How to Engage Your Customers Through Online Advertising

10.13.2016 Cox Media3 min

Two Ways to Take Your Online Advertising to the Next Level

The online advertising wave has taken off and is undoubtedly here to stay. Online advertising is a necessity for effective businesses to reach their target audiences in today’s day and age. These engaging ads are targeted, reaching your ideal consumer wherever they may be online. An additional benefit is that they can actually result in cost savings, meaning your advertising budget can stretch a little further and be more efficient.

Keep reading to find out a few ways to take advantage of online advertising for your business.

1. In- stream ads are exactly what they sound like- video advertising that appears “in-stream” while users watch some type of video content online.  In-stream ads can play before, during, or after the content, but mid-roll ads are possibly the most effective at grabbing and maintaining viewers’ attention.  Take advantage of these mid-roll ads, which air during the content. Why? Well they’re similar to TV commercials. If the ad appears that the end of a show, viewers are likely to click away because they know their content is finished. If it appears before, viewers might walk away and come back when they know their programming has officially started. However, once viewers are already hooked into what they’re watching, they’re less likely to disengage and that’s where you want to air your content. Mid-roll ads typically run for short amounts of time, which is helpful for the viewers with short attention spans. However, if you need more time to convey your message, you could consider airing your ad in episodes or installments and directing viewers to your YouTube channel, social media accounts or website to watch the next part of your video. This is a great way to guide them to the desired action, which could be to try your product or service or engage in some type of interaction with your site. For an overview on why online video is so important as a form of online advertising, refer to our previous blog ‘Online Video: Cutting through the Hype’.

2. Partner with key influencers (think – social media influencers). In a society where word-of-mouth still holds its weight in gold and where everyone has that “someone” they admire or look up to, there’s no question why brands love to associate themselves with celebrities. While you may not have the budget to form that type of A-List collaboration (but you’re on the way there!), there are many ways to form mutually beneficial partnerships that will impact the engagement and response you need from consumers.

Ladies and gentleman, we are now in the age of the ‘YouTube Celebrity’. Who is this person? A YouTube Celebrity, also known as an ‘influencer’, is a person that is able to impact a large audience based their dedicated and loyal group of followers. How exactly does this work? People trust people that are like them! Social media platforms like YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, etc. allow for everyday people to impact the community around them. Not only that, but blogging has become a career path that leads to numerous brand collaborations, where revenue is quickly generated and shared by posting relevant, exciting content that prompts readers/followers to purchase the sponsored product.

As a quick example, I’m an avid follower of several makeup artists on YouTube. Brands, both make-up and other, send these artists products to try for free in exchange for a mention or review on their channel. As a loyal follower, I’ll watch these videos and make a mental note of what they try, how they liked it, and that product often ends up in my shopping cart (online or in-store). This works the same way for services as well – salons, health and fitness brands, home improvement, travel agencies, etc. have all taken advantage of this technique. Sounds easy, right? If you can connect with the right people, it really is.

Also consider partnering with online advertising experts to find a clever gimmick or strategy that will make your brand recognizable within seconds. Using comedy, popular new music, animation, or parodies in your in-stream ads are all effective ways to grab attention. Who turns away from an ad that has them rolling on the floor in laughter, or the ones that pull at their heart strings? I’ll watch a clever ad even if I’ve seen it a million times, and I’ll know the brand that it’s associated with as soon as the video starts rolling (Cheerios, Dove, countless others!). This type of recognition is golden for building brand awareness.

As mentioned above, you might even consider making a series of engaging ads, so viewers are intrigued to see what happens in the next episode! In addition to making these ads engaging, you should also consider where, when and how your ads appear online. Keeping in mind that you are aiming for viewership by a specific target audience, you’ll want to make sure the right audience watches your ad at the right time.

Learn more about online advertising in our free eBook here.

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