This article was originally published on the Dx3 Digest 07.08.15.

Rich media has moved to the big leagues: growing beyond its early days as an accepted advertising medium, and proving with gusto that it can excel at driving brand performance and audience engagement. Worldwide stats show that rich media ads (defined as an ad that ‘contains images or video and involves some kind of user interaction’) perform with a CTR at an average of 267% higher than standard banner ads. With strong performance and flexibility across screens, and high adoption form publishers, more and more marketers are shifting budgets towards rich media advertising. From 2013 to 14 alone,rich media budgets grew an average of 240% indicating the widespread adoption into mainstream.

If you still need to be convinced, there are several compelling reasons why your brand should say yes to rich media:

    1. Larger space for the visual – Publishers often dedicate a limited amount of space on a web page dedicated to advertising placements. With a static ad, this allows for a single frame of information that is condensed to fit the medium. With rich media, you can transform the standard ad footprint into a more dynamic experience to showcase your products or services: with scrolling content, embedded audio-visuals, expandables units, and micro-site functionality.  You can choose to combine several media formats for a full sensory experience, target cross-device, sync advertising units, and create full screen environments for a memorable wow factor.
    2. Higher interaction rate across screens – Rich media ads are designed with interaction in mind, making the content even more appealing. With a higher level of engagement, the user is more invested in time spent with the ad. This increase in brand exposure drives awareness and lift – increasing brand recall.  The growth in ad interaction is no longer limited to the desktop audience! HTML5 rich media ads now work seamlessly on smartphones and tablets, attracting the increasingly mobile consumer.  Similar to its desktop cousin, mobile rich media units like the IAB Rising Stars, have been proven to increase ad interaction rates and brand recall. Brands can now reach consumers on any screen at any physical location with powerful results.Passat rich media ad
    3. Increased click-throughs – Brands benefit from driving consumers below top-of-the funnel activity. Instead of directing customers to one single landing page, rich media provides the option to link to several pages, providing a custom-tailored experience. For instance, if you offer a client the option of a coupon download or a contest entry: the coupon landing page could contain additional coupons or link to relevant stores to use the coupons, and the contest entry page could contain product information on the prizes.  Sending audiences to landing pages that show more relevant information and related information would help drive longer brand engagement after the click.
    4. Better measures engagement – In static banner ads, you can only measure limited results (e.g. CTR), but rich media ads offer a wealth of measurable stats about your customers. You can track and examine several many other dimensions of your ad campaign. For example, if you have a video banner, you can easily find out the number of people who watched your video, the length of time engaged, as well as details such as pauses and plays.  The more detailed the metrics, the better understanding a brand can have on the performance of their campaign. For ads that run cross-screen, marketers expand their inventory and exposure, and gain insight into which environment their audience engages best.
    5. Captures limited attention spans – As the internet expands and evolves, people have even shorter attention spans and brands have to work harder to grab attention.  Thanks to interactive elements, images, videos, social feeds – rich media ads are better able to provide a smoother and more engaging user experience.  Customers that get to interact with your brand in a likeable environment; are more prone to build a strong and positive impression of your brand. Rich media ads are a necessity if you want to strike the right balance between user engagement and advertising, stay above the competition and remain top of mind.

With all these reasons, it’s easy to determine why rich media ads have a high success rate. If you want to engage your users beyond the regular static banners, you must deliver a campaign that is innovative, fresh, and increases user interaction, in order to drive brand lift and get better performance results.