- Video ads to get shorter and become silent
- Artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance advertising
- Consumers want authenticity-driven content
- Types of advertising format
There’s no digital marketing without advertising in today’s world, as the two are intrinsically linked. That said, advertising trends are changing fast due to changes in consumer behaviour and advancements in technology.
The coronavirus pandemic forced thousands of businesses to slash their advertising budgets in 2020, but this appears to be a temporary blip, with ad spending projections forecast to return to pre-pandemic levels (approximately £185BN) by 2022-end.
According to recent data on 100 markets worldwide from the World Advertising Research Center (WARC), ad spending will hit double-digit growth in 2021 and top $700BN for the first time in 2022.
Other key findings from their report are as follows:
Key findings include:
- Traditional media spending will recover by 8.8% in 2021
- More than 60% of business budgets will be spent on digital media in 2022
- The global ad market will bounce back by 12.6% in 2021
- Travel ad spend will slump 6.9% below pre-pandemic levels in 2022
- E-commerce ads to rise by 35.2% in 2021 to hit $85.2BN worldwide due to brand investment
- Global ad spend will soar by 23.6% to $158bn in Q2 2021, buoyed by significant growth in online investments
So, what changes can we expect this year? We’ve covered some of the leading digital advertising trends to hit the market now and beyond.
Video Ads Will Get Shorter
In a recent survey conducted at the start of the year, almost 70% of marketers who were not leveraging video advertising said they planned to start in 2022.
Video ad spending is a fast-growing market, with mobile video ad spending in the US forecast to hit $51.5BN by 2025. You can also expect the trend to take flight in the UK, given that consumers have little patience for long videos.
A separate study conducted by Microsoft revealed that the human attention span has reduced to eight seconds, with more than 25% of adults admitting that they’ll exit a video after ten seconds.
One analysis recommended an ideal time length for videos, varying by the social media platform. For example, Instagram videos should be limited to 30 seconds, Facebook by one minute, and Twitter videos should be no longer than 45 seconds.
That’s not the only trend we expect to hit the market for video ads, either.
Video Ads to Become Silent
Think about it – most social media platforms do not automatically play videos with sounds, and unless something you’re watching has piqued your interest, most of us can’t be bothered to turn on the sound.
In fact, 66% of video consumers admit that they hate when videos play automatically with sound. And while this isn’t the sole reason why video ads are expected to become soundless, it should be enough to make you stop and assess your strategy.
In 2021 and beyond, creating appealing video ads that are compatible with a sound-off experience is crucial for high engagement levels.
So, how do you create powerful and effective silent video ads?
One option to consider is outstream videos, which are expected to increase in popularity in the coming years.
Outstream videos are mobile-only ads that play automatically on mute when they appear on screen, making it a far less intrusive ad format. These are often used on social media platforms or non-video environments such as news websites, giving the user a choice to turn on the volume and listen.
Sound is often activated by tapping the video. Once you scroll past the video and it is out of view, the ad pauses, improving the user experience.
According to a MarketingLand report, outstream video ads have a much higher clickthrough rate (CTR) than instream formats and are viewed for 25% longer.
The effectiveness of outstream video ads has seen some advertisers pay as much as $45 per one thousand impressions for the ad format.
AI to Enhance Advertising
Artificial intelligence (AI) is increasing in prominence across multiple industries, and it’s no different for marketing.
Advances in machine learning are revolutionising the way firms conduct business, with one survey of marketers revealing that they expect AI to have the most profound influence on the industry in 2022.
The AI industry tripled in value between 2018 and 2019, increasing from $9.5BN to $27BN. We expect to see the artificial intelligence industry continue along the path of becoming one of the most transformative technologies in 2022, with the AI market expected to hit $250BN by 2027.
In digital marketing and advertising, AI has already significantly impacted data analysis and efficiency, improving how advertisers and marketers monitor and optimise impressions, CTR, targeting, and consumer preferences.
