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Interactive ads will be the new face of display advertising

“Ad impressions and CTR numbers will become things of the past sooner than you think.”

Call them irritating data guzzlers, but native rich-media ads will play a significant role in reviving display advertising across the internet in 2019.

Display advertising in its traditional form has been shrinking for a long time and has reached a point where all those leaderboards and square box ads have become blind-spots for the users. Meanwhile, native display advertising has been growing steadily, and brands are now considering these for standalone deals, not necessarily part of brand-solutions bouquet deals. Oath, in a recent survey, found that native ads drive greater purchase intent than traditional display ads.

The study examined the reactions of 6,000 consumers across the U.K., France, and Germany to primarily understand the value of native beyond traditional click-through rate measurement. It found that native ads raise brand affinity amongst users, with 26 percent more likely to recommend brands they’ve seen on native ads and 15 percent more likely to consider buying from these brands when compared to traditional display.

Rich-media ads are taking display advertising to the next level with user engagement at its core. Ad impressions and CTR numbers will become things of the past sooner than you think, with metrics like interactions per click, time spent per click, view-through rate, and leads per click coming into view.

Brands that like engaging with users and want more subscriptions on their social platforms are now able to do so through interactive ads on publisher websites. Facebook Messenger bots integrated with ads on publisher websites are driving engagement on brand-owned pages. Through these native ads, brands can interact with their buyers directly and carry the conversations further on their own social media pages, or can even design a communication flow that helps the users firm up their minds for a purchase and subsequently lead them to a transaction page.

These innovations not only drive quality engagement for the advertisers — they also mean better monetization for publishers.

Faster data connections, adoption of ad-blockers for traditional ads, and blurred distinction between mobile and desktop innovations will make these ads acceptable and the new normal quicker than we think.  A lot of publishers strong on brand solutions have discarded tradition display advertising from their platforms already. This trend is likely to pick up. On the content side, web publishers that thrive on innovation are already going beyond traditional ad pitches. Ads are going through detailed storyboarding, keeping user journey natural and intent driven. All of this is supposed to empower impact advertising over the internet, with better value for both the brands and the publishers.

Zenith forecasts that global advertising expenditure will increase to $75 billion by 2021, with the largest share allocated toward internet display ads. Rising advertisers’ interest in mobile advertising and better budget allocation for digital will push these innovations in 2019.

Tushar Banerjee is head of product at The Quint.

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