The New Landscape of Advertising Media (Updated October 2018)

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As 2018 rolls on, the strategies and power players in advertising media are constantly shifting. As a result, the landscape of advertising media has also evolved. A major shake-up has come in the form of digital marketing’s growing presence in marketers’ advertising mix. Next year will see spending on digital marketing overtake the traditional TV advertising. Marketers should get ready to adapt to the upcoming digital marketing trends and incorporate new forms of promotional content into their strategies.

Below are the key trends that will drive the transformation of the advertising media landscape in 2018:

Influencer Marketing

Influencers will play a big role in the new advertising media landscape.  Influencer marketing is the fastest growing customer acquisition method for digital marketers. This is probably the reason why 37% of marketers have a dedicated budget for influencer marketing. This shows the growing importance of influencer marketing for digital marketers.

In particular, micro-influencers are being tapped by brands for their smaller, more loyal followings. According to a Markerly study, influencers with a follower base of 10,000 to 100,000 have the best combination of loyal followers and reach. However, the same study states that the highest engagement rates are that of micro-influencers with less than 1000 followers.

Influencers are also in a position to use other marketing trends like live streaming on social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. If you expect to use these trends, you’ll ideally have to specify your content format and campaign requirements in your influencer outreach messages.

Often being natural creatives, influencers produce content that feels more organic and trustworthy to their audience. Even the people who try to avoid ads from brands are likely to respond to the influencer they trust. The authenticity of influencers is one of the reasons why they are a part of a driving force that is changing the advertising media landscape.

Cross-Channel Advertising

Cross-channel marketing is changing the way advertising media is used to reach audiences. Whether the potential customers are searching the internet with their smartphone, updating their Facebook status, or sitting in front of the TV, your ads can reach them almost everywhere, across multiple platforms. With sales projected to grow to 2 trillion in 2018, cross-channel marketing is increasingly being used by advertisers to expand their reach.

However, many marketers are not prepared to implement cross-channel integration. In fact, a survey by Econsultancy found that 83% of marketers think their marketing initiatives are still fragmented across touchpoints.  This creates a divide between customer expectations and advertisers marketing initiatives. Single channel shoppers are becoming rare with over 60% of shoppers now utilizing multiple channels to make a purchase.

Companies like Tuft and Needle  are already taking advantage of cross-channel marketing to offer several ways to close the deal. As a customer, you have the option to read off-site reviews, contact the company offline through the phone or receive information from a live chat representative. The model employed by Tuft and Needle is the blended, seamless customer support and shopping environments consumers now prefer.

Nordstrom  takes cross-channel marketing to the next level by providing direct purchase links in their social media posts and integrating a “scan and shop” feature in their mobile app. The “scan and shop” feature (shown below) allows customers to scan images of Nordstrom products from offline channels, such as catalogs and magazines, and go directly to the product page.


Image Source: HubSpot

To meet the demands of consumers, marketers also need to focus on integrating cross-channel marketing with analytics, CRM, and marketing automation. SMS, emails, and social media are all tools for brands to connect with their audience as many shoppers begin seeking personalized experiences. The data collected by cross-channel identifiers during these interactions will be used to provide individualized experiences to customers.

Mobile Marketing

With millions of people using smartphones to purchase and research products, is it no surprise that the advertising media landscape is seeing mobile devices as an important advertising medium. According to eMarketer estimates, the global mobile advertising spend grew 33% YOY in 2017, to reach USD 142.8 billion.

As consumers begin to flock to apps (thereby bypassing the hassles of finding compatible browsers to display a site), advertisers are investing in mobile and in-app advertising. In-app advertising has the advantage of being targeted to a more responsive audience that the app can collect contextual and demographic information from.

The ads that are best suited for mobile will be short, entertaining and non-intrusive. Following are the most popular types of mobile advertisements:

Video Advertisements

Rewarded video ads are a great example of the kind of advertising mobile users respond positively to. They are usually branded, engaging, optional, and quick to watch.

Native Mobile App Advertisements

In addition to video ads, you will likely see native ads continue to be a popular tactic in mobile advertising. These are the ads displayed within an app’s natural flow and thus cause minimum interruption to users.

Gamified Mobile Advertisements

This is a fairly new type of advertisements that mobile marketers are using. These ads allow users to interact with them while watching. For example, Gameloft provides gamified mobile advertising solutions in the form of playable mini-ads, as shown below:


Image Source: Gameloft

Full-Screen Display Ads

These are traditional in-app banner ads that display on a mobile screen. Marketers usually add a call-to-action or a purchase link to make this more interactive. Below is an example from Gameloft’s display ad template:

Gameloft’s Display Ad

Image Source: Gameloft

Native Advertising

Online ads have come a long way from the age of annoying banner ads. Get ready to see native advertising media boom in the coming months. Disguised as editorial content, native advertising media draws better engagement rates. According to MNI, native ads have up to 11 times higher click-through rates than traditional ads.

Native ads fit right in among the natural content of the sites on which they are displayed (though they are typically designated as sponsored). A good example of a native ad is this article on Wired, which is actually a promotion of Netflix’s series “Altered Carbon.”


Image Source: Wired

Live Streaming

One of the biggest changes in the advertising media landscape will be spawned from the adoption of live streaming. Live streaming is particularly popular with two major marketing segments – millennials and GenZ. Live videos events pull together audiences as TV does yet offers much more interactivity. Live streaming is visual and makes viewers feel as though they are engaging directly with the brand and other fans with chats and Q&A sessions. Major brands like BuzzFeed and Kohl’s have already jumped on board with live stream marketing. Below is a screenshot of a live video by BuzzFeed, which gathered 800K live viewers:

Buzzfeed And Kohl’s Facebook

Image Source: Facebook


The advertising media landscape is continually evolving, with savvy marketers experimenting with new and unique advertising formats. If you have any other thoughts on the changing advertising media landscape, please share them in the comments below.

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