By Louise Marsland
The multi-media convergence of content online is producing new opportunities for advertising online and additional measurement options for publishers of content online. The future is clear: the internet is a growth medium globally for advertisers and once South Africa has proper high-speed broadband internet access, web access will explode locally. Will your brand be ready?
Speaking at the Online Publishers Association of South Africa seminar yesterday, Wednesday 26 September 2007, OPA chair and GM of the Mail & Guardian Online, Matthew Buckland, said with the future going digital, no brand could afford not to have an online advertising strategy.
While South African online publishers are still, frustratingly, having to educate clients and agencies alike about the power of the interactivity of online as a medium...they are, however, still implementing and investigating new technologies and applications to provide readers and advertisers with the best multi-medium and multi-platform options.
Buckland's future trends:
- Multimedia ads: convergence of TV and online advertising.
- Broadband: bigger ads, more creative rich media ads. Buckland doesn't believe the ad industry has been very creative online to date.
- Profiling of users: behavioral targeted advertising.
- More targeted advertising: less wastage, higher click through rates.
- New types of content: advertising on UGC and niche audiences
- Increasing home use: as broadband takes hold.
- Globalisation: advertising local and international (ie, Facebook).
Many content platforms: cellphones, Playstations, Internet-enabled fridges! "Content is being delivered to all Internet-enabled devices. Even the most sophisticated Internet fridge with a panel delivers advertising and you can download recipes; it will in the future be impossible to come across a digital device not connected to the Internet,"Buckland explained.
NVDL: Buckland goes on to posit the importance of TIME on site. Time spent online is key; we need to move away from measurement metrics of numbers to volume of activity.* Think of it as someone surfing through the channels of SABC or DSTV. How much time do they spend watching specific content from one service/content provider to the next? What are they watching the most? It’s important to differentiate online between the idea of a reader and viewer.
In order to measure reach and exposure of online advertising, measurement needs to delve deeper as different website visitors have different levels of activity, interest and engagement with your content and advertising*.