It’s common to encounter sponsored ads while you are browsing the Facebook timeline or searching something from google. The sponsored ads provide advertisers more ways to reach different audiences, increase their followers, drive traffic and do business. It is a crucial component of online marketing activity that grabs every possible opportunity and promotes your business/products/services to the great heights.
What are Sponsored Ads or Sponsored Stories?
Sponsored = advertising
Stories = when user interact with the app, page or place
Sponsored ads or sponsored stories are built around the user activity. It is a marketing technique in which advertisers pay to highlight their particular content or stories on the social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. The most common sponsored ads or stories are Facebook “page likes” or “recommendations”. The main goal of these sponsored ads or stories is to create more user engagement and make them to take the desire action. You probably have seen countless organic sponsored stories in your news feed everyday.
Types of Sponsored Ads
Since the phenomenon of digital marketing is growing and changing everyday, so we cannot actually tell you the types, but the most common and popular types of sponsored ads are as follows:
Domain: when a friend or your contact shares a link from a specific domain
Event Attendee: ad generated when a friend is going to attend an event
App: ad generated when you download or use an app
Pop-up: a small window that generally appears while online browsing or when visit new site
Question Quoate: when you or any contact answers a question or poll
Offer Claim: when you claim an offer the ad will generate
Post Share: when you respond to a sponsored page post
Page Like: when you like, post or share the sponsored pages from your news feed
Everyone today has an opinion about the ads specially for the sponsored ads. Besides its importance for advertisers or businesses, these ads create disruptive and annoying experience for many users. According to a recent marketing survey it was reported that 40% of online browsers dislike the video ads, mobile ads and pop ups the most. They have termed this as the most frustrating experience of their online browsing where they require to “close” the popup windows again and again when they visit to a new website.
What’s Wrong with Today’s Sponsored Ads?
Sponsored ads don’t work audiences and don’t work for businesses either for various reasons.
Don’t Work for Audiences
The significance and popularity of sponsored ads do not need any introduction. Whether you are a small business owner, an artist or an entrepreneur sponsored ads will help to increase your exposure. They are ideal for promoting events, content marketing, engagement and offers. It is an easy, inexpensive way to attract more fans, drive traffic to your site and also to enhance your marketing efforts.
But it has been observed that the ads being displayed now are not compelling and have a lot of room for improvement. They are seen much as disruptive, intrusive and deceptive. Most people believe that ads don’t look professional and even ruin their browsing experience.
Reason 1: Ads are Intrusive and Annoying
Let’s admit it, whenever we download a new app or browse our Facebook news feed what we see the most are sponsored ads. The trend of sponsored advertisement has created a mess. To make highlight their stories, every business is now investing in these ads, which make the browsing experience even more disruptive. No matter what you do, you are more likely to encounter ads 1000 times in a day – isn’t it frustrating?
Reason 2: Sponsored Ads are Disruptive
Auto playing audio ads or video ads are more disruptive than the other ads. Imagine if you are in a meeting you need to browse something. You have opened a website and suddenly video ad started to run, how annoying and disruptive it could be for a user. The trend of auto playing video or audio ads is here from as early as 2012, but it is not appreciated by the individuals. They are so disliked that technology publications have written articles, tips and guides on how to ignore them making their browsing experience more better.
Reason 3: Ads Create Security Concerns
Besides being disruptive or annoying, sponsored ads are also associated with security concerns. This is because, most websites hosts third party advertisements, so it becomes difficult for them to ensure its security and control the quality of the ad content they display. This scenario may arise various potential risk and security concerns among the users.
Don’t Work for Businesses
Businesses spend a lot of their marketing budgets on sponsored ads. Though it can provide a wide reach, it has it’s own drawbacks.
Reason 1: No Personal Touch
All Social Networks are obligated to show that the content in any feed is sponsored as opposed to shared by friends or connections. When you are browsing your feed, automatically your brain is trained to skip sponsored ads and move on to content shared by their networks. This usually happens because there is no personal touch or endorsements from known people. Then content becomes unwanted.
Reason 2: Missed Network-Effect Opportunity
Social networks are designed to have a true network effect anytime a piece of content is shared. The network effect occur only when audiences trust the content and person sharing the content. Sponsored ads completely miss this opportunity to exponentially reach audiences every time the same content is shared. Sponsored ads don’t mostly get shared even if it brings value.
Reason 3: Expensive Bidding Wars
Sponsored ads are priced based on keywords, demand and other criteria. When multiple businesses bid on same keywords, the one that pays higher will get shown. Bidding is not only bringing unnecessary price competition but also contributes to unknown ROI on marketing budgets. For example, for a quarterly budget set on sponsored ads each quarter can bring different ROI because it introduces unknown pricing.
One Solution for both issues – Organic reach!
Organic reach will solve sponsored ad issues on both sides. Audiences get to see content shared by their network and business can reach right audience and also spread the word very quickly.
To increase organic reach, businesses should reach out to a set of kick starters – in other words, advocates. Advocates can be employees, influencers, friends of business or investors. When advocates share relevant content, it reaches high number of audiences with minimal or no expenses.