5 Things That Will Revive Your Stale Advertising Strategy

By Marty Schneck, March 18, 2016

When was the last time you adjusted your advertising strategy? If you can’t remember, it’s probably been too long.

Sticking with what works and being cautious of the latest advertising trend isn’t necessarily a bad thing… in theory. We get it. Trends are like roller coasters: they go up and down, and eventually they crumble apart and are replaced with something shiny and new. But keeping the same old strategy for your ads year after year isn’t going to help you either.

There’s a reason that trends are so hot: they work. But don’t just take our word for it. Check out these five fresh advertising trends that you should test out in your strategy.  

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Interactive Ads

News flash: according to our recent survey, 75% of people who click on your ad do so on accident. Even worse, study after study shows that most people don’t even look at your ads when they’re on the page.

Whatever you’re doing isn’t working. People are simply going to ignore your ad (or worse, accidentally click on it) unless you make them more interactive. Most people are conditioned to look past advertisements. But if you entice them to interact with your ad, they’ll pay more attention.

One of the easiest ways to make an interactive ad is through video. One of my favorites is this Skittles ad below.

Tell me you didn’t place your finger on the screen and get weird looks from everyone around you.

Related Post: 8 Things That Will Dominate Digital Marketing in 2016

Video ads give you the opportunity to really get creative with your ads, making them more personal. But they’re not the only way to interact with your audience. Take a look at this print ad from Motorola, which ran in select copies of WIRED magazine in early 2014.

This ad not only captures your attention, but it’s super memorable. And an ad like this is going to reach beyond its magazine audience. That video has over 1.3 million views on YouTube. That’s over a million more sets of eyes than any other print ad.

Before you just launch an ad campaign, take a minute and consider making your ads more interactive.

Cross-Channel Ad Campaigns

If you’re setting up separate and independent ad campaigns for each platform and medium, then you might be missing out. Some of the most memorable ad campaigns combine mediums and outlets to really deliver a message and capture the customer.

I’m not talking about just combining digital mediums, either. Think outside the box, and integrate both your online and offline marketing campaigns.

A great example of a cross-channel campaign actually comes from a small jewelry business in Philadelphia, PA. Steven Singer Jewelers captured my attention one day with their billboard advertisement, which simply had the phrase “I HATE STEVEN SINGER” followed by the website ihatestevensinger.com. 

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Source: Cultural Rhetoric

Judging from that billboard alone, you’d have no clue that it’s advertising a jeweler. Curiosity got the best of me, and I visited the website, so I could truly find out why that person hated Steven Singer (and who Steven Singer even was).

Related Post: Why Social Media is the New Way to Shop on Mobile

And while I’m not in the market for any jewelry, this ad campaign made Steven Singer one of the most memorable jewelers in my mind.

If you’re running a TV commercial, consider integrating it with other mediums to make a larger impression. One of my favorite examples is T-Mobile’s 2015 Super Bowl ad campaign with Kim Kardashian. You may not love Kim as much as I do (this isn’t the first time I’ve written about her on eZanga), but you have to appreciate this campaign.

First, T-Mobile played a TV ad during the Super Bowl.

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It’s a great commercial in itself, but you can’t just stop there. Especially during the Super Bowl, when you’re competing with dozens of other very memorable ads. T-Mobile later called viewers to visit KimsDataStash.com (site now redirects to T-Mobile.com).

Once on the site, you could give T-Mobile your Twitter handle to receive a special message from Kim Kardashian herself, as well as a selfie from Kim’s “data stash.” Of course I did it, and I soon received the following tweet. 

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This is one of my favorite marketing campaigns period. It got me to view a TV ad, then it convinced me to visit the website (where I watched another video). After that, they gave me a personalized tweet, which I then shared with all my friends. Soon after, a few of them repeated the process.

This T-Mobile campaign shows how powerful multi-channel marketing can be, especially when it’s interactive.

YouTube Influencer Marketing

I’m sure you know about YouTube video advertising. Someone goes to watch a YouTube video, and an ad plays beforehand. Some of which you can skip after a few seconds.

This isn’t that.

