Rich Media (© everythingpossible / Fotolia.com)
In marketing, rich media is a term that is used to describe ads that incorporate more advanced features, such as audio or video. Rich media ads are intended to increase the interaction and engagement viewers make with the content the ads present. In this article, we’ll provide more insight into rich media ads, further explaining their purpose and the benefits that they can offer to an online marketing campaign. The goal of any online marketing campaign is to increase enhance interactions between existing or prospective customers and a business. There are all sorts of media ads that can be used to achieve this goal, but the most effective way to do so is by making use of rich media ads.
Any ad that a viewer can interact with within a web page format is referred to as a rich media ad. These ads can appear in various; a banner ad or a video ad, for example. They can also appear as floating ads, ads that take over a page, or advertisements that tear back from a screen. With this type of ad format, various types of technologies are used to improve the experience viewers have with an advertisement. For example, you can stream video in a rich media advertisement.
The technologies that are used in these types of ads typically exhibit at least one of the following characteristics:
- Supports audio within the ad
- Allows for advanced animations (such as videos or tear backs)
- Promotes an instant reaction from viewers
Of all the characteristics rich media ads contain, the ability to display dynamic motion is the most prevalent. This motion can occur over a period of time; for instance, a rich media banner that contains video might appear after someone has been viewing a web page for a certain amount of time. Or, it can occur when a user interacts with the ad; a banner ad may stream video after a user moves his mouse over it, for example.
In simpler terms, rich media ads are a flash creative ad format that uses images, video, sound, and text.
The following key features set a rich media ad apart from a traditional banner ad:
- They are highly interactive in that they often feature some type of dynamic motion.
- They include video and audio elements.
- They contain a much higher quality of content than traditional banner ads.
- They can feature flash elements, such as games, within the banner, that encourage users to interact with them.
- They are highly technologically advanced and very engaging.
- They typically exceed a file format of 200K.
- They can use multiple files or an ad unit.
- They could contain highly detailed metrics that track user interactivity
The most common types of rich media ads are in-page ads, out-of page ads, and in-stream ads.
- In-page ads. This type of rich media ad usually appears in various portions of a web page, often in the shape of a preset banner or a rectangular box.
- Out-of page ads. As the name suggests, these are the type of ads that appear out of the web page a user is visiting. Common examples include floating ads, expandable ads, and pop-up ads.
- In-stream ads. These rich media ads incorporate pre or post roll videos.
Rich media can offer several benefits for an online advertising campaign. Some of the biggest advantages are outlined below:
- Increased rate of interaction. When users can interact with an ad, brand awareness increases, the message of an ad is better retained, as is the purchase intent. Moreover, greater interaction can allow data to be instantly captured. Marketers are more likely to capture the attention of their targeted audience by encouraging them to interact with and online ad and by providing them with a more engaging experience.
- Greater action rate. Action rate refers to the percentage of interactions that incurred additional activity, and in the case of rich media ads, action rate is always higher.
- Increased conversion rate. Since they are more attention-grabbing and interactive, rich media ads usually have a higher conversion rate than traditional display ads or banner ads.
- Scalable and measurable. With traditional banner ads, marketers are only able to measure impressions on click-through rates. With rich media ads, marketers can track and measure various important behaviors that are often very subtle and they would not otherwise be able to track; for example, the amount of people who viewed a video that was embedded in an ad.
Measuring the effectiveness of any strategy in online marketing is important, and rich media ads are no different. The following are some of the metrics that are used to measure the effectiveness of rich media advertisements:
- Interaction rate. This refers to the percentage of the audience that actually engages with an ad unit.
- Dwell rate. This metric is the percentage of users who are exposed to a piece of rich media content and interact with the content by moving their mouse over it, but not actually clicking on it.
- Interaction time. This refers to the amount of time viewers spend engaging with a rich media advertisement.
- Display time. This indicates how long, on average, an ad was displayed on a web page.
- Average view time. This metric allows marketers to compare the average amount of time users let a video play to the total length of the video ad.
- Views and completions. This tracks the start and finish of a video advertisement, which offers important details regarding how interested users are in the content of a video.
With the ability to promote greater interaction, improve conversion rates, and be easily tracked, rich media ads are an excellent addition to any online advertising campaign.