7 Ways to Increase Ad Engagement

In this blog, we write a lot about sustaining engagement with your customers. Our advice has covered why your website needs to be more mobile-ready, optimizing content for contextual marketing, and streamlining the shopping experience between ecommerce and brick-and-mortar stores. It might feel like there’s always a new marketing strategy to perfect, but there’s also room for growth when it comes to updating older staples like advertising.

Online advertising has changed quite a bit over the years. While flashing display ads are no longer en vogue, advertising still plays a big role in customer acquisition. Advertising impressions can help make a positive impact on how existing customers relate to your brand.

So how do you increase engagement with your ads? Here are 7 tips for updating your advertising in 2015:

1. Give viewers multiple ways to engage

If your ad contains just one link to your landing page, you’re missing engagement opportunities. If the primary link goes to your landing page, add a second link where a viewer can print a coupon or request a free sample. Then, depending on the size and complexity of your ad, consider a third link to sign up for your newsletter or to follow you on social media.

2. Go native

A native ad is one that blends in with the format of the page it’s on. For a news site, it might include your logo on the page of a story, with the word “sponsored” in the corner. On search results pages, native ads are shown in the form of “related ads” at the top of the page. The numbers are promising:

  • Viewers engage native ads 53 percent more than banner ads.
  • Thirty-two percent of viewers said they would share a native ad vs. 19 percent for banner ads.
  • Purchase intent for native ads is 53 percent higher than for other types of advertising.

3. Make it contextually relevant

Not only do consumers expect ads to be personal, they also expect them to be contextually relevant. For example, advertising sweaters for chilly summer evenings will have no relevance to viewers in parts of the country where nighttime temperatures haven’t dipped below 80 in weeks, no matter how many similar sweaters those viewers purchased in the past. In this example, by adding current weather information to the data you already have on your customers, you could make your ads relevant to the who, what, when, and where of the user.

4. Make it interactive

Interactive media is, by definition, engaging. Viewers gravitate toward brands that make them feel heard. Increase ad engagement by incorporating quizzes, gamification, calculators, assessment tools, or contests. Users especially enjoy when companies respond with personalized content based on user input.

5. Make it easy

Make it easy for viewers to engage with your ad. Don’t make them open a new window and click through layers of links, page after page. Make it easy for them to do whatever form of engagement you want them to take without leaving the web page they’re on. The interaction should also have a clear purpose; don’t use interactivity just to check it off your list.

6. Go where your target customers are

As with many other of these tips, this one comes down to understanding your customers through data. Analyze what kind of customer personas interact on which channels and adjust your advertising accordingly. Approaches that knock it out of the park on Facebook may flop on Twitter. The key is to know two things: where your customers are, and the approach that works best on that platform.

7. Just ask

The numbers prove that asking for engagement works. Tweets that specifically ask users to download something have 13 percent higher click-through rates. Promoted tweets that explicitly ask users to retweet increase retweets by 311 percent. Interestingly, spelling out “retweet” performed better than “RT,” as did including the call to action at the beginning of the tweet rather than at the end.

The key to all of these tips creating a personalized marketing experience through understanding customer data. When used correctly, customer data can help businesses predict trends and target new markets, and it’s especially valuable for customer retention. You’re probably already using customer data in your marketing efforts, but leveraging customer data applies when creating relevant advertising too.