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6 Steps to Create Them + Brand Examples



6 Steps to Create Them + Brand Examples

Recently, I was scrolling online and I came across an ad for Narcos. While I can easily ignore most banner ads online, this one stood out. It included interesting videos and animation.

This was a prime example of rich media ads. A rich media ad is an excellent, modern ad format for marketers to consider.

In fact, one 2018 study found that rich media ads outperform standard banner ads by 267%.

With statistics like that, it’s time to consider incorporating these ads into your paid media strategy.

Below, let’s discuss what rich media ads are and how they’re different from other ad formats. Then, we’ll review how to create one for your company and look at some examples to inspire your own ad campaigns.

Rich media ads usually take much more time, effort, and capital to create.

Why? Well, a static ad typically includes only three elements: An image, a CTA, copy. Rich media ads, on the other hand, can incorporate various multimedia elements and allow users to interact in multiple ways.

So, why do brands use rich media ads?

Well, rich media ads are engaging and dynamic in a way that other ad types aren’t. They usually lead to more interaction, increased conversions, and a higher clickthrough rate.

Since many people have banner blindness like me, creating an ad that your audience wants to interact with isn’t easy. Rich media ads are a great way to create a better user experience.

Rich Media Types

1. Banner Ads

There are two main types of banner ads for rich media: in-banner and expanding.

In-banner ads show up as regular banners and have interactive features, such as slide/scroll options. They can also include videos, audio, and animation.

rich media ad banner example

This banner ad from CB2 is a rich media example that displays various products from the brand’s collections.

In-banner ads stay exactly where they are and can be ignored more easily.

Expanding ads, on the other hand, expand when the user has taken a particular action (usually a click). Pushdown ads, multidirectional, and floating ads are all examples of expanding ads that animate across the page for a few seconds.

rich media ad expanding banner from Yahoo

Image Source

A floating ad is a great way to get a user’s attention, without disrupting the user experience.

2. Interstitial Ads

An interstitial ad – think pop-ups and modals – is a full-page ad that covers the publisher’s interface. It’s commonly used on mobile apps, during points of transition in the user flow.

Rich media interstitial ad example

Image Source

For instance, it might show up on a video game app when you click “Play Again.” In some cases, the ad may not show an exit button until a few seconds after it initially appeared.

Using this type of ad is tricky, as Google sets strict guidelines on how it can work to avoid disrupting the user experience.

3. Lightbox

Lightbox ads are interactive ads that expand and use a combination of media (images, video, illustrations) to capture the viewer’s attention.


GIF Source

Similar to a floating ad, they usually start small on the sidebar of a page and expand once a user clicks on it.

From there, users can take multiple actions to interact with the ad. It creates a richer ad-viewing experience and as such, can require a little bit more work to create.

Now, you might be wondering, “How do I go about creating a rich media ad?” Below, let’s discuss how you can get started with rich media ads.

1. Get inspired.

If you’ve never created a rich media ad before, it can be helpful to get inspiration from other brands, including your competitors.

What type of rich media ads are they using? Is it mostly video or a combination of text and animation? What does their copy look like?

You should ask yourself, “How is this particular ad experience?” It’s important to note this, as you’ll want to create an experience that will resonate with your audience.

So, as you navigate through websites, pay closer attention to the ads you see. Then, start compiling your favorite ones in a document to help spark ideas for your own.

2. Decide on the strategy.

Now that you have an idea of what you want to create, it’s time to strategize.

What are your goals for this campaign? This will determine which creative assets you create and which type of rich media ad you use. This process will also help you discover the best way to engage your audience.

During this step, take a look back at previous ad campaigns. What are some trends in your highest- and lowest-performing ads? Getting a refresher on past performance is a good starting point for your next campaign.

3. Plan your creative assets.

Once you know more about your strategy, it’s time to list the creative assets you’ll need to get it done. Whether you’re creating rich media banner, interstitial, or lightbox ads, there are three components to your ad:

  • Visuals: animations, videos, images, illustrations.
  • Copy
  • Call to action (CTA)

Oh, and don’t forget the assets for your landing page. Creating the ad is one thing, your landing page is where users will convert so it needs to be a priority as well.

