User experience influencing digital creative

03 October 2017

In the excitement of this new multiscreen and multichannel world, it can be very easy to get lost in the incredible opportunities digital advertising offers and overlook one crucial factor: user experience.

No matter how exciting your ad design or video creative may be, if it significantly disrupts user experience, they will not forge a positive association with your brand. After spending time (and money) establishing an enviable reputation, the last thing you want to do is alienate potential customers with ill-thought-out campaigns.

Think of those nuisance calls we are all used to getting - if they keep interrupting our day, we become increasingly impatient and reluctant to engage. It’s the same issue: by discounting ad relevance and quality, many brands have overwhelmed their users, creating disorder and interference, and negatively impacting browser performance.

Today, feeling as though their trust has been breached, many users have fought back through ad-blocking. Mintel reports that 11% of UK internet users have paid for ad-blocking software and that a further 31% would consider doing so. Because of this, it is more important than ever that digital ads are useful, informative and inspiring. In other words, brands can no longer expect a consumer’s attention - they have to earn it. 

How to prioritise user experience:

At Accord, we place great emphasis on constantly reviewing how consumers respond to adverts so we are able to seamlessly refine campaigns without relying on guesswork.

Given the current consumer climate, we recommend focusing less on disruptive and impersonal ads that scream out ‘big offer, click here’, instead spending more time devising ads that, through careful consumer segmentation, offer users services and products they are interested in. Moreover, using dynamic retargeting, creative concepts must be front of mind in order to find users who have previously shown interest in a product and retargeting them with related content. 

View it in action here.

 

Rather than opening a laptop or going to sit at a desktop computer, the majority of consumers are becoming more and more comfortable using their smartphones to engage digitally whilst on the move.

This rise in mobile usage has had a huge impact on the way advertisers design digital ads – causing brands to rethink their creative executions and provide a positive and helpful experience. It’s a fact that 31% of UK consumers say that the screen size of smartphones puts them off clicking on certain ad formats. So, if you’re mobile advertising bounce rate is particularly high, then oversized ads might be the culprit.

The solution to this problem is to create ads that don’t actually look like ads, but instead feel more like content. Video is particularly suited to this approach, providing a less obtrusive way of engaging the user across multiple senses.

View it in action here.

 

Another impact of increased smartphone usage is that many mobile users now spend more time browsing within a social platform, leaving them increasingly difficult to target via conventional ad-serving routes.

Facebook and Instagram have already established themselves as firmly mobile-first creative platforms. Whilst they have introduced ad-serving into their platform, they still prioritise user experience by monitoring the ads they display. Facebook, for example, deliberately seeks to control the look and feel of their ads as well as the level of intrusiveness they cause users, favouring designs that blend in with user content and social posts.

The clearest example of this is their 20 percent text limit rule which, while restricting ad copy, also ensures that visual content and storytelling play a more significant role. With Facebook continually introducing new multimedia ad formats - such as Canvas - videos, cinemographs and panoramic images are easier than ever to integrate into campaigns. When deployed with purpose and not just for the sake of looking “innovative”, these formats are very effective in engaging consumers and piquing their interest.

Ultimately, it is important to remember that innovation doesn’t always come from using the latest technologies, but can also come from using existing technologies in new and unexpected ways.

By trying to incorporate all the newest betas and formats into one ad design, without first using media planning and audience profiling to determine the right approach, you can risk diminishing user experience - considerably. Simplicity can be powerful: sometimes keeping your ads short and easily shareable is the best way to maximise brand impact.

Accord is an award-winning marketing agency.  We take control of the digital marketing conversation by creating content that drives audience engagement and commercial success.  For more information on how you can take advantage of our digital expertise and creative flair, get in touch today.