The online space isn’t static and digital advertising doesn’t have to be either. Traditional ads are either passively viewed or ignored altogether, but interactive ads invite viewers to engage directly and partake in an immersive experience. It represents a great way for marketers to deliver higher ROI, and new technologies now offer a variety of exciting ways to go about it.
A more engaging approach to advertising
The unfortunate reality is that these days it’s more difficult to stand out from the clutter with online advertising. In recent years click-through rates have been trending downward as consumers become more wary and less trusting of online ads. The phenomenon of “banner blindness” is on the rise and a real concern for marketers. This is “a form of selective attention,” as HubSpot describes it, which “can be either conscious or unconscious and is usually done to avoid interacting with ads that may disrupt the user experience."
So what does the future hold for brands trying to reach audiences with digital ads? Well, one answer is to give audiences a rewarding and memorable experience with something fun or useful. By inviting them to interact with your brand, you can create a two-way exchange, and the digital format is perfect for doing so (especially on mobile devices).
How to be interactive
Examples of interactive digital ad formats include augmented reality (AR), interactive sliders, digital scratch cards, “spin the wheel” and other forms of gamification, and, of course, interactive video and audio ads.
Mobile devices also enable users to interact by shaking or tilting their phones or tablets, like KFC’s Shakin’ Shakin’ mobile ad which uses a phone’s accelerometer to make the scene in the ad more entertaining with every shake.
Voice is a great avenue for interaction, especially through voice assistants on smartphones and smart speakers, thanks to the evolution of natural language processing. Audio ads can prompt users for a voice response, allowing for seamless and hands-free engagement while consumers are doing something else like driving, cooking or exercising.
The case for going interactive
Interactive ads allow marketers to measure engagement in real-time and get a much better idea of whether viewers are consuming the material. Researchers have found that adding interactive elements to a campaign creates positive experiences for consumers, helping brands stand out from the competition, generate higher quality leads, gain more insight on consumers, create a positive brand association and ultimately deliver improved marketing ROI.
A scientific media trial by Magna, IPG Media Lab, and Tremor Video DSP measuring the impact of interactive video ads across tablet, PC and mobile devices found that interactive video ads held customer attention 47% longer on average than static ads. Even if viewers didn’t interact, the option to do so made the ad 32% more memorable than non-interactive ads, a figure that was consistent across gender and age demographics and industry verticals.
“It’s clear that the ability to interact with an ad will drive higher levels of consumer engagement and purchase intent,” said Kara Manatt, SVP, Intelligence Solutions Strategy at Magna, “but just as important, this offering enables brands to spend more time with consumers. And we all know how difficult that is to do these days.”
Make the most of paid media
In an age when consumer attention is more highly prized than ever, interactive advertising has been bucking the trend of ad fatigue. A clever and creative interactive concept could be the perfect way for your brand to draw the attention of new customers and impress existing ones. By tapping into our expertise, we can help your business figure out the right approach to maximise the ROI on your paid media.