Join the online ads real-time revolution to stay ahead of the game
Ditch outdated advertising methods and get in touch with hashtags to gain a competitive edge.
Detaching your company from outdated advertising methods and connecting with your customers in real-time should be a genuine objective for publishers in 2013. As well as continuing to capitalise on social, they also need to take advantage of trends such as ‘bring-your-own-device’ (BYOD) schemes to tap into consumers’ thoughts and advertise to them in a timely fashion. Using widely accessible socialised shared content effectively will ultimately improve monetary prospects.
Digital advertising is evolving at the same speed as technology – fast. Advertisers and publishers must be prepared to keep up with the fluidity of their audiences and be willing to connect with them in real-time, so as to not fall behind in the crucial race to win customers. A key step is considering the tools they use to enable the sharing and the socialisation of their content in real-time.
Social networks have seen a huge explosion in recent years, but it is the ‘socialisation’ of the web that makes the market for advertising so exciting and potentially lucrative for digital advertisers and publishers. Every second these millions of potential customers are using the social language of sharing to broadcast their feelings and opinions and each of these moments represents an untapped opportunity for advertisers to interact with consumers.
When you note that, according to Juniper Research, the number of smartphones and tablets will more than double by 2014, exceeding 350 million by 2017, so making it easier for people to access their personal platforms at any opportunity, the potential audience is plain to see. Customers now expect a different advertising approach from web publishers. Outdated methods will no longer grab consumers’ attention and crucially are often delivered too late, rendering the ad useless. However, just because some techniques have become antiquated does not necessarily mean a dearth of opportunities. For those that become outdated, others will appear and this is certainly the case in online advertising.
Hashtags have become one of the most ubiquitous symbols used in social sharing to indicate specific brands, products and emotions relevant to the content a person posts and shares. Their use has become standard practice across all platforms, used all over the internet as an organic way of searching users’ interests and a way of associating opinions to specific topics. In fact, according to real-time social analytics provider, Topsy Data, the five most notable Twitter hashtags alone generated upwards of 11.7 million mentions over the last year alone. It only seems logical therefore that we are seeing the advent of hashtag targeting.
By targeting hashtags, publishers can instantly connect with consumers who show interest in their content. Connecting with audiences using hashtag targeting gives advertisers a competitive edge, enabling them to exploit and monetise their earned media, making their paid media smarter and more effective. For example, a brand can identify consumers who use hashtags such as #nike, #Olympics or #fitness on desktop computers, tablets and mobile devices and build a campaign with full-page ad roadblocks across desktop and mobile platforms to these same consumers online within milliseconds. Similar to search advertising, brands like Nike can reach consumers by targeting hashtags based on categorised terms like #Olympics, with campaigns relevant to running, for instance. The potential uses of social data for publishers are vast and it is vital that their content is easily shareable for that reason.
Advertising was once founded on three pillars: frequency – how many times ads are displayed; recency – how long the gaps are between displaying each ad; and environment – where the ad was. However online advertising came along and shifted these foundations, and with the developments in social media, relying solely on tried-and-tested techniques is no longer enough. In 2013, connecting with customers in real-time and using native advertising techniques has never been more important. Publishers, supported by web designers, should strive to abandon yesterday’s advertising models in favour of a more innovative and, crucially, timely method. The rise of social hashtagging makes this transition easy.
The organisations that look to implement these cutting-edge practices are those that are going to reap the benefits from a hugely digital-savvy audience. It is up to each business whether it wants to grasp this opportunity or stay rooted in archaic advertising and, inevitably, be left behind. When you think about it, it’s a #no-brainer.