Published on: 01 Dec 2020
Reading time: 8 minutes
Google defines rich media ads as the digital advertising format that allows the marketer to use formats beyond texts or images. Rich Media Ads give you the freedom to play with designs. You can use float, expand, and several others that can help your ad stand out from the clutter. You can use any number of formats like images, videos, Tweets, and games, to deliver your message.
Rich media ads offer a more comprehensive form of data collection. They record additional metrics like expansions, video-completions, exits, etc. These ads have a whole set of differentiating factors relative to other ad formats:
Rich media ads can produce better engagement for both brand awareness and lead generation campaigns. That said and done, rich media ads have a multitude of benefits at the creative, ad group, campaign, and agency level of monitoring. Here are a few of them:
The typical ad space available on all display and text ad mediums is limited. If you target high-impression keywords, each view becomes more expensive if the industry landscape is becoming more competitive.
While text ads are the preferable conversion options, display campaigns have been the go-to medium for brand awareness campaigns. YouTube ads are another engaging format, but they turn out to be expensive for most small and medium scale agencies or brands.
Rich media ads offer a middle-ground that can be used to provide more information using the same real-estate space. For instance, multiple elements would make the static banner layout cluttered and reduce your conversions. The other alternative is putting multiple banners across multiple spots and increasing the media spend.
Rich media ads can come in the form of videos, animations, or games. This way, each frame can provide unique information using the same real estate space. Rich media ads are more expensive in production. However, they are more cost-effective than using multiple banners with low engagements.
As per the research data published by AdRoll, rich media ads have 267% higher CTRs than their static banner counterparts. This is an after-effect of the concept of banner-blindness. In 1998, Benway & Lane coined the term. They found that when users seek specific information to complete a task, they would blatantly ignore even the most well-designed and creative banners.
Most of the users looking for particular information are not seeking any distractions. No matter how well you design your static banners, usually, they will underperform because of banner-blindness.
Rich media ads have the capability of delivering a better user experience on the page. They make a user – stop and observe, simply because the user can witness movement on the page. It is natural for your cognitive process to acknowledge movement, especially when you are not expecting it. Rich media ads can be more interactive and inviting for the user. This makes them the source of delivering higher CTRs relative to even the well-designed static banner ads.
Intuitively, it is not difficult to see why rich media ads would provide better engagement than their static banner counterparts. Rich media ads tend to pack more information, are designed to attract & engage the user, and collect data across a wide range of KPIs. When you see it in action in a real campaign, the idea gets cemented – rich media ads do provide more engagement.
Mike's Harder Lemonade was a campaign launched by SapientNitro. Instead of running an over-the-top ad, the agency created a rich-media ad in the form of a famous carnival game. The users who would clear through all the levels were given the title of 'harder' and deemed 'eligible' to consume the product.
The campaign became the winner of Outstanding Achievement in Internet Advertising, conferred by the Web Marketing Association on the agency and the brand. But, much more than that, the campaign could generate 75 seconds of interaction with the ad unit. Even some of the most expensive to run non-skippable ads on YouTube last for only 15-20 seconds.
Thus, rich media ads can generate more engagement when compared to their static banner or video counterparts. At the same time, well-thought-out rich media ads can do so much lower cost than the expensive video ads on YouTube.
The conventional display banner is evaluated based on the industry-used template of metrics: CPC, CPA, CTR, CPM, and Impressions. Most of the analytics around these KPIs benchmark them against demographics, other campaign & ad groups, and product categories. The same data is then used to optimize the banner and, eventually, the campaign.
Google's Campaign Manager can help you with over 51 different metrics for rich media ads.
These include the standard metrics like CPC, CTR, CPM, CPA, Impressions, and some rich media-specific metrics like expansion time, interaction count, and several others. The Campaign Manager also provides data on custom metrics specific only to the rich media categories like counters, custom variable count, exits, and timers.