AI is much faster at analysing data than humans, uncovering consumer insights and trends in a matter of seconds.
Today’s consumers call for more authenticity from brands they associate with and their ad campaigns, stating that they trust brands that use real people in their advertising.
Demand for more authentic ads is especially important for Generation Z and Millennials, who frequently seek out brands that align with and support their values.
According to recent studies, more than 75% of consumers trust content from “normal” people rather than brands, so it’s vital that businesses strike a balance between branded content and user-generated content to create lasting relationships with customers.
If you’re looking to build a more authentic brand, you could take these steps with your advertising strategy:
- Be honest
- Feature user-generated content
- Highlight your employees
- Create consistent messaging
Influencer marketing is another way the advertising industry could humanise its brands, with more than 60% of businesses expected to increase their budgets for this strategy.
According to the latest projections, the influencer marketing industry will hit $15BN by 2022, with a new survey from Mediakix revealing that 80% of marketers find influencer marketing to be an effective strategy.
Sharing content on personal social counts is also another effective way to boost engagement. Separate data from EveryoneSocial revealed that content shared by employees reached 561% further than content shared solely through the brand’s social media channels.
Types of Advertising Formats
So, now we’ve covered trends working well for brands today and could inform your advertising strategy, it’s time to look at the different types of ad formats.
Video advertising has fast become an integral part of businesses’ marketing strategy, and for a good reason. The human attention span has decreased due to the availability of streamed content across online channels.
Approximately 86% of companies use video as part of their marketing strategy, and it has been proven to be one of the most effective formats to engage customers quickly.
However, don’t churn out video ads without having a well thought out plan. All successful video ads start with a comprehensive production brief covering critical questions about intent, audience needs, and offering value to those watching.
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising
Pay-per-click or PPC advertising is an advertising model used to drive traffic to websites where advertisers pay for each click received on their ad.
It has always been a popular method for advertisers as it can offer a good return on investment (ROI) due to being cost-effective. Although the rise in video advertising is threatening to dethrone PPC as the most effective method in the advertising world, with the right strategy, you could achieve some excellent results.
However, in terms of humanising the brand – which has become a massive concern for consumers – you could struggle to win engagement and customer loyalty with PPC ad campaigns.
As the name suggests, mobile advertising is any form of advertising that appears on mobile devices.
With the consumer world hooked on their smartphones or electronic devices, advertisers have had no choice but to create more mobile-friendly ads if they want to remain competitive and reach wider audiences.
Nowadays, many adverts are shot vertically to ensure they can be enjoyed on mobile and can occur in multiple formats such as video, banners, text-based even mobile games.
With the trend for mobile ads expected to continue its upward trajectory post-2021, it would be unwise not to leverage the popularity of smartphone devices in 2022.
Social Media Advertising
Did you know that, on average, people spend more than 2.5 hours on social media every day? Just think about how many people you could reach within three hours by making the most of social media advertising.
It’s no wonder that brands are increasing social media ad spend, whether Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn; an effective marketing strategy on these platforms could help you reach engaged users and boost lead generation and conversion rates.
Advertising through social media is also one of the most cost-effective strategies, making it a good marketing tool for small businesses with lower budgets. Another benefit of using social media advertising is increased visibility which increases the recognition of your brand, providing more opportunities to make your content familiar and accessible to new audiences.
Social media is also highly versatile, and there are many different approaches your business could take to engage your audience, such as video, photos, instant messaging ads. For example, Facebook has a whole suite of ad types that companies can use, from carousel ads and poll ads to slideshow ads and instant experience ads.
Display advertising, also known as banner ads, has long played a fundamental role in many digital marketing strategies.
The ad model works by paying for a space for a specific amount of time to attract the audience of the said website, social media platform or another digital medium.
Display ads can be image, text or video-based and tend to operate on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis. However, advertisers can also use them in retargeting campaigns to encourage users that have already visited a website to return and take another action through the funnel.