Can you believe that digital advertising barely existed twenty years ago? Now, it’s the largest marketing arena in the industry. We’ve grown from Word Art blurbs on Google-predecessor AskJeeves.com, to highly algorithmic, learning advertising integrated into every part of our lives. So what’s the next step in advertising? Let’s take a peek into the future:
Artificial Intelligence in Digital Advertising
We are already experiencing the beginnings of how Artificial Intelligence (AI) can take digital advertising to the next level. Currently, a favorite AI tool for digital marketers is chatbots: bots programmed to answer customer queries and complete background tasks, like CNN’s “choose-your-own-adventure” prompter on Kik or ordering from 1-800-Flowers via Facebook Messenger. Our friends Siri, Alexa, and Cortana are all examples of virtual assistants that adhere to that definition. Using a program called Natural Language Processing, which allows the bot to converse in complete, naturally flowing sentences, these are helpful to your advertising both on the front and back-end of your marketing efforts.
Integrating AI like chatbots into your advertising strategy is essentially setting up a self-advertising tool. By talking directly to your audience in messaging apps, on websites, and on social platforms, AI is combining two of the best advertising strategies: content marketing and word-of-mouth marketing. It shares your content via conversation, learning about your consumer’s needs in order to recommend your business.
And learning is just how Artificial Intelligence will catapult digital advertising into the future. Whether through conversations with bots or through deep data-mining, AI can compile and predict so much information about your target audience. By doing that, it can place and promote your digital ads in the most effective locations and time-slots. For example, if you think about donuts all day and suddenly an ad for Your Favorite Local Donut Shop comes up on your Instagram feed, an AI predicted that digital ad for you – and it can do the same for your business.
Smart Technology for Digital Advertising
It’s not just software like AI that can put your strategy ahead of the game, it’s the hardware, too. Smart technology is the smartest thing to think about in your digital advertising. Whether your consumer is out on the town with their smartphone, lounging on their friend’s couch in front of a smart TV, or cuddled up in their smart house, your digital ads can reach them.
Formatting both your ad optimization and style will have to adapt to the ever-connecting pieces of smartware. For devices like Amazon Echo, Google Nest Hub, and Apple HomeKit, there are two main elements to think about. The first is voice SEO, which allows users to speak into their device to acquire the information they seek as opposed to manually inputting a query into a search box. Some steps you can take to improve your VSO for the modern consumer are writing the way you speak, implementing featured blocks of content for listeners on the go, and focusing on local SEO.
Style-wise, an interesting adaptation could be afoot. As smartware becomes more and more interconnected, the style of your ad should be transferable from device to device. Having a style strategy per-ad in place for voice-only, text-only, small visual, large visual, still-only, and video will be supremely helpful as your audience moves around their digital world. This could even be an important approach to start implementing now, in order to have a more accessible ad experience for visually or audibly-impaired consumers.
Virtual Reality of Digital Advertising
Technology has been infatuated with virtual reality for years, and advertisers are setting their sights on it now, too. Even fictional marketers in television shows like The Bold Type are devising ways to use VR to their advantage. By breaking down the three types of digital reality, you can start planning the final frontier of your digital advertising strategy.
Virtual Reality: places users “in” digital reality, such as Oculus Rifts do. You may remember when the New York Times incentivized VR with Google Cardboard glasses to promote films.
This could be an exciting idea for any business that offers an experience to their customers, such as yoga studios, music events, architecture, and beyond. VR users could go on a test-drive of your business, enticing them to contact you for more.
Augmented Reality: places digital content “into” our reality, such as the Pokémon Go game and ESPN’s live statistical graphics for the NBA.
Perfect for products. Via an app or other software, you could promote vehicles, appliances, floral arrangements, et cetera, right in your customer’s desired environment.
Mixed Reality: combines digital content interacting with live content, such as Snapchat sticker filters and the Synthetic Training Environment in development by the U.S. Army.
This one would work wonders for services. By interacting with your digital content themselves, customers could envision themselves with your beauty services, latte art expertise, wedding dress design, and anything else you specialize in.
The future of digital advertising may seem like sci-fi now, but remember that many of our modern inventions were predicted or inspired by science-fiction. Tablets, cryptocurrency, and the internet were all predicted or inspired by science-fiction novels and even Star Trek. Who knows, we could even see tools like Futurama’s “eyePhone” down the line! For now, be thinking of how you can transform your strategies for the next digital age. To further prepare for the future of digital advertising, contact us!