In the age of digital media, advertising trends change rapidly. For advertising professionals, it is crucial to stay on top of the latest trends. Whether or not your company adopts a trending ad style or method, you must be prepared to react to trends and adjust your advertising strategy accordingly. By paying attention to advertising trends, you can look for patterns and identify consumer behavior indicators that point to long-lasting industry shifts.
For advertising professionals, social media is consistently on the forefront of advertising trends. Websites like Facebook and Twitter have become an integral part of consumers' lives, making them an ideal target for businesses. Although social media sites come and go, they can have a lasting impact on business success.
One of the latest trending social media applications is Snapchat, which enables users to send picture messages to other users. Each image expires after no more than ten seconds, giving users the freedom to send controversial or sensitive images without worrying that they will last forever on the Internet.
For businesses, Snapchat offers the opportunity to send fast, bold messages. According to a recent Adweek story, Taco Bell and clothing brand Karmaloop are both using Snapchat as part of their overarching advertising strategy. In an effort to reach out to the college-age demographic, Karmaloop is making headlines by sending photos of scantily clad models. Taco Bell uses the app in a more conventional way by promoting specific product lines. For both businesses, Snapchat offers the opportunity to reach customers on a personal level.
As users increasingly turn to mobile devices to access the Internet, industry professionals are finding new ways to deploy sponsor messages. One of the most talked-about advertising trends for 2013 is native advertising. Native ads show up in the body of a website's content, allowing greater visibility. Facebook capitalized on the trend by launching Sponsored Stories, which appear in users' News Feeds. Native advertising takes multiple forms, but it almost always follows the same format, style, and tone of its platform.
For advertising professionals, the practice is reminiscent of advertorials, which have long been an industry standby. Companies that are successful with a native ad strategy are transparent with customers— they make it clear that each ad is a sponsored piece. The trick, however, is to do so with subtlety. A successful native ad is clearly marked as such without deviating dramatically from the overall aesthetic of the page.
Interactive ads are one of the most persistent advertising trends. Smart phones and tablets are here to stay, and traditional Web advertisements are no longer effective. To solve the problem, some companies are turning to interactive advertisements. The media company Hulu has launched ads that enable users to play games, answer questions, or choose their ad preference. Other companies are focusing on the mobile platform by enabling users to select their ad layouts. Still others are deploying ads that appear on top of mobile content, ensuring increased visibility.
Advertising trends change quickly, but many point to more enduring trends that have a significant impact on the industry. By paying attention to trend shifts, you can design an agile, responsive strategy for your business.
(Photo courtesy of graur razvan ionut / freedigitalphotos.net)
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