2020 was one of the most tumultuous years in recent history, and the digital advertising sector was no exception to the chaos. Digital advertising plummeted at the beginning of the pandemic and then bounced back to numbers only 1.2% lower than pre-pandemic predictions by the end of the year. 2021 has been more stable, with video ad spending on the rise as high mobile processing power and new 5G internet connection speeds enable complex mobile video ad strategies. In fact, ad spending in the video advertising segment is projected to reach $37 billion in 2021, and make up approximately 17% of total digital ad spending.
That being said, the world has changed and more of the same isn’t going to do the trick anymore. People have gotten used to spending more lifetime on their screens, and when they like what they see, they stick around. Video content that feels authentic and generates emotion is especially effective; recent surveys indicate that over 50% of consumers are interested in watching videos from brands they support. Additionally, new technology is enabling better ad targeting and a more seamless experience than ever before.
In the past, video advertising could be a somewhat jarring experience, and — if the content wasn’t relevant to the viewer — could negatively impact user experience (UX). Unique new solutions, like Rise, provide a much tighter bond between content and ads. This not only maximizes ad spend but also preserves the UX by ensuring ads are truly relevant to the viewer.
By combining new solutions like Rise and smartly chosen categories, publishers can get more out of their ad spends and increase user retention at the same time. Let’s take a look at five of the top ad spend categories for Q3 and Q4.
1. News and Local News
In the pre-Covid world, you could afford to ignore the news, but that doesn’t seem like an option anymore. Covid-19 has us all more attuned to what’s going on around us in general, and to local news in particular. After everything that’s happened in the past year and a half, who knows what will happen next?
The best way to stay on top of whether or not your favorite cafes are open for business is through your local news, so more people are tuning in. The habit of checking the news frequently isn’t likely to fade in the near future, even after Covid becomes less of a threat.
People don’t watch videos at work, right? Maybe that was true in the past, but during the pandemic, the boundaries between work and home have become more blurred than ever before. Even as it becomes possible to return to the office, more people are choosing remote or hybrid work options, especially in the tech world. It looks like Zoom meetings, virtual conferences, and online training are here to stay, opening up new opportunities for B2B advertisers.
After a long and painful forced break, sports are back and adrenaline-starved fans can’t get enough of their favorite kind of escapism. But like everything else, sports have gone digital. Whether it’s because events like the Tokyo Olympics aren’t open to spectators, or simply because travel to live sports events has become more difficult and risky, people will still be getting their sports fixed on their screens in the second half of 2021.
4. Health and Fitness
Baking bread and sitting on the couch was fun for the first few weeks of sheltering in place. But most people quickly realized that the fact that the gyms were closed and we were all stuck at home wasn’t an excuse to turn into a couch potato. In fact, the risk of Covid itself led many people to pay more attention to their health than ever before.
Gyms are now open in many places, but consumers continue to look for health and fitness content on their screens from the comfort of their homes. Everyone wants to be in the best possible shape if and when the next pandemic hits…
5. Cooking, Food and Drink, and Home and Garden
As we’ve all gotten used to spending more time at home in the past year and a half, and many of us have invested in making our homes more enjoyable to spend time at. It seems like suddenly everyone’s got a green thumb or a flair for making macarons and creme brulee.
The enthusiasm for these new hobbies doesn’t seem to be waning. Even as people slowly return to their old routine, they aren’t abandoning their new passions — they’re looking for new and exciting things to do… at home.
Tighten the Bond Between Video Ads and Content
Video ads are the new ad frontier, with almost unlimited potential. But like any new frontier, it’s important to get to know the landscape and take the right route to your destination. By meeting your target audience where they are, connecting with them on the topics they care about, and creating authentic, emotion-generating content, you can make the most of what video advertising has to offer. New technologies like Rise, along with intelligently chosen categories, make that possible.