To say we are entering into a new era of media would be a lie. We are already in this age.
In fact, I would say this started back in 2005, with the launch of YouTube. With the launch of the famous video sharing site, the age of earned and owned media emerged. One of the “big” questions being asked by companies right now is “Should firms still invest in paid media?”
The short answer: in the digital marketplace, no.
In reality, the uses of paid media are still relevant. Banners and paid ads are still constantly seen throughout the internet (unless you have AdBlocker). However, the million dollar question is: how effective are these ads? This blog post from HubSpot highlights a few of the negative aspects of banner ads, such as the fact that “The average clickthrough rate of display ads is 0.1% ” and “you are more likely to survive a plane crash than click on a banner “.
The characters of Lost probably never clicked on a banner ad
So, there are no reasons to invest in paid media, right? Not necessarily. Apparently, the incidental exposure rate for digital paid media is much higher than other mediums, and these exposures can have a positive impact on the consumers’ attitudes., even despite the low clickthrough rate.
So, we come back to the original question: Should you invest in paid media? In this day and age, it does not seem as necessary as it once was. In my opinion, it seems as if smaller companies who do not have a larger budget for a variety of media campaigns should focus more on owned/earned media. It is relatively cheaper than paid media, and if done correctly, can drive consumers to your product. As far as larger companies go, a good mix is probably a good option. While paid media isn’t as relevant as it once was, it is still a good thing to have in your portfolio. In the end, created content is what will win over your consumers. If you create something that your target market wants to see, then it will be much more likely that they give you their business.
So, let’s say you are a larger firm and have decided to invest in some paid media. What are your best options? As I mentioned before, banner ads are a very popular choice, but they are not necessarily effective. And with cookies potentially going on the lam, what are your best options? The two that should be highlighted are: Native Advertising and programmatic ad buying.
Native Advertising is an evolution in paid media. Essentially, it is when a company creates content for a website (sponsors it) and it is very similar to the content available on the site’s regular content. To me, this seems like a pretty good idea. It might technically be considered “paid media”, but in the end it is a hybrid of earned and paid media. On one hand, this type of advertising is a really good idea. It is providing the content that users want to see on a medium in which they would normally see it, such as a targeted webiste. On the other hand, however, the advertising can sometimes come off as fairly obvious (especially when you already know that you are looking at an ad). A perfect example that shows off both of these extremes is this video from the website Funny or Die.
The first time I watched this, I already knew that it was sponsored by Under Armor, so for me, the advertising was pretty plain to see. It would be interesting to see what somebody who regularly views the website would say. Another good example of native advertising was Oreo’s Daily Twist campaign, where they posted a photo of an Oreo that represented something important that happened on that day.
If they posted one commemorating the first Oreo, what would it be a picture of?
This is another great example of native advertising. Oreo sponsored this event, and people who saw it genuinely appreciated it. According to this article, the campaign “managed to increase customer engagement 110%, according to the company. Oreo also added nearly 5 million likes during the campaign’s run”. That is a pretty significant increase, as far as posting a picture every day. And the people who wanted to see this were pretty much wanting to look at an advertisement. A very interesting move on part of Oreo.
The last part of this post will be dedicated to programmatic ad buying. My understanding of this is iffy, at best, so bear with me. P.A.B. is when advertisers do a bunch of research and determine what ad to buy, when to buy it, where to put it, and who they want to see it. It operates in a real time bidding way, where at any point in time, an advertiser can buy a spot for an ad, and then place one. It’s a rather complex system. It doesn’t matter when the “ad slot” is cheapest, more on when the optimal audience will see the ad.
If a marketer wants to drive sales for their product, let’s say a higher end camera, they would find out when their target market would be online, and where they would be on the internet. They would then purchase ad time on the specific websites they wanted, and hopefully increase their sales. P.A.B. is a system in which the dollar spent for online ads is spent a bit more wisely. Now, will this system ever spread to another medium, such as TV? Personally, I don’t think so, at least on a large scale. As it was discussed in this article, the best area for P.A.B. on TV is on local channels. This is because national channels have such a wide variety of audiences, it would be too difficult to have a really specific time to target a specific segment. P.A.B. is a really efficient system, and in the end, I think it will replace media buyers. A programmer can just upload an algorithm to their system that determines what to look for, how much money they want to spend, and then let it loose, so to speak. This “Dummy’s Guide to Programmatic Ad Buying” is a really good starting point if you want to try and learn more about it.
See you next post!