Nikhil Sharda, EVP- Creative & Digital Communication, Scroll Mantra

Nikhil Sharda has proficiency in creative as well as digital communication and holds 17 years of experience in the industry. During his career, he has worked with companies like Frog Ideas and AdGlobal 360. During his stint there he headed campaigns for brands like Conviva, Jim Beam, Maruti Suzuki, Rajasthan Tourism, Twitter India, BSB Edge, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, and European Union amongst others. His expertise lies in driving exceptional results for his clients.

 

The incessant rise in the popularity of digital media and the emergence of technologies to channel it has induced various changes across the ad-tech industry. Multiple innovations in the ad-tech world have transferred the focus from traditional advertising to digital advertising, with traditional models working with digital and are rarely exclusive of each other. With the recent pandemic altering our lives into a virtual world, digital advertising has become a keystone for brands to become a part of the conversation in the online space, where an ad does not pose as something to be ‘skipped’ but watched, appreciated, and even critically reviewed.

Let’s Understand it Digital Advertising

Advertisements appearing while scrolling our favourite social media do catch our attention sooner or later. Not just that, some of the items in our closets are the result of these recurring and fascinating advertisements. However, even being converted from a potential customer to an actual customer, few of us know that this conversion is because our intent forms a part of the statistics that digital agencies are constantly “listening” to. And that’s the point where advertisers’ mission gets fulfilled as it aims to increase and attract its customers through its strategy. So, understanding Digital advertising is not a herculean task. It’s a targeted, data-driven strategy for reaching consumers in every stage of the buying funnel and moving them from the phase of awareness to the purchase, guiding and convincing them at every step, often working at a very granular “micro-moment” level.

A shift in Media Consumption by Audience

Media today works at a hyper-local level. Ads are not created to target large groups of people, rather multiple ads sets are created for multiple audience personas and behaviours, not just limited to “interest” levels. Ads now are personalized, appearing at the exact moment when we see related content, often “following’ you till you make the decision. Ads are no longer a stand-alone communication but have become a part of the conversation, part of the popular culture, and is ‘served’ just at the right time in our multi-course content consumption.

Advantages of Digital Advertising

Digital advertising is the most effective investment that gives you measurable results. Or even shares indications, through data, if the ads are not ‘performing’ well. Helping in increasing marketing skills to all-size business plans is the proven result of digital marketing. Let’s look at the numerous advantages that digital advertising holds for brands.

Huge Audience

To have an effective customer is a must for the growth of a business. And, digital advertising helps one in doing so. The strategy of the process is to target a specific group that helps in concentrated engagement, thereby, increasing the luring effect. The audience can be reached through various social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and others. And the number of audiences on these platforms is enough to justify its reach.

Cost-Efficient

Advertising through digital media is comparatively cheaper than traditional broadcasting media. Brands have a variety of ads that offer different payment options. The budget for social media ads is entirely flexible. The ads campaigns like Pay-per-click, Facebook ads, etc., cost brands a minimal charge. The PPC ads are paid according to the number of clicks on the ads, whereas the Facebook ads already have a pre-decided budget. Hence, making the process affordable for all-budget customers.

Pick your desired Audience

Practically, no other media provides an option to choose the audiences specifically to so many parameters. On the contrary, Digital Marketing enables the brands to pick the desired audience, giving them plenty of opportunities to narrow down the audience to choose from. For example, when an advertising agency vouches for social media ads, they can choose their audience from a parameter as narrow as the behavioural aspect. These precise options enable the advertiser to spend money only on the audience he sees potential in.

Track the Performance

Advertising through Digital Marketing makes it very easy to track the results of the campaign. By deploying specific digital tools, the advertisers can keep track of the ad campaign’s performance or any advertisement at any particular moment. Being measurable at an instant creates scope for improvement in the existing campaign. In addition, the advertiser can analyze the results in short intervals and then edit them to make it a major hit in the digital world.

Dangers of New Media Advertising

Though the new age of digital advertising benefits the brands in numerous ways, the challenges present are still making effective digital ad campaigns more complicated than traditional advertising. The free access to all has put the digital players in a challenging situation to strategize their campaign in a safer, secure, and authentic way to prevent the audiences from falling for unauthorized advertisers. At the same time, the presence of numerous competitors of a single brand has become a significant task for the digital players to design a unique campaign that stands out in the eye of the customer. Furthermore, the number of users who could go online has slowed down, but at the same time, brands adapting digital advertising is pacing; this has led to a challenging situation where the amount/number of contents has become more than the actual number of audiences. So, to combat the same, the advertisers are trying to inculcate the proverb ‘less is more’ in their advertising strategies and should start focusing on quality rather than quantity.

The Future of Advertising in the Digital Age

The future of advertising is certainly going to be dominated mainly by digital tools and techniques. Artificial intelligence, machine learning, Influencer marketing, and video commerce will further evolve and push the industry to reinvent the customer experience. We expect a bigger and better customer experience, through AI, Holograms, and the in-virtual world. We expect ads that are merely passive now, to warrant customer participation and involvement. And the matrix to not just be a work of fiction.

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