With all these elements in mind, start big then go small.

Say you choose video as your rich media type, will it be completed in-house or with an outside agency? Or will you use stock footage? Every scenario requires a different set of steps.

Additionally, you might think about how to make the ad interactive. Will users be able to click through to another slide on your ad? What happens if they click on the ad? It’s important to discuss and plan these elements out before you create your ad.

4. Use ad creation tools.

At this point, you’ll have your strategy and assets all done. So, how do you actually build the ad?

If you don’t have a graphic designer on your team, you can use online tools to help you create a rich media ad.

For example, there’s Google’s Rich Media Gallery. On this site, you can create sophisticated rich media ads for free. While there are ready-to-use templates, you can also customize them by using your own creative assets.

However, if you have a graphic designer, you’ll want to meet with them at the beginning of your process so they know what you have in mind and can tell you if it’s doable.

You may also want to rely on video marketing tools such as Idomoo and Wistia to create targeted ads that reach your desired audience.

5. Preview your ad.

Now that you have created your ad, check that everything will run smoothly once it’s live.

The first step is ensuring that your ad meets the guidelines set by your advertising platform, like Google Ads.

Most ad platforms have an approval process before your ad can go live on a publisher’s site. If your ad is rejected, you may have an opportunity to make changes to it and re-submit it for approval.

Then, preview your ad to make sure it’s performing as expected. Some platforms allow you to share the preview with collaborators for feedback.

6. Track and measure your success.

When your ad is created, it’s time to start running it.

You can use rich media ads on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. You can include them on search engines, like Google Ads and Bing Ads.

Once you’ve started to run your ads, don’t forget to monitor their performance and make changes as necessary. If you’ve run static display ads in the past, it will be helpful to compare and see which type offers a higher return on investment.

Now, you might be wondering, “What will this look like?” Let’s review some examples of rich media ads in action below.

6 Examples of Rich Media Ads

1. Discover

This is a great example of a rich media ad that catches your attention and invites you to engage.

rich media ad example by Discover

When you first see the ad, you immediately notice the logo, the copy, and the CTA on the left-hand side. Once you engage with the ad, the video starts playing and the volume button is displayed.

Why it works: Even without playing the video, you get the key information you need: The brand, the message, the CTA.

2. Reformation

Like many online retailers, Reformation uses retargeting ads to attract web visitors to its website.

In this rich media ad, users can see products from the brand and will be redirected right to the product page after clicking the “Shop It” CTA.

rich media ad example by Reformation

What works well here: Users can not only see top products from the brand but also use the interactive hover feature to shop specific items.


GEHA’s video ad hits all the key points needed to create an effective rich media ad

rich media ad example by GEHA

The first thing you notice is the high-quality video and visuals. The use of colors, icons, and hierarchy to highlight key messages is definitely effective.

In addition to being eye-catching, it’s to the point. Brands typically have very few seconds to catch a user’s eye as they navigate a page. With this in mind, make sure every frame in your video serves a purpose.

4. Jessica London

In this Jessica London ad example, the brand uses movement to its advantage.

rich media ad example by Jessica London

GIF Source

It’s a great but simple way to make a static image more dynamic and engaging. Additionally, moving ads are eye-catching in a way that static images aren’t.

The takeaway: If you can’t invest in visuals other than images, try having multiple slides in your ad with each slide featuring a different image and text.

5. Lincoln Aviator

rich media ad example by Lincoln Aviator

GIF Source

When Lincoln decided to create an ad for the new Aviator car, they wanted it to be interactive.

When you click on this ad, you’ll be brought to a separate slide. This image is an interactive guide to the features of the car. You can click on different areas of the car to learn more about it.

This is a great example of how rich media ads are engaging and interactive. The audience can click on the ad and learn more about the car without being brought to a new webpage.

6. Netflix

rich media ad example by Netflix

Image Source

This is the rich media ad by Netflix that I was talking about before. This ad includes a unique video from the actors and is presented almost like a trailer.

