The Surprising Way to Wow Your Audience in One Second

It used to be perfectly fine to pop your static ad on the page, then watch the stats rack up. There was a time when people would read anything you put in front of them. For anyone involved in advertising or marketing, those were great days.

What happened? The internet got more crowded, and people’s tastes became more specific and fragmented, Google got better, through its improved algorithms, at flushing out troublesome ads, and the whole thing became an exercise in getting people’s attention back to your page.

When you add in the threat to businesses of the adblocker, which is already having an effect on the business model of online media, forcing publications of all sizes to close, and driving advertisers to despair. That’s not even to mention Google Chrome’s adblocking of ‘heavy’ ads, intensifying the nightmare for marketers.

In this atmosphere, if you have something you want people to know about, you have one of two options: retreat, and stop advertising, or produce the kind of ads that people want to see.

Below are a few factors to explain why interactive ads, including some rich media ads, make a real difference in the battle for people’s attention.

They’re Much Better Than They Used To Be

Woman using an iPad

Photo: Anna Demianenko, Unsplash

The first step to understanding a problem is to acknowledge it, so here goes: interactive ads, on the whole, used to suck. Rather than generating actual engagement, they would get clicks, prods, and swipes from users desperate to get rid of them and get to the story they were trying to read, or the video they were trying to watch.

That was because in the early days of interactive ads, the technology needed in order to make them work was primitive. Quite often they would use large video files that took an age to load, or they would have some sort of “viral” game that wasn’t.

Modern interactive ads, such as the ones you can make with templates in Nexd Campaign Manager, are made with compressed files which retain the delicacy and clarity of the original images. They’re underpinned with the care and understanding that comes from knowing that they’re invading someone’s space, and so they’ve got to be good, first-time.

You’ve Got One Second to Boost Engagement

You have one second. That’s the time in which a desktop or mobile user will decide if an ad speaks to them or not. It’s not a conscious decision, it’s based on impulses. To get on the good side of consumers’ subconscious minds, you need an ad with instant impact. Remember that while your ad has to appeal to the mind of the consumer, it’s the heart it will reach first of all. This means finding new ways to cut through the noise of modern life, to bring a little bit of joy with your ad.

An interactive ad doesn’t guarantee impact or engagement. The elements which can be part of it are tools you can use to generate the positive reaction you’re looking for. If you find an impactful moving image, or if you give users an intriguing way of customising a photo, for example, this might pique their interest enough to get them past that one second, and into a mindset where you can start thinking about conversions.

Even in a time when improved technology means that it’s much easier to build a great-looking online ad, there are still some old-school principles that matter. For example, you still need to test your ad. If you want to A/B test (try two versions of an ad with one key difference, to see which one elicits the best reaction), you can do that with ease nowadays.

Interactive Ads Show, Rather than Tell

Finger pressing an option on a tablet screen

Photo: Timothy Muza, Unsplash

It’s often hard to get a true idea of how a product would look or operate in the real world from a static ad. This means that it’s often left to the brand to tell potential customers why they should take notice of a product, rather than showing.

In filmmaking it is said that the first rule is to show rather than tell. That’s equally true in advertising. If people can see the makeup subtly changing on the subject’s face as they scroll through a carousel of colour options, that’s a picture that speaks a thousand words. The more we show rather than tell, the more we give our audience the space to fall in love with our products.

If you’re using an interactive ad to drive engagement, you can provide a website for the user to click through to, which will display the key details they need to know. If your product is a car, put the data you legally must display on the ad, but then put the rest on the car’s page on the website. This reduces clutter and means you can focus on getting a captivating visual for your campaign.

Interactive Ads Encourage 2-Way Communication

How does it feel when someone tells you how they feel, with no interest in your thoughts on the matter? It’s a bit suffocating, isn’t it? Like your opinion isn’t valued. Everyone’s opinion should be valued, and everyone should be listened-to.

Obviously it’s down to the advertiser to make the ad, but we’ve worked over a long period of time on ads that not only speak to people, but also elicit a response. The tools are available to people who want to use them. The world has changed, and so too ads have to change.

What does this mean in practice?

It means giving consumers an insight into the product, and why they should engage with it. Got a new wristwatch that you’re marketing? How about letting people see it from all angles? Got a new clothing line? Show how it looks on a model, in a variety of cuts or sizes. It’s all possible, without needing to code, and there are ways to make your imagination a reality.

The big tip we would give you is to keep things relatively simple, adding movement to your ad in a way that is refreshing, and which does not bewilder the end-user. If you have a range of sneakers, for example, there’s no need to only feature one style of shoe per ad. Using, perhaps, our 3D Cube layout, you can give sporty users the chance to swipe through a selection of different items. This vastly increases the chance that they will answer your call to action and buy something.

Give Interactive Ads a Try!

Hopefully this is enough encouragement to make your campaign a little more exciting, and to go interactive with your upcoming ad.

If you still need convincing to take the plunge, or if you want to know more about us and what we do, you can set up a demo or a call with one of our support team, who will guide you through all the ways you can build an outstanding campaign with Nexd tools.

Find out more about the state of advertising right now