Retargeter Blog

Using Rich Media Ads to Boost Engagement and ROI

Retargeting helps brands get their message in front of the right people at the right time. A retargeting campaign that serves well-designed static banner ads to the right audience can be a highly effective digital advertising technique, but if you are using retargeting, (or any other form of display) incorporating rich media ads can help you get more out of your campaign.  Supplementing static banners with rich media formats such as Flash or video opens up new opportunities for engagement, and can increase brand recognition and campaign performance.

Get Creative with Flash

One simple example of rich media is banners with basic Flash capabilities, which could range anywhere from a brief animation to the ability to expand and allow users to interact with the ad unit. Since 2010, the majority of banner ads served around the web have had Flash capabilities.

These rich media ads allow you incorporate moving design elements to enhance the effectiveness of your messaging. For example, if you are marketing for a haunted house event and are retargeting visitors from your graveyard-themed homepage, you could create a graveyard ad with animated zombies to remind users just how spooky your house is.

Expanded Capabilities

For brands looking to bring a more engaging user experience to their advertisements, expandable banners can be an extremely effective form of rich media. At first glance, expandable banners often look just like static ads, but they have hidden, interactive features. When a user hovers over the ad, it expands to a larger size and more features are unlocked. You can include product feeds, surveys, even games within the ad to make it more informative, helpful, or just plain fun.

Nike uses expandable rich media banners to advertise their customizable ID line of sneakers. Ads feature a blank sneaker that users can customize directly within the ad unit. A quick hover over the banner causes it to expand to show a palette of colors that can be applied to the sneaker. A 2011-2012 MediaMind report on ad effectiveness shows that expandable banners average a 0.19% CTR, versus  the 0.10% average CTR that static ads saw over the same period.

Bring More, In Banner

Online video is a highly engaging rich media format and is one of the best ways to get more out of a traditional retargeting campaign. Video ads can be served within traditional banners allowing for seamless incorporation into a retargeting campaign. In-banner video can be displayed within any 300×250 ad unit, with no restrictions—anywhere you can serve a static 300X250 ad, you can also serve in-banner video. The amount of content static banners can deliver is limited by their size, and in-banner video allows for a significantly more comprehensive branding opportunity that cannot be matched by static or Flash banners  Video offers the unique opportunity to deliver video evidence, customer testimonials, or other promotions directly within an ad unit.

Reach Further with Video

In addition to in-banner video, you can also serve standalone rich media ads before (pre-roll) and after (post-roll) videos on platforms like YouTube.

Pre-roll and post-roll video ads are a great way to engage with your audience. If you’re running a standard retargeting campaign, you can serve pre and post-roll ads to your retargeting pool. When someone leaves your site and heads to watch videos on YouTube, you can serve them an ad before their video content begins.

According to comScore, 85% U.S. Internet users watch online video, which means that sites like YouTube and Vimeo are likely a good place to find your audience. Not only do most Internet users watch video online, they watch a lot of video online—U.S. Internet users watched 39 billion online videos in September alone. Of those 39 billion videos, 9.4 billion were ads, with the largest ad networks being Google (YouTube) and BrightRoll.

Furthermore, as MediaMind reports, 55.8% of video ads viewed in 2011 were completed, indicating that engagement with video ads is high and that pre-roll ads offer a great opportunity for reaching your audience. By supplementing your standard banner advertising campaigns with pre and post-roll video, you can ensure that your audience is engaged with your brand wherever they surf online.

Why You Should Try Rich Media

Incorporating rich media into your current display strategy can enhance many of the benefits provided by a static banner campaign. Flash and in-banner video ads help increase brand recognition within traditional display networks. Pre and post-roll video ads can provide an even richer branding experience that can help you get even more from retargeting. Is it time for you to consider rich media for your online ad campaign?

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