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The Changing Face of Digital Advertising And Technology During Lockdown

In this ever-changing digital age, publishers have had to continually adapt to keep up with unpredictable ramifications of Covid-19 on the advertising ecosystem. As digital in-feed advertising experts, here are the top five trends we have uncovered from our partners.

1.     Diversification

Diversification has never been a more relevant business requirement. Many of our publisher partners feel frustration at being locked into platforms which are anti-competitive or don’t allow for diversified revenue streams, such as exclusivity clauses. We identify this mindset change as one of the most pivotal outcomes of lockdown. We cannot foresee the future – so why not be better prepared for all possible outcomes?

Let’s look at this from an investment perspective, in financial terms diversifying revenue streams limits the uncertainty of investments. In other words, putting all your eggs into a single basket only works if that basket is unbreakable. I think we can all agree Covid-19 has destroyed a lot of egg baskets.

Another benefit of diversification is that it allows for competition and innovation. Anti-competition practices reduce market innovation for products and services, creating monoliths which squeeze us all. Reducing many businesses to competing on price, rather than product. This stalls creativity, inspires bad practices, and fills the market with noise, rather than value.

2.     Flexibility and Agility

We have learnt, in an age of ‘standardisation for ease’, there really is no one-size-fits-all approach. From audiences and branding, to messaging and tactical tech, what is needed to succeed at any given time fluctuates on both the buy and sell sides. At Invibes, we are obsessed with making effective business growth and return on investment easier for our publishers.

Digital advertising should deliver a flexible model that offers multiple ways to integrate ads through standardised tags, header bidding, accelerated mobile pages (AMP), AMP on header bidding, and now a universal identification method to combat the impending cookie-less environment barreling towards us at full speed. This can only be possible if you are also working closely with your demand partners, have direct integrations with your publishers, and keep diversification at the heart of the relationship.

We have found that our commitment to agility has served us well in weathering this pandemic. We have been able to respond to changing market conditions immediately across mobile and desktop, slotting in where the publisher needs us. For example, we recently launched Mosaic & Audio a new audio in-feed format for a digital ad campaign with Toyota and The&Partnership, delivering a 400% increase in engagement.

The challenge for Toyota was to display an engaging ad format, to promote a 30% discount on new cars and accessories, across Yaris, Aygo or C-HR models, that combined audio functionality and high response rates. Internet users who clicked on the new in-feed format spent an average of 1 minute and 9 seconds on the site, compared to 18 seconds for Internet users who clicked on a classic banner. The campaign generated 2.5 times more engagement actions on the website than the other formats.

3.     Creative Design

Brands are focused more than ever on delivering stellar creative imagery with messaging that invites a two-way conversation with the consumers, one of meaning and value exchange. You cannot do this without kick-ass creative and creative planning.

From the first step in the briefing process we keep the creative central to the discussion and circle back as the campaign outcome is developed. How can you not? Bolting on creative planning at the end of the campaign is never going to deliver positive results. The design solutions are handled by our in-house creative team working hand in hand with the brand, agency or media owner to develop purpose built creative solutions (or select something more templated but still appropriate to the outcome goals). Having this in-house creative team allows us to continue to innovate, while being responsive to advertiser needs.

For example, we offer over 40 unique products to help brands provide meaningful experiences to their customers through creative solutions. These include Cube which uses 3D transitions to display images, Play R which was created for food advertisers to provide them with an engaging way of reaching cooking enthusiasts, and Collection which is highly practical when showcasing a wide range product line, giving consumers all they need to purchase.

Ultimately media owners and brands alike want premium visuals. Having the ability to deliver those at scale, without a programmatic pipeline, has never been more important.

4.     Context Has Always Been Key

Digital publishers today are really coming into their own. With the incoming death of the third-party cookie there is real power to be harnessed by media owners with the right partners in place.

At Invibes we love publishers. We strive to create solutions-based relationships which increase opportunities for and with our publisher partners. Using our technology to support robust journalism, through a trustworthy and transparent approach, we achieve a greater share of voice for smaller niche players and subject matter experts.

In addition, we encourage clients to consider, context combined with behavior, where we bring the best contextually relevant advertisers to our partners through classification.

5.     Tech With Proof in The Pudding

Technology is in our DNA. We are an innovative technology company with in-feed advertising at our core.

For example, we’re always looking to create the next digital ad tool and have recently launched Chatbot which introduces a chatbot-like experience, allowing users to communicate through predetermined messages and can lead to unique experiences for each user.

Technology also supplies outcome-based deliverables. This is the only way to go for publishers and marketers today – you set the benchmarks for success. Direct integrations with our publisher partners allows for the engaging formats, premium contexts and brand uplift at scale. It’s also important to keep brand safety, return on investment, viewability, transparency and sales uplift top of mind.

Our outcome-based strategy helps visibility with direct brand relationships. To survive and thrive as a digital publisher, it’s important that demand partners are willing to innovate, diversify, have an agile and creative approach and put their money where their mouth is, committing to defined and achievable outcomes.

Joy Dean is Director Strategic Partnerships, UK at Invibes. For more information visit: www.invibes.com

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