Are you still doing destination advertising?

Do you continuously run ads that force the userto click through to a destination before you deliver something of value?

Or do you use your rich media as an opportunity to provide users with an experience right in the ad?

Traditional banner advertising — what I’m calling “destination advertising” here — relies on heavily on clicks to send a user to a destination. Clicks have been documented time and time again to be a really poor indicator of engagement. It’s not that people don’t like your brand or product. They just don’t like clicking on ads.

Destination Advertising:

  • Messages must be kept very simple.
  • Ads are ignored ("banner blindness").
  • Value is only delivered to users after clickthrough.
  • Main KPI relates to something most users don’t want to do — Click.

You don't have to market this way. You can turn your destination ads into content distribution ads.

Interactive, content-rich advertising — a method to scale up content distribution into paid media — focuses on providing value to users right in the ad. Value can be delivered through content, like a short article, video, social media feed, so on.

For example, take this Corn Nuts ad that leverages content related to their UFC sponsorship. Even if you don’t read spanish, it’s easy to see how mixed martial arts fans could have a memorable experience while interacting with the ad — which they did quite a bit. The ad had a 22.9% Interaction Rate (6x the industry benchmark). Check out the case study.

Marketers who don’t feel that inbound traffic is providing adequate face time with consumers can use paid media to scale the distribution of that content.

Distribution Advertising:

  • Distribute content at scale with advertising.
  • Create memorable moments and develop user trust.
  • Value is delivered right in the ad unit.
  • Interactive elements allow engagement without leaving the page.
  • Main KPI relates to something users enjoy — learning, entertainment, information.

So when you plan your next ad campaign, ask yourself, “where is the value to the user?” If you have hidden it behind a clickthrough, do so knowing that you’re going to provide that value to a tiny fraction of your ad impressions.

However, if you pull that value forward into the paid media, you have a chance to really make an impact.