4 Online Advertising Trends You Cannot Ignore in 2015

A woman holding a phone

Even though online advertising is an ever changing landscape, there are things which work for a definite number of reasons and for a sufficient period of time to be called trends. The year 2015, or the half of it which we have already experienced, has seen the increase of mobile technology use in every aspect of people’s lives: in business, for managing their finances, for shopping and entertainment.

Besides the mobile technology in itself, the rise of wearables, such as smart watches or the Google Glass, gives people more mobility and quicker access to all kinds of information without having to stop whatever they are doing. These are the basic preliminaries that must shape the way we are reaching consumers through advertising. To ignore these trends means simply to say – “I don’t care how you want to see my ads, you will watch them and click on them when I say, where I say and the way I say it.” If this is your mindset, we hope you are simply reading this for fun and do not actually run a business.

For those of you who actually run businesses, these are the four major trends ruling over the online advertising world right now:

1. Mobile Ready Ads
What does mobile ready mean for online ads? It means that no matter what smartphone brand or mobile platform (Android, iOS, Windows, Blackberry) your clients have, your ads must display properly on the screen, their text must be readable and the call to action button must work fast with a single tap.

People will not do more than 2, maximum 3 taps (if your offer is so good that they would leave their own birthday party to catch it!), then they will move on and forget about you and your ad. This is how critical the mobile ready aspect has become, especially considering that more than half of all online traffic is now done through a mobile device.

2. Targeting and Segmentation
Advertising cannot be directed to everyone and no one in particular, not even on banner ads. With online advertising budgets on the rise and ad blocker software being used by an ever-increasing number of web browsers, you are competing with more and more companies for a smaller and smaller audience.

This is why you need to know exactly who you want to address with your ads, and address them in a manner that they find unobtrusive, at the right moment and in the right place. For this you need to know your audience very well, not just demographically, but also in terms of behaviour. If they are taking a lunch break at 2 p.m. and browse their Facebook news feed, but your promoted posts are scheduled for 3 p.m., then you have lost the opportunity to obtain the engagement you need.

Likewise, if your ads are not adapted to the type of conversational tone your audience responds to, you will not even get enough CTR to cover your advertising costs.

3. The Continuous Rise of Content Marketing
If you hoped you’ll soon be done with content marketing, then I’ve got some bad news for you. As mentioned before, increasing usage of ad blockers means that your classic banner ads no longer show up on web pages. The only thing you have available to reach your audience is content – fresh, interesting, useful and helpful content.

People love to feel appreciated and get something for free, be it just a little DIY advice, before they do business with a company and buy from it. Free, valuable content builds trust, builds engagement, drives traffic and converts. You may as well print this sentence and keep it glued on your wall at eye level.

4. Videos and Even More Videos
Content and ads work better if they are wrapped in a nice visual presentation, than as a chunk of text. The mobile users who go to work would rather watch a video during the subway commute than read a long article. A video ad on Facebook will get more clicks than a static graphic presentation. Oh, and every video should be optimized for mobiles, of course!

Now, these are the four big advertising trends for 2015. Ignore them at your own risk!