New Year, New Agency — 5 Trends Driving Advertising in 2019

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No, advertising in 2019 ain’t your grandad’s advertising. From Snapchat to VR to podcasting, the landscape is wildly different than even five years ago. It may seem intimidating to try to keep up with the latest trends in digital and experiential advertising, but you don’t want to get left behind — and you definitely don’t want to turn into the old ad agency shaking your fist and yelling at the “kids” to get off your lawn. Befriend the kids. Because they know what “powered by AI” means, and if you’re nice, they’ll tell you all about it. Moving into 2019, here are five  trends that will move the advertising needle.

1. Video content — especially native video — will continue to expand

Video has always been an important medium for advertising, but especially so in the social media age. Native video currently accounts for 56% of spending for video advertising, and experts estimate native video spend to double within the next year. And it makes sense: Even though social media platforms are free and open to the public, users feel an intimacy and privacy when they are using social media that they don’t want disturbed by advertisements. The ads that work best are the ones that fit seamlessly within a user’s normal scrolling experience.

2. Personalized ads, powered by AI

The challenge of all advertising is knowing how to cut through the noise — especially in today’s world, where potential customers are being inundated with brand messaging everywhere they look. One key strategy is personalization. Personalized advertising would have been inconceivable a decade ago, but with the rise of artificial intelligence, it’s very possible today — and with users 91% more likely to shop with brands that send personalized messages and offers, this feels a bit like a golden goose. Dynamic creative optimization (DCO) uses AI to deliver personalized display ads to viewers, based on real-time user data. Put simply, the technology will help to match the right creative with the right customer at the right time.

3. Mobile will continue its steady growth

It should come as no surprise that mobile is the first and/or primary format wherever more users experience content. (Though it probably would surprise you to learn that the average mobile user scrolls nearly 600 feet through their feed daily, with power users scrolling over 900 feet. Every. Single. Day.) But if you had doubts about mobile’s continued growth in 2019, just look to the folks who have the data: 2018 saw Netflix offering its first mobile-only subscriptions and Instagram launching the vertical video platform IGTV.

4. More in-feed ads

Publishers (aka social media platforms) know that the feed is the most important thing. Their ultimate goal is to keep people scrolling. And the more impressions they can count, the easier it is for them to monetize the content that their advertisers create. So, it’s in their best interest to make it easier for advertisers to create successful ads that get in front of more eyes than ever.

5. AR/VR/MR will offer new ways of creating and experiencing advertising

Augmented reality, virtual reality and mixed reality present what could arguably be the most exciting opportunity for advertisers since the rise of digital advertising. What these formats offer is a completely new way for customers to experience and interact with content from a brand. From something simple like being able to see a 360-degree view of a product before adding it to your cart, or something more complex, like virtually “placing” a couch in your living room to see exactly how it will look in your space to more creative endeavors like short-form storytelling, experiential marketing and gaming content, expect to see a lot of impressive AR, VR and MR content from cutting-edge creative agencies in the coming year.

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