Then, if you hover over the image, the audience will see moving images that rotate. Additionally, if you click the ad, you can watch the actual trailer for the Netflix show. This is a great rich media ad that includes several media formats to engage the viewer.

Rich media ads are an amazing way to engage and interact with your audience. In an age where audiences have banner blindness, rich media ads are a great way to get your audience’s attention.

The Benefits of Rich Media in Your Advertising Strategy

Using rich media ads is sure to add another dimension to your campaign and help you understand what works best with your audience.

Here are the top benefits of using rich media:

  • Potential for a higher clickthrough rate – Rich media ads can be more interactive and eye-catching, making users more likely to click on your ad. They can also offer better brand recall if delivered effectively.
  • Versatility in ads – Diversifying your campaign ads is helpful in discovering what your target audience connects with and which ad types convert best.
  • Better insights – Because of the multiple layers you can add to your rich media ads, you can gain more insights into your audience. Video watch times, clickthrough rates, pre-interaction engagement rates are all metrics you can use to understand your ad performance.

If you’ve never run a rich media ad, this is your sign. You may find that it outperforms your static ads.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in __ and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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Is Twitter Still a Thing for Content Marketers in 2023?



Is Twitter Still a Thing for Content Marketers in 2023?

The world survived the first three months of Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover.

But what are marketers doing now? Did your brand follow the shift Dennis Shiao made for his personal brand? As he recently shared, he switched his primary platform from Twitter to LinkedIn after the 2022 ownership change. (He still uses Twitter but posts less frequently.)

Are those brands that altered their strategy after the new ownership maintaining that plan? What impact do Twitter’s service changes (think Twitter Blue subscriptions) have?

We took those questions to the marketing community. No big surprise? Most still use Twitter. But from there, their responses vary from doing nothing to moving away from the platform.

Lowest points

At the beginning of the Elon era, more than 500 big-name advertisers stopped buying from the platform. Some (like Amazon and Apple) resumed their buys before the end of 2022. Brand accounts’ organic activity seems similar.

In November, Emplifi research found a 26% dip in organic posting behavior by U.S. and Canadian brands the week following a significant spike in the negative sentiment of an Elon tweet. But that drop in posting wasn’t a one-time thing.

Kyle Wong, chief strategy officer at Emplifi, shares a longer analysis of well-known fast-food brands. When comparing December 2021 to December 2022 activity, the brands posted 74% less, and December was the least active month of 2022.

Fast-food brands posted 74% less on @Twitter in December 2022 than they did in December 2021, according to @emplifi_io analysis via @AnnGynn @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

When Emplifi analyzed brand accounts across industries (2,330 from U.S. and Canada and 6,991 elsewhere in the world), their weekly Twitter activity also fell to low points in November and December. But by the end of the year, their activity was inching up.

“While the percentage of brands posting weekly is on the rise once again, the number is still lower than the consistent posting seen in earlier months,” Kyle says.

Quiet-quitting Twitter

Lacey Reichwald, marketing manager at Aha Media Group, says the company has been quiet-quitting Twitter for two months, simply monitoring and posting the occasional link. “It seems like the turmoil has settled down, but the overall impact of Twitter for brands has not recovered,” she says.

@ahamediagroup quietly quit @Twitter for two months and saw their follower count go up, says Lacey Reichwald via @AnnGynn @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

She points to their firm’s experience as a potential explanation. Though they haven’t been posting, their follower count has gone up, and many of those new follower accounts don’t seem relevant to their topic or botty. At the same time, Aha Media saw engagement and follows from active accounts in the customer segment drop.

Blue bonus

One change at Twitter has piqued some brands’ interest in the platform, says Dan Gray, CEO of Vendry, a platform for helping companies find agency partners to help them scale.

“Now that getting a blue checkmark is as easy as paying a monthly fee, brands are seeing this as an opportunity to build thought leadership quickly,” he says.

Though it remains to be seen if that strategy is viable in the long term, some companies, particularly those in the SaaS and tech space, are reallocating resources to energize their previously dormant accounts.

