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The final year of this decade is upon us, which brings its own set of challenges for advertising professionals. They will be required to work more innovatively to cater to the millennials and Gen-Z, who now, more than ever, are geared to consume data in a variety of ways. Advertisers will have the added responsibility of establishing more creative strategies to spread the word about products or services. Here are some of the trends that advertisers will have to grasp onto in order to stake their claim among the clutter.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) in advertising

The realm of advertising has been on an unhinging quest for targeted advertising for years. The objective of creating messages that fit the viewer will, therefore, gain in accuracy with the help of AI and machine learning. This will eliminate the guesswork involved in targeted advertising substantially.Advertisers will be able to ensure effective messages for brand positioning with the help of relevant insights about target audiences.

In addition, AI will incur a significant upgrade in terms of programmatic advertising. The technology will ensure that the concept gains momentum; targeting audiences, verticals, and customers with enhanced precision as well as cost-effectiveness.

Content will remain king

Content has been among the few realms of media that hasn’t been swept away despite the revolutionary advancements of the industry. It has however adapted to shift towards the digital platform in the form of blog posts, videos, social media updates, which consumers are expecting from advertisers to seek engagement. Everyone has therefore begun creating and developing content in some form or the other, which requires advertisers to enhance their content development skills and armoury to offer content in these formats.

At the same time, advertisers are expected to distribute the content in the right platforms. For instance, brands are beginning to publish social media stories and posts on Instagram and Facebook on nearly an hourly basis apart from creating content are tailored to their target audiences. This allows consumers to remain engaged for longer periods, and data analytics is at the core of these strategies.

Video first

Video spending is increasingly shifting towards digital which will see increased proliferation; Gen Z will become the single biggest population group in 2019, and an average Gen Z individual watches about 68 videos each day. Video will therefore invariably be a crucial advertising channel in the following years, aided further by the unstoppable growth of social media platforms in particular. Apart from seeking engagement via video, audiences will seek participation in the creation of such content. According to a study conducted by the Guardian, Gen Z is extremely creative and tend to trust themselves over others. Advertisers will hence enable them to creatively engage with a brand. This will increase brand loyalty in a manner unlike any other.

Live videos are another route that advertisers will look towards for harnessing brand engagement. According to Cisco, no less than 13% of video web traffic comes directly from live videos which makes it an attractive prospect as users seek spontaneity and authenticity.

OTT advertising

Advertising will observe an increased shift from television and even social media to an extent, to o-the-top (OTT) platforms such as Netflix, Hotstar, and Amazon Prime among others. The plethora of genres offered by these platforms to engage audiences (of all age groups) is immense providing a wide array of opportunity for advertisers. OTTs offer spaces either pre or post-video for advertising which allows for engaging specific consumer profiles – because audiences themselves choose the programmes – with similar likes, interests, and personalities. This will enhance conversions stupendously. For instance, Masterchef India, an amateur cooking reality series, displays short 10- to 30-second ads of food, household, kitchen, or culinary related brands while sports documentaries may advertise athleisure fashion brands or athletic footwear brands. Meanwhile those audiences who remain unsubscribed on platforms like Hotstar, may receive multiple ads in between programmes as well. The effectiveness of advertising therefore will increase in terms of delivery, audience targeting, and exposure making conversions inevitable.

Voice search

Almost one-third of the 3.5 billion searches conducted on Google everyday comprise voice searches wherein personal assistant devices such as Alexa (Amazon), Siri (Apple), and Google Assistant are leading the way. Their enhanced capabilities to comprehend human speech has enabled people to increasingly use voice search rather than text.

According to Comscore, this trend is expected to only gain in popularity because half of all searches are expected to be voice-search based by 2020. It will become imperious for advertisers to understand that voice searches aren’t aligned with the typical text-based search because the former has fewer tailored SEO strategies. Advertisers that implement voice searches will incur significant CTR, that is, click-through rates or clicks per impression considering that voice recognition technologies are expected to grow even further.

In conclusion

The emerging trends in the advertising industry provide a plethora of opportunities for brands to enhance their brand-consumer engagement. It is imperative that they begin deriving strategies while at the same time updating their technologies to achieve the same. Moulding advertising around these trends in the near future would be wise, but more importantly essential for business development.

Arvind Jain, CEO, NetBiz

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Arvind Jain

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