Rethinking Digital Advertising: 5 Outdated Trends You Should Avoid

From the late 1970s to the year 2015, the online world has seen many digital advertising techniques that stayed a few years and fizzled out soon after – these included electronic direct mailers, banner ads, pop-up ads, pop-under ads and lastly, pay-per-click ads. At a time when strategies ebb away before we know it, it’s important that online advertising budgets be allocated wisely.

We give you five out-dated advertising strategies and the reasons why you should stay away from them:

1. Creating mob content

Content for everybody – that pretty much sums up what mob content is. Run a search on Google and you see it. Scroll through your social feeds and you see it there too. Mob content is generalised content that a company creates which does not reach out to any one particular target audience In doing so, a company risks losing the interest of its readers. The only way for a company to stand out is by creating content that caters to the needs of its target audience.

2. Using out-dated platforms

Some platforms that were all the rage in the past have become irrelevant today because they cannot meet the needs of customers. Platforms like Friendster, MySpace, Xanga, del.icio.us, and Digg were once very popular, but have now lost their glory. It is important to be on platforms that are trending now. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat, are some of the most popular websites to promote brands. A good strategy lies in being on social platforms that enable you to advertise your brand effectively while offering maximum exposure.

3. Linking URLs that land customers on the homepage

Traditionally, clicking on an advertising URL landed the customer on a brand’s homepage. The visitor had to navigate through the entire site to reach the product-page. People nowadays do not have the patience to navigate through your website upon landing on your homepage. They expect to be taken directly to the page they are interested in. Deep link your URLs to specific web-spaces so that the visitor lands on the product/service page directly, and not on the homepage of your website.  This way, customers need fewer clicks to check out their product.

4. Email bombing

Sending out mass emails will only land you in the spam folder. Companies need to categorise their audience into different demographic groups and send email campaigns to each with customised content (textual, audio and visual) that caters to that specific demography. Connecting on a personal level with customers will forge and sustain the latter’s interest in the brand. This will allow you to reach your customers and not end up in the spam folder.

5. Utilizing banner ads

Consumers today have developed what is called “banner blindness”. They ignore the banner ads, evident from the mere 0.06% click through rate that banner ads have received over the years.  Instead, produce authoritative content to inform the visitor of the product’s usefulness in their life, than to simply bait them with offers. Due to the intrusive nature of banner ads and the effect this has on people’s web experience, brands today cannot rely on this obsolete advertising avenue.

 

A look at the history of advertising shows a distinct pattern – every advertising strategy meets its expiry – there is no perfect advertising method, be it banner ads, push notifications, or pay-per-click ads. Every innovation gains popularity in the beginning, until it reaches a peak, where consumers only see them as distractions. This signals the point where companies need to start exploring new ways of advertising their products and services. When companies continue to follow obsolete forms of advertising, not only do they lose money, but also risk damaging their reputation and lose their existing customer base.

Current trends in digital advertising indicate that social media is an effective advertising platform. However, whether you invest in ads on social media platforms or other online ads like Google Search ads, it is crucial to keep an eye out for every minute detail. One must remember to not only have targeted content, but also content that provides value to customers. Remember to track your ad campaign to understand your return on investment and accurately gauge its effectiveness. The success of your digital advertising strategy lies in keeping with the times, and exploring the up and coming avenues to connect with your audience, while adding value to their lives and not treating them as a mere statistic.