Paid media grew up in 2014. The maturation process will continue in the New Year with new demands from advertisers, agencies, and publishers. From ad fraud and Viewability to mobile and native ads, these are the trends to keep an eye on in 2015.
Programmatic & Real-Time Bidding – Programmatic ad buys including rich media, social, TV and video saw incredible growth in 2014.As more publishers and advertisers sign up with DSP’s (Demand Side Platforms), advanced attribution and metrics such as Viewability will take a higher importance in reporting in 2015. Programmatic and RTB provide a tool where the purchasing process is more efficient, so software providers will become more flexible to serve and gain new clients. RTB for TV ad spots will align more closely with the standard process.
Mobile continues ascent – Search engines will feature more mobile specific options due to heavy use. Advertisers have projected 64 billion in sales for mobile ads in 2015, 60 percent more than 2014. With more mobile devices in the world than last year, more content development will be analyzed through the lens of mobile UX. Mobile device use will continue to grow globally, raising the importance of PPC and SEO mobile targeting.
Ecommerce and Product Listing ads - Amazon beat Google on product search volume. Leveraging search partners and display networks, Google will continue to roll out Shopping Express and other shopping initiatives to capture more market share. PLA often trump text ads in ranking and also user clicks. Watch for Google to leverage this demand and E-commerce advertisers adapt to drive sales growth.
Native ads – Sponsored content posts have blurred the line between ads and journalism. Native ads were a buzzword in 2014, but the trend will sober in 2015. These ads inhibit the user experience when it’s revealed to the user that the article they are reading is not real journalism. Spend on Native will continue to be strong and effective to a certain extent, but those that abuse this tactic will not see the returns they expect.
Video Ads. - With more investment moving to digital, more brands will tell their stories through video. As traditional advertisers move into digital, video will be the primary medium to capture attention. Whether it’s a 7 second clip or a full movie spot, brands will leverage video ads in more creative ways. Personalized and local video will contribute to the high revenue predictions in video.
Google local results to become paid, targeted spots – Users continue to value local search results that appear at the top of the SERP, driving the value of ownership up. In 2015, we will see Google offer an option to local SMB’s through PPC targeting.
Yahoo/Bing increase search share based on BrightRoll (programmatic) acquisition - Building on momentum from 2014, video will be a huge component to programmatic ad exchanges, which is where BrightRoll has competitive strength. BrightRoll publisher relationships will be critical to ad spend increasing for new advertisers signing up with the platform.
Paying for spammy, inaccurate bot clicks (click fraud) decreases – Measurement metrics lean towards transparency in 2015.Advertisers want to know more than just impressions or length of a watched video. PPC ad platforms will develop options for paying for ads based on viewability or other metrics.
Targeting based on consumer audience rather than keywords – Advertisers will shift a focus to increasing conversions rather than paying for top spots. With that progression, ad platforms will place a higher emphasis on targeting consumers who are more likely to convert: those that search and read about your type of product regularly. There will be a drastic change at some point for Google and Bing where they limit and require campaigns to have a balance for affinity targeting and keywords. Conversion tracking will take on more sophistication with improvements from Google Tag Manager and Bing Ads Universal Event Tracking.
New Creative – The last few years have seen a lot of attention on automation tools, mobile growth, audience segmenting etc. 2015 will see a return to a focus on creating great messages to our audiences. A well-designed creative will go far for any campaign.