YouTube influencer marketing is more like sponsored content or product placement, depending on how you go about it. For an obvious example, check out this video from prominent YouTuber Connor Franta.

Connor had an entire day at an amusement park, sponsored by Coca Cola. This is borderline advertising, because Connor even says he’s “doing another video for Coca Cola.” But you could even say the video is content in itself.

Connor has over 5 million subscribers, and this video alone got over a million views. People watch this video not for the sake of Coca Cola, but because they want to see Connor spend the day at an amusement park. The fact that their idol drinks a few Cokes during the video shows that he almost endorses the brand.

Influencer marketing can be a lot more nuanced than this, though. This is more of a dedicated video for Coca Cola. In this next video, beauty vlogger Zoe Sugg (‘Zoella’) highlights her favorite beauty products.

Zoe is one of the most popular YouTubers, with over 10 million subscribers. She talks about her favorite beauty products once per month, and these videos consistently get over 1 million views.

And surprise -- these kinds of ‘favorite’ or ‘haul’ videos are often full of paid product placements. Zoella’s subscribers trust her word, so by referring to your beauty product as her ‘favorite’ is a pretty hefty endorsement. Having it featured in a video could do wonders for you.

A lot of prominent YouTubers are signed onto agencies, which offer advertising spots in their videos. Big Frame is an example of a YouTube agency, and you can see they offer anything from dedicated videos to endorsements for your brand.

Alternative Ad Networks

You might have heard quite a lot about advertising on Google, Bing, or Yahoo. These are, after all, known as ‘The Big Three’ for a reason. They capture the vast majority of internet traffic, but they can also carry a hefty price tag.

If you don’t know what you’re doing, though, you could have very little luck on those three networks. After all, Google has so many clients that they can’t possibly sit there and hold your hand through the process.

Related Post: 5 of the Best Places to Buy PPC Ads

One thing you should really try is an alternative ad network. These networks act as sort of a middle man between a large variety of advertisers and websites (e.g. blogs, content sites, niche search engines). If you want to advertise your product on a number of relevant blogs, you can go through one or two ad networks instead of contacting each and every blog individually.

A huge benefit of this is the cost. These ad networks are often less expensive than advertising on Google or Bing. Here’s a comparison we had comparing some of eZanga’s costs per click to theirs.  

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But cost isn’t everything. When you advertise on Google or Bing, you’re fishing in a huge pond. These alternative networks allow you to reach a smaller, more niche market that you might not reach as easily with the big guys. These people are more likely to convert after clicking on your ad, too.

Pay per Call Ads

If you tune in to our blog, you know we talk about pay per call advertising a lot. And for good reason! Call ads are very effective, and (in our opinion) not enough people take advantage of them.

Here are some of our favorite stats to prove our point:

  • In a recent eZanga survey, 50% of those age 14-24 reported to be either very or somewhat interested in human interaction after clicking on an ad.

The logic behind these points is simple. It’s easier to sell to somebody when you’re talking to them over the phone, and those who are ready to buy find it easier to do so when they’re talking to a real person (especially for more complicated products and services).

And with the rise of mobile marketing, call advertising is booming. Businesses spend $64.6 billion per year to generate calls for businesses. While calls may be more expensive than clicks, they also tend to bring in a much higher ROI due to their high rate of conversion. 

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How do you best use call ads? Try to target those at the bottom of your sales funnel, your customers ready to purchase a product. These are the people who will be mostly likely to convert after talking to you, and who could benefit most from your conversation.

Also try using a variety of call ads. Click to call is very popular right now because of mobile browsing, but you could also run pay per call TV commercials, warm transfers, or ads on abandoned phone lines. These are all catered to hit that customer waiting to buy.

If you dismissed call ads before, you should probably reconsider. Give them a shot in your next campaign.

Marty Schneck

Marty Schneck

Marty is the former Digital Content Specialist for eZanga and a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied marketing. He thinks he’s a reality show superstar. (We think so, too.) Marty describes himself as a “foodie, beer ethusiast, coffee connoisseur, and Kardashian.” Not necessarily in that order. More Articles by Marty Schneck