There's a strong current of opinion in the world of digital advertising that says it's increasingly disliked by consumers and possibly on the way out. An article along those lines appeared in a recent edition of Chief Content Officer magazine, under the headline “How Advertising Is Killing the World Wide Web.”
Writer Kirk Cheyfitz painted the situation surrounding digital advertising in shades of black: “A plague of bots has brands paying to have their ads clicked by non-humans. Wildly varying `view-ability’ standards allow few ads humans can view, while other ads make it impossible to see anything but the ad....Bad ads, maddening interruptions, mindless product claims and general abuse of customers online – have come home to roost.” Citing eMarketer, Cheyfitz reports that 75 million U.S. consumers are using ad blockers, and that blocker use continues to grow by double digit percentages each year.
If there's a way out, the article suggests, it's placing all bets on quality. Offer consumers a quality experience, starting with respecting their right not to have their activities on social media and websites intruded upon by ads that block content and won't go away.
Now that quality assurance in the social media advertising realm is so badly needed, agencies and brands need tools and processes to achieve it. One that deserves a close look is Social Ad Testing, which lets advertisers assess how consumers perceive mobile social media ads before a campaign has been launched.
– First identify members of a mobile research panel who fit the ad's targeted profile.
– Next, inject the ad you're testing into these consumers' actual personal news feeds.
– The result is a real-life, in-the-moment test, rather than a simulation, because the ad appears in the same environment as the content that brings people to social media in the first place. Can the ad do its job in the tough social environment, where it competes for attention with posts from the recipient's friends, families and trusted content-sharers?
– The answers come from first gathering passive behavioral data showing how recipients interact with the test ad --do they show engagement by clicking on, sharing, liking the ad, or enabling a video ad's audio track?
– Then the same recipients receive a survey that provides deeper insights into whether they noticed the ad and its brand or product. Shown the the ad again in their news feed, they'll answer questions that shed insights into what grabbed them, or what's boring or irritating them.
– The advertiser can proceed confidently if the test signals are good, or, if they're not so good, make the needed adjustment to the concept and content and then retest to see if the problems have been solved.
If quality is the ultimate battleground on which digital advertising must make its stand, Social Ad Testing is a good ally to bring to the fight. For a productive conversation about how Social Ad Testing and other mobile research solutions can meet your projects’ specific needs, just get in touch by clicking here.