As consumers become more connected, they are also becoming savvier. They expect a rich and personalized online experience, which means advertisers need to deliver highly sophisticated, creatively engaging display advertising, similar to their offline channels. Social and socially integrated concepts are a virtual must. All of these factors contribute to the rise of rich media.
In fact, after years of campaign analysis, research has shown that rich media formats boost ad performance in virtually every vertical and across all brand metrics. From clicks to engagement, rich media is undeniably effective, especially when combined with video or animation. This is one of the reasons why digital video is expected to dominate the landscape in the upcoming years.
Choosing the most effective format for your campaign will depend on your audience, vertical and goals (branding vs. clickthrough rate (CTR), for example). But regardless of your objectives, there are proven best practices that every rich media advertiser should keep in mind to achieve optimal ROI.
- Follow the funnel: Online consumers shop around, so ensure retention strategies are combined with your acquisition goals. Select ad formats and interactive features for each phase of the buyer's purchasing funnel. Try delivering a rich media ad as the first ad exposure to your online consumers to increase brand favorability, then combine rich media, mobile and standard ad formats to sustain consumer interest and achieve scale. You can also use creative sequencing to tell a story over time and across channels.
- Avoid redundancy: Integrate online creative concepts with offline to amplify the effect among audiences who see both. Don't just copy your offline video to online, for example.
- Be consistent: Each frame of the ad should be able to stand on its own, with the brand or product name shown on every frame. ("Reveal" ads are almost always ineffective).
- Keep it simple: Keep messaging clear and "creative"-focused—ads that use too many rich media bells and whistles do not perform well.
- Master the call-to-action (CTA): A strong CTA is crucial to engagement and interaction. Ensure the call-to-action is clearly visible and persistent on every frame. And be sure that any "rollover to expand" call to action is placed in the center of the ad to reduce roll-offs. Also, "rollover-to-expand" generates more than 10 times greater engagement than click-to-expand ads.
Rich Media—Vertical by vertical