it’s adapt or die. It may have been in an entirely unrelated context, but Charles Darwin’s notion of “survival of the fittest” still applies: advertisers must develop to meet the trends of the digital evolution or risk extinction.

If you walk into the nearest Best Buy, it’s easy to spot the home theater section, with televisions ranging from 20 to 65 inches and above. The point is that TVs still represent the largest screen on the market, however, it’s no longer the primary screen used for consuming media, as people are spending 78 more minutes per day on digital.

Time Spent on Digital

1) IAB Rising Stars Ad Units

The IAB Rising Stars are brand-friendly ad units that tap into the breadth of cutting-edge technology available today, providing new tools that resonate with consumers and serve as powerful vehicles for advertisers. One of these Rising Stars, a favorite on the ViralGains platform, the Filmstrip provides a richly engaging experience with a plethora of content possibilities delivered in page with users fully in control. This is proof of the trend away from static banners and toward more dynamic ad units, as they bring a greater storytelling power.

Digital Display Ad Spending

Why you need it: Simply put, static banner ads don’t cut it anymore. Video ads offer a richer storytelling experience that will drive consumer engagement.

2) Native Advertising

Native ads are called native for a reason—they are natural—they are designed specifically to fit in with the content space around them, like this ad on Etsy.

Etsy Example

These ads are less intrusive and create trust and longer-lasting relationships with consumers. Native ads are critical to engagement and are most commonly used in social media. However, there is an emergence of native ads with promoted videos on YouTube, a strategy that is implemented by 68.1% of advertisers. Content-based ads that are integrated within the editorial content are proving to add a considerable boost to branding metrics.

Native Ads

Why you need it: Native ads provide greater contextual alignment and relevancy that will create greater visibility for your content.

3) Big Data

The key to targeting the right audience is that it’s not simply about collecting Big Data; it’s about transforming that data into action. Collecting key customer information through data is essential to the idea behind targeted advertising. While traditional advertising targeting was heavily based on reaching specific demographics, there is a shifting trend toward the value of location-based data. By pairing this data with the type of content that is being viewed, advertisers are equipped to reach the right consumers in real time.

 Big Data Targeting

Why you need it: Data is one of the most important ingredients behind a tailored advertising strategy. Consumer data capitalizes on specificity, effectively ensuring that campaigns are pushed to the right audience.

4) Programmatic

So, what is programmatic? Well, according to funnyman Jimmy Kimmel, “programmatic buying is the gluten of advertising.” Why? Because programmatic, like gluten, is one of those hot buzzwords that everyone likes to toss around because they know it’s important, but few people truly understand what it really is.

Programmatic refers to a wide range of technologies that seek to automate the buying, placement and optimization of advertising. The secret behind programmatic is its ability to marry premium ad formats with that rich customer data. It all comes down to advertisers and publishers wanting to reach and resonate with the right audience through the right media.

Programmatic Interest

Why you need it: By combining audience data with premium display ads, you can achieve more of a visible impact and relevance for your video content. Curt Hecht explains the mentality behind programmatic: Storytelling remains a big part of what marketers want and what supports the brands. And we’re seeing a big link between the storytelling and the data, because more and more marketers want to be able to do real-time storytelling in an omnichannel way.”

Why do we care?

Reaching the right consumer is often about reaching the right screen. The hottest trend in the ad world is digital, digital, digital! But even within digital advertising, we are witnessing another revolution, the driving force behind marketing: video.

Digital Channel Video

Enjoy what you’ve read? Read more about our native, programmatic ad unit here

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