Automatic verification for @TwitterBlue subscribers led some brands to renew their interest in the platform, says Dan Gray of Vendry via @AnnGynn @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

These reenergized accounts also are seeing an increase in followers, though Dan says it’s difficult to tell if it’s an effect of the blue checkmark or their renewed emphasis on content. “Engagement is definitely up, and clients and agencies have both noted the algorithm seems to be favoring their content more,” he says.

New horizon

Faizan Fahim, marketing manager at Breeze, is focused on the future. They’re producing videos for small screens as part of their Twitter strategy. “We are guessing soon Elon Musk is going to turn Twitter into TikTok/YouTube to create more buzz,” he says. “We would get the first moving advantage in our niche.”

He’s not the only one who thinks video is Twitter’s next bet. Bradley Thompson, director of marketing at DigiHype Media and marketing professor at Conestoga College, thinks video content will be the next big thing. Until then, text remains king.

“The approach is the same, which is a focus on creating and sharing high-quality content relevant to the industry,” Bradley says. “Until Twitter comes out with drastically new features, then marketing and managing brands on Twitter will remain the same.

James Coulter, digital marketing director at Sole Strategies, says, “Twitter definitely still has a space in the game. The question is can they keep it, or will they be phased out in favor of a more reliable platform.”

Interestingly given the thoughts of Faizan and Bradley, James sees businesses turning to video as they limit their reliance on Twitter and diversify their social media platforms. They are now willing to invest in the resource-intensive format given the exploding popularity of TikTok, Instagram Reels, and other short-form video content.

“We’ve seen a really big push on getting vendors to help curate video content with the help of staff. Requesting so much media requires building a new (social media) infrastructure, but once the expectations and deliverables are in place, it quickly becomes engrained in the weekly workflow,” James says.

What now

“We are waiting to see what happens before making any strong decisions,” says Baruch Labunski, CEO at Rank Secure. But they aren’t sitting idly by. “We’ve moved a lot of our social media efforts to other platforms while some of these things iron themselves out.”

What is your brand doing with Twitter? Are you stepping up, stepping out, or standing still? I’d love to know. Please share in the comments.

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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45 Free Content Writing Tools to Love [for Writing, Editing & Content Creation]



45 Free Content Writing Tools to Love [for Writing, Editing & Content Creation]

Creating content isn’t always a walk in the park. (In fact, it can sometimes feel more like trying to swim against the current.)

While other parts of business and marketing are becoming increasingly automated, content creation is still a very manual job. (more…)

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How data clean rooms might help keep the internet open



How data clean rooms might help keep the internet open

Are data clean rooms the solution to what IAB CEO David Cohen has called the “slow-motion train wreck” of addressability? Voices at the IAB will tell you that they have a big role to play.

“The issue with addressability is that once cookies go away, and with the loss of identifiers, about 80% of the addressable market will become unknown audiences which is why there is a need for privacy-centric consent and a better consent-value exchange,” said Jeffrey Bustos, VP, measurement, addressability and data at the IAB.

“Everyone’s talking about first-party data, and it is very valuable,” he explained, “but most publishers who don’t have sign-on, they have about 3 to 10% of their readership’s first-party data.” First-party data, from the perspective of advertisers who want to reach relevant and audiences, and publishers who want to offer valuable inventory, just isn’t enough.

Why we care. Two years ago, who was talking about data clean rooms? The surge of interest is recent and significant, according to the IAB. DCRs have the potential, at least, to keep brands in touch with their audiences on the open internet; to maintain viability for publishers’ inventories; and to provide sophisticated measurement capabilities.

How data clean rooms can help. DCRs are a type of privacy-enhancing technology that allows data owners (including brands and publishers) to share customer first-party data in a privacy-compliant way. Clean rooms are secure spaces where first-party data from a number of sources can be resolved to the same customer’s profile while that profile remains anonymized.

In other words, a DCR is a kind of Switzerland — a space where a truce is called on competition while first-party data is enriched without compromising privacy.

