Here at Hopkins Communications we are really enthusiastic about the myriad of opportunities in the realm of online marketing.  Recently one of our online suppliers brought us through some exciting new online advertising formats which we are excited to share! There are a number of “rising star” formats that are growing in prominence, providing a rich canvass for brands to interact with online audiences in innovative and compelling ways.

But first, here are some facts about the current status of online marketing in Ireland:

  • Online advertising spend in Ireland totalled an estimated €158M in 2012
  • Online ad spend up 12.3% from €132m in 2011
  • 78% of Irish internet users recognise that ads on Association of Online Publishers (AOP) Ireland sites are relevant to them in contrast to only 11% who think that ads on International sites are aimed at them, despite geo-targeting.
  • Irish internet users also have a higher level of recall of ads displayed on Irish premium content sites. 72% of users recall online ads on AOP Ireland sites, compared to 52% on international sites

Given the current climate for digital marketing and advertising, it’s no wonder that Irish companies have begun to invest in next-generation ad formats, like the examples listed below:

  • The Pushdown : Located at the top of the web page, this format first appears as a narrow banner ad, but after a few seconds the supersize flash expands, “pushing down” the rest of the page.  The Pushdown provides rich functionality and an intuitive toolbar.
  • The Filmstrip: This 300×3000 canvas is found at the side of a webpage, viewed through a 300×600 window, and is controlled solely by the viewer. It comprises of five mini-ads which the viewer is free to follow in sequence. The genius of The Filmstrip is in how it mimics the marketing theory of the “Purchase Funnel”; each ad represents a separate stage in the filtering out of potential customers from the mass audience, from Brand Awareness and Interest through to Desire and Intent, and finally Loyalty.
  • The Sidekick: A unique new ad format comprised of two stages, The Sidekick provides a large canvass which can accommodate for many creative uses, leaving page content unaffected as well as keeping the viewer in control. In the first stage, the viewer notices the CTA (Call to Action) graphic located in the MPU (Multi-Placement Unit). In the second stage, the viewer clicks on the CTA, the flash expands, and the page content is “kicked” leftward to the side. A major benefit of The Sidekick is in how it allows for impactful use of video.

Our attention was also drawn to the fascinating advertising potential of Skype, a madly popular software application which allows users to communicate by voice, video and instant messaging. Worldwide, Skype users make 1.8 billion hours of video calls a year, and here in Ireland, one out of every three internet users has a Skype account, with 700,000 unique visitors in Ireland. Skype has a year-on-year growth of 25% in Ireland, and it doesn’t look likely to slow down any time soon.

A Skype call is an ideal place to situate an advertisement  – users are already engaged, and there are a range of creative  advertising formats unique to the Skype interface, such as “expandable home page takeovers”. With this format, the brand’s content is the first sight upon launch when users return to Skype throughout the day. The high impact formula is a great way to create a “buzz”, since the brand appears within a context where users are already communicating and engaging with peers, either in a personal or business space.

If you are interested in taking your online marketing to the next level make sure to give the Hopkins Communications team a call on 0214272200

Glossary of terms:

Geo-targeting – In online marketing, a method of determining the geolocation of a website visitor and delivering different content to that visitor based on his or her location, using his or her IP or ISP address, or using information voluntarily submitted, such as Facebook “check-ins”.

Premium content sites – Websites which host content, usually regarded as of a reasonably good quality, for a fee.

Call To Action (CTA) – a banner, button, or some type of graphic or text on a website meant to prompt a user to click it and continue down a conversion funnel.

Multi-Placement Unit –  A square online advert usually found embedded in a web page in a fixed placement. Called ‘multiple purpose’ as it is a flexible shaped blank ‘canvas’ in which you can serve flat or more interactive content as desired.

Adobe Flash – is a multimedia and software platform used for authoring of vector graphics,animation, games and rich Internet applications that can be viewed, played and executed in Adobe Flash Player. Flash is frequently used to add streamed video or audio players, advertisement and interactive multimedia content to web pages.