Rich media ads also give you the freedom to place multiple links. This can further help you segment the audience based on the specific spot of clicking on the rich media ad. This functionality is not available with static banner ads.
Initially, it may seem like you need more resources to translate the additional data into insights. It also means that as rich media ad campaigns are scaled and optimized with varied KPIs, the expected returns will increase.
Conventional thinking dictates that text ads on the SERP are ideal for the lead-generation campaign. Display campaigns are better for brand awareness. They allow you to run contextually targeted campaigns that match your ad property with the content on the page. This works even if the user did not explicitly search for your brand or product offering. Google, too supports this bifurcation for lead generation and brand awareness campaigns. However, Google also mentions rich media ads as a preferable category for lead generation and brand awareness campaigns.
Rich media ads for agencies can serve both of these purposes. Text ads can target the intent directly and provide the precise information a user might be seeking. Display campaigns, especially those using static banners, tend to carry the brand and product's imagery to create brand recall. Rich media ads can do both of these tasks at a price lower than the cost of running two separate campaigns.
Rich media ads can utilize the real-estate space, and the attention span more efficiently. These ads provide critical information such as pricing, specs, and features of the product, along with a strong focus on brand awareness. Harley Davidson used rich media ads on Hulu to create awareness around its Softail models. The ads carried vital information about the products as well as the visual identity of the brand. The campaign resulted in a 9.9% mobile CTR. In context, mobile CTR for the search was around 4.1% and for display was about 0.6% in 2018 for the same market.
Video ads, depending on the creative concept, can be expensive for production. On top of that, 76% of users in a Hootsuite survey stated that they skip the ad when they see an option available. While brands generally pay only when the viewer watches a certain percentage of the ad, there is still an opportunity cost. The brand loses the opportunity to interact with and convert one more viewer.
Besides this, many websites in the Google Display Network are not optimized to run permission-based video ads. When a visitor lands on the website, the video ad automatically starts playing if the page and the ad have not been optimized. Not only does this disrupt the user experience, but it can also result in inflated bounce rates induced by intrusive video ads.
Most rich media ad formats make the user click on, unmute or play the video ad format. Additionally, many ad forms run with rich media ads for agencies tend to engage the user attractively. Hence, there is no room for intrusion or unexpected audio bursts that lead to bounce rates.
This way, rich media ads produced with lesser resources can be optimized and designed for better engagement, higher conversion, and relatively better user-experience.
The cost of producing creatives for the campaign increases as the agency moves from text to rich media to video ad campaigns. Rich media ads provide a great user experience, more efficient use of the attention-span, and serve multiple campaign goals. With Airtory, the cost of producing rich media ads drops dramatically.
Airtory has templates and advanced analytics features of the entire value chain of rich media campaigns – creatives, landing pages, and analytics for campaign optimization. Using over 350+ templates and 80 different layouts on the landing page, the platform can help agencies save over $3,000 per campaign.
Rich media ads made with Airtory use real-time analytics, fraud detection, and retargeting. Real-time analytics help you optimize your campaign at every touchpoint using the broad set of KPIs relevant to rich media ads. Fraud detection ensures your client is shedding each ad dollar only for genuine traffic garnered by active websites. Retargeting helps you generate increased conversions without paying for greater reach. And the sequence ads help you run a cohesive story across all rich media ad properties.
Rich media ads are an efficient medium to deliver better brand awareness and lead generation campaigns across the board. With creative campaigns that use games, interactive videos, and other file formats with strong CTA, you can solve banner blindness and generate higher engagement. While rich media ads are cost-effective against video campaigns, they tend to take more production resources compared to static banner ads. This is the problem solved by Airtory.
Airtory gives you a wide range of templates that can help you produce rich media ad properties without writing even a line of code. With real-time analytics that optimizes your campaign spends, both you and your clients can get incrementally better results using the same ad spends. Explore Airtory's dedicated features for agencies to create a game plan for unlocking value!
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