Editor's Note: The following is a guest post from Guy Atzmon, senior vice president of creative and industry solutions at SundaySky.
As we move further into a new year, many marketers are focused on the same goal for 2018: digital advertising that grabs the attention of consumers in the fast-paced landscape of social media and mobile technology. When done successfully, digital advertising results in many positive outcomes such as conversions, ROI and return on ad spend (ROAS). However, a poor execution of ad content can sink months' worth of effort and negatively affect a brand's bottom line for even longer.
A swipe of the finger is all it takes for consumers to zip through their vertical feeds on apps like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. On average, the decision to swipe or stay on a digital asset occurs in three seconds (and that's being generous). Three seconds isn't much time to deliver content that will get a prospective customer to stop swiping and start reading or watching what's on their screen.
The new norms of digital video require brands to create innovative storytelling that stands out from the clutter. Unfortunately, many companies find themselves in a rut of how to proceed, and they wind up importing habits from traditional ad mediums that don't translate in the social and mobile-driven environment of today.
As marketers evaluate what they should stop, start and continue doing in the months ahead, it's time to end these six bad habits:
1.) Don't recycle
It's not in an advertiser's best interests to take assets designed for broadcast television and repurpose them on social media, ad nauseam. Embrace mobile devices as the gateway to unique storytelling and production requirements. While the new vertical video world may seem inhibiting, in fact, it's liberating. Why not split the screen, using the top half for footage and the bottom half for a graphic overlay? Maybe your company can use on-screen text to convey brand messaging, instead of using text as closed captioning. Use ad space in a more dynamic fashion than your brand has done in other formats.
2.) Don't get stuck
Vary the frequency and tone of your brand's videos. Find inspiration from other content on social media, such as listicles or do-it-yourself clips, that have a more editorial or informational approach. The creativity will be appreciated by your company's audiences and incentivize a meaningful call to action.
3.) Don't fret over technical difficulties
No sound? No problem. Alfred Hitchcock once said that audiences should be able to understand the plot of a movie with the sound off. The same holds true for video advertising. As long as a consumer sees words and moving images that are thoughtfully selected, they'll get the picture and understand your brand's message.
4.) Don't ignore the customer
Know where each person is in the customer lifecycle, so your marketing team can personalize content accordingly. If you have an East Coast customer ready to invest in high-end snow boots ahead of the next blizzard, apparel companies would be wise to tailor personalized marketing to that customer's need for warmth and waterproof gear. By the same token, someone who just bought a car from an automotive company should not receive an ad from that brand encouraging the purchase of a car. Recognize and deliver the right message for a consumer at the right point in time and target audiences with content specifically relevant to them.
5.) Don't fall in love with vanity numbers
Video engagement statistics are not the be-all, end-all. Ascribe conversions and financial return as the measurement of video views. Even if a consumer watches a few seconds of a 15-second ad, she or he may still take the desired action without viewing it in its entirety.
6.) Don't go to extremes
Messaging and entertainment operate at polar ends of the digital ad spectrum. If your content goes too far in one direction, you neglect the other. Strike a balance between providing an enjoyable experience for the consumer and staying on brand.
These are some of the biggest pitfalls to watch out for with your brand's digital video advertising. To convince audiences to stay instead of swipe in 2018, marketers must adhere to higher creative and personalization standards for digital content.