Digital advertising spend is now swallowing up traditional advertising and for the first time ever, digital ad-spend surpassed television ad-spend at the end of 2016. With traditional ad revenue expected to stay flat for the next several years, digital ad-spend is seeing double digit growth, with a 20% jump in ad revenues between 2015 and 2016 according to Business Insider. With Google and Facebook at the receiving end of most of the digital revenues, and with augmented and virtual reality set to impact the online advertising world, there are big predictions for digital advertising between now and 2020.

As consumers become savvier (and more annoyed) with online ads, the technology and format of ads are changing to offer a more user-friendly and integrated experience. The future of digital advertising has arrived, and here are some trends we can expect.

Video Ads

It’s well known that video is the preferred format of 2017 and we will see an increase in video ads as we head towards 2020. Video is the medium of choice for online storytelling and engages and hooks an audience quicker than others online formats. Video ads have an average click-thru-rate of 1.84% which is higher than any other ad format, and four times as many customers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it according to Hubspot.

Native Advertising

Native advertising is intended to fit the form and function of a website so advertising content appears seamlessly integrated, and in some cases, does not resemble an ad at all. Consumers are said to engage with native ads 20% to 60% more than standard display ads with increased engagement attributed to the authentic nature of the ads which complement the existing content on the site. Enterprise Innovation believes that native ad spend will increase to $53B by 2020, creating a more user-friendly ad environment for consumers online.

Influencer Marketing

The trend of influencer marketing is set to amplify over the coming years. Influencer marketing is a system where a business or brand uses paid promotion to leverage the social network of a particular influencer or influencers. Currently about 86 percent of marketers use this strategy however investment in influencer marketing is expected to double this year. What makes influencer marketing so powerful is that the promotion of a brand or product is coming from a trusted source. According to Convince and Convert the average business generates $6.50 for every $1.00 spent on influencer marketing.

Ad Targeting Gets Smarter

Currently online advertisements have the capability to target based on demographics, behaviours, interests and shopping patterns. With data mining a huge area of intelligence expansion, the technology for these contextual ads is getting smarter. Over the next few years online ads will not only be able to target users based on their experiences and actions online, but also on more deep-rooted desires and motivations. By targeting user intent, ads will become hyper relevant and increasingly engaging.

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality technology is innovating at a rapid pace. From video ads we will see a shift to AR ads where users will be able to virtually try on jewelry or see what a coffee table looks like in their living room. Google Lens and Apple AR are two pieces of technology that will propel AR ads. Although AR technology is now accessed mainly by early adopters it is expected the number of AR users will increase by 35% a year over the next 5 years.

Mining Visual Data

The ability to view images that prospective clients are posting, sharing and engaging with online is becoming easier. With the enhanced capability of visual data mining, advertising will be able to take these insights and create relevant content for their target market. Tools like MetaEyes are making visual data mining accessible for marketers.

We’ve come a long way from traditional print advertising and even the tacky pop-ups ads of yesterday are beginning to lose their appeal. Mobile-friendly has evolved to mobile-first and the pay to play system for online exposure is now widely accepted. The future of digital advertising will create ads that intuitively understand a consumer’s actions and intent, and offer more relevancy than they have in the past. How can your business stay relevant in the world of online advertising? Let Cloud9 Marketing help you reach customers online using the latest trends and technologies.