“The value of a data clean room is that a publisher is able to collaborate with a brand across both their data sources and the brand is able to understand audience behavior,” said Bestos. For example, a brand selling eye-glasses might know nothing about their customers except basic transactional data — and that they wear glasses. Matching profiles with a publisher’s behavioral data provides enrichment.

“If you’re able to understand behavioral context, you’re able to understand what your customers are reading, what they’re interested in, what their hobbies are,” said Bustos. Armed with those insights, a brand has a better idea of what kind of content they want to advertise against.

The publisher does need to have a certain level of first-party data for the matching to take place, even if it doesn’t have a universal requirement for sign-ins like The New York Times. A publisher may be able to match only a small percentage of the eye-glass vendor’s customers, but if they like reading the sports and arts sections, at least that gives some directional guidance as to what audience the vendor should target.

Dig deeper: Why we care about data clean rooms

What counts as good matching? In its “State of Data 2023” report, which focuses almost exclusively on data clean rooms, concern is expressed that DCR efficacy might be threatened by poor match rates. Average match rates hover around 50% (less for some types of DCR).

Bustos is keen to put this into context. “When you are matching data from a cookie perspective, match rates are usually about 70-ish percent,” he said, so 50% isn’t terrible, although there’s room for improvement.

One obstacle is a persistent lack of interoperability between identity solutions — although it does exist; LiveRamp’s RampID is interoperable, for example, with The Trade Desk’s UID2.

Nevertheless, said Bustos, “it’s incredibly difficult for publishers. They have a bunch of identity pixels firing for all these different things. You don’t know which identity provider to use. Definitely a long road ahead to make sure there’s interoperability.”

Maintaining an open internet. If DCRs can contribute to solving the addressability problem they will also contribute to the challenge of keeping the internet open. Walled gardens like Facebook do have rich troves of first-party and behavioral data; brands can access those audiences, but with very limited visibility into them.

“The reason CTV is a really valuable proposition for advertisers is that you are able to identify the user 1:1 which is really powerful,” Bustos said. “Your standard news or editorial publisher doesn’t have that. I mean, the New York Times has moved to that and it’s been incredibly successful for them.” In order to compete with the walled gardens and streaming services, publishers need to offer some degree of addressability — and without relying on cookies.

But DCRs are a heavy lift. Data maturity is an important qualification for getting the most out of a DCR. The IAB report shows that, of the brands evaluating or using DCRs, over 70% have other data-related technologies like CDPs and DMPs.

“If you want a data clean room,” Bustos explained, “there are a lot of other technological solutions you have to have in place before. You need to make sure you have strong data assets.” He also recommends starting out by asking what you want to achieve, not what technology would be nice to have. “The first question is, what do you want to accomplish? You may not need a DCR. ‘I want to do this,’ then see what tools would get you to that.”

Understand also that implementation is going to require talent. “It is a demanding project in terms of the set-up,” said Bustos, “and there’s been significant growth in consulting companies and agencies helping set up these data clean rooms. You do need a lot of people, so it’s more efficient to hire outside help for the set up, and then just have a maintenance crew in-house.”

Underuse of measurement capabilities. One key finding in the IAB’s research is that DCR users are exploiting the audience matching capabilities much more than realizing the potential for measurement and attribution. “You need very strong data scientists and engineers to build advanced models,” Bustos said.

“A lot of brands that look into this say, ‘I want to be able to do a predictive analysis of my high lifetime value customers that are going to buy in the next 90 days.’ Or ‘I want to be able to measure which channels are driving the most incremental lift.’ It’s very complex analyses they want to do; but they don’t really have a reason as to why. What is the point? Understand your outcome and develop a sequential data strategy.”

Trying to understand incremental lift from your marketing can take a long time, he warned. “But you can easily do a reach and frequency and overlap analysis.” That will identify wasted investment in channels and as a by-product suggest where incremental lift is occurring. “There’s a need for companies to know what they want, identify what the outcome is, and then there are steps that are going to get you there. That’s also going to help to prove out ROI.”

Dig deeper: Failure to get the most out of data clean rooms is costing marketers money

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