In-image ads were very popular 3-4 years ago and we still use them today. This is very interesting, in a fast paced and changing ad-tech world one would expect advertisers and publishers to decrease the use of them. Surprisingly these ads are still high paying and high performing. As I mentioned in my previous article about Rich media, digital marketing strategist are always looking to find new ways to attract “buyers”. The old ways are not performing as well and they need new sexy ways to sell their products.
One would think that by now people would be tired of these ads. One would think that due tothe slightly negative user experience these ads provide, publishers would discontinue the use of them. But what can I say, bottom line, in-image ads are still rocking it!
What was so good (and still is) with in-images ads that still makes them perform very well?
Looking back 3 years ago, I found an article explaining why photos (visual content) are working so well. Om Malik says:
“We are built to process visual data. When we walk into a room, we look around and almost instantaneously make a careful assessment about our surroundings (for example, we notice who’s sitting where). With text, though, we have to read, internalize and contextualize. That’s three steps; but visual elements only require one. The reason Pinterest has taken off is that images are so much easier and faster to navigate. That’s why the web is increasingly becoming visual.”
This trend has gotten to the point of a visual content overload. The internet might have started as text based but today that has changed significantly. We can clearly see that in 2017 the fastest-growing social platforms – Instagram and Snapchat– are all image based. Every day two billion images are shared across the Internet.
Naturally publishers started opening/changing sites to be image based, this is what the people wanted. They had to find new ways to keep the users coming to their sites. Digital marketers, on the other hand, were always looking for ways to make a better impact of their ads. They want to reach users and know that the regular banners are over looked by them. This is due, partially, to the changing user’s focus point towards visual content (photos).
One negative aspect of the in-image ads is the user’s experience. when you have an image based site and you have an ad on every image, it won’t work. Users will not return to the site, it will be just like having too many banners on the site. But the difference is that you cannot ignore them. There must be a fine balance between the number of images and in-image ads.
How does programmatic ad serving fit in?
As I mentioned before, this is a fast-paced world, in-image ad providers are constantly advancing and adapting to changes in the ad-tech world. One of the best features of in-image ads is the fact that they know how to serve contextually relevant ads. This is done by reading its tags and the surrounding content on the website. However, not only in-image ads are able to determine what kind of ads to serve in the image, they are able to do so using advanced programmatic ad serving technologies.
To summarize: I guess you could say A picture is worth a thousand words dollars!