The latest trends in digital advertising by Caburn Hope - Digital Marketing Agency | Marketing Agency | Marketing Consultant

Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends, one of the most important reports in digital marketing was recently published, giving some clear indications about what advertising activities any business or self-respecting digital marketing agency should be focusing on.

In this post, we explore some of the stand out trends in digital advertising that have been revealed in this latest report.

Digital marketing and the mobile advertising phenomenon

Mobile internet use was always going to increase but by how much? According to Meeker’s report, mobile internet use is growing faster than internet usage in general. There are now 2.8 billion internet users – up 8 percent from 2014 – and 2.1 billion mobile internet users, revealing an increase of 23 percent.

The mobile advertising industry grew 34 percent, whilst desktop digital advertising grew by only 11 percent. But perhaps most surprising is the disparity between the amount of time spent on mobile media and the amount spent on mobile advertising.

With 24 percent of media consumption in the USA is on mobile, only 8 percent of ad spend is allocated to mobile. According to the report writers, this suggests a >$25 billion opportunity in the US.

Digital advertising formats to watch out for

Some of the larger social sites are clearly focusing on mobile advertising and are developing innovative new ad formats which are fast, fun and interactive – and have mobile users in mind.

Each of the following new formats highlights the willingness, amongst established and new platforms, to find new ways of ensuring that advertising is engaging and fit for mobile.

Pinterest – Cinematic Pins are a new type of promoted pin controlled through scrolling. It’s similar to other online video ads, but offers users more control because the pin is only animated while pinners are actively scrolling through their feed.

Facebook Carousel ads enable businesses to showcase three products within a single ad unit on desktop or mobile. Combining the multi-product ad unit with Custom Audiences from your website, advertisers can produce a carousel of different items to show in News Feed to specific audiences.

Vessel 5-second video ads. Vessel is a web video platform that has attracted an influential group of brands and agencies to advertise on its site. The 5-second pre-roll video ad is in direct challenge to skippable ads on YouTube, with the platform targeting millennials who are willing to pay a subscription to get a higher quality video experience. Much like Snapchat, Vessel is definitely one to consider if your brand is focused on the millennial market.

Advertising and the rise of vertical content

The growth of mobile internet access is having a major effect on the way people consume content; with 29 percent of online content now being viewed on vertical screens. This correlates with the uplift in mobile video traffic which grew from 52 percent (2013) to 55 percent (2014). It’s worth noting that this trend will no doubt challenge us to consider adapting video advertising for vertical screens in the near future.

This is best exemplified by the messaging app Snapchat. It has 200 million average monthly users and was the fastest growing messaging app in 2014. The app currently generates around 700 million photos and videos globally every day and this figure is rising at an incredibly fast rate.

Snapchat is actively encouraging digital marketing agencies to create vertical video rather than the customary wide-angle. In a recent interview with Adweek, Snapchat said that it’s “…starting to meet with the top creatives at agencies and CMOs, and in terms of education, shooting vertical is in that conversation”.

In addition to this, Snapchat has a network of media channels – Comedy Central and ESPN – that have trialed both vertical and horizontal ads to see if it has helped or hindered the completion rate. The switch, it seems, is paying off; with vertical ads having a 9x higher completion rate than horizontal video ads. As a result, an increase in live vertical video streaming platforms, such as Meerkat and Periscope, are emerging with great fanfare.

Changes in the social media landscape

Whilst the big hitters in social media are making revenue gains, their user growth is slowing at speed. Facebook revenue per user increased to $9.36, a rise of 29 percent from 2014-2015, meanwhile growth neared 60 percent in 2014. Furthermore, year-on-year user growth dropped to 13 percent in the last quarter – the slowest growth ever in Facebook history.

So, what does this mean for marketers? While the smaller players such as Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest continue to see growth, particularly amongst 12-24 year olds – the shift in the social media landscape is changing. Pay close attention to this as it will affect how and where you should invest spend.

Digital marketing must capitalise on the mobile opportunity

For those of us working in the digital marketing industry, the report highlights some major changes in internet usage. This will clearly have significant ramifications for advertising.

The key take-out from this report is the clear disparity between mobile media consumption and the amount of ad spend currently allocated to mobile. The brands that are quick to respond to this trend will most certainly reap the ROI reward. This is a great opportunity to capitalise on and should not be overlooked.

For more information on how mobile advertising can increase and retain your customer base contact Caburn Hope on 01273 480 404 or email

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