How Rich Media Can Increase Engagement, Drive Traffic & Boost ROI

Rich Media is More Important Now than Ever to Engage Consumers

Today there is an ongoing debate over the value of display advertising as savvy marketers question click-through-rates and whether consumers are even paying attention to the clutter created by online display ads. Banner ads have never gone away, but are continually becoming more personalized and sophisticated as rich media features enhance the user experience rather than interrupt it.

In 2012, eMarketer reported that $15.51 billion was spent on display advertising in the US, demonstrating that display advertising is still an important and effective medium. Recently, a shift has occurred from the display of primarily flash banners to rich media units, a trend fueled in part by the modern marketer’s need to engage and captivate consumers. With interactive features such as videos, product carousels, data capture forms, and more, interactive rich media ads enable the engagement required by today’s consumers.

Rich media ad units have interactive features embedded within them, allowing consumers to engage with a brand and take action without leaving the website they are browsing.

Increase ROI & Website Traffic

Companies can simultaneously convey their brand message and prompt engagement with multiple interactive features. After digging into various metrics, we have uncovered the top five features that will help boost engagement, while ultimately increasing ROI:

  • Video (45.32% average completion rate)

  • Carousel (53.12% average completion rate)

  • Geo-locator or mapping tools (11.48% average completion rate)

  • Social media buttons (1.25% average completion rate)

  • Data capture (0.5% - 2% average submission rate)

A 2012 study by Media Mind showed that people exposed to rich media ads are three times more likely to visit a company’s website than if they had been exposed to a standard banner ad. When video is incorporated in these ads, website traffic can increase six times, creating a positive effect on paid search and organic search performance.  This positive effect occurs because a user’s interaction with a rich media ad increases their brand recall when doing a later search.

The below infographic displays all the top metrics associated with Rich Media; click on the infographic below for the full size image.

Rich Media Infographic

Boost Customer Engagement with Rich Media

According to ClickZ, rich media ads can generate up to a 1,000% increase in ad interactions, making engagement rates 6 times higher than static display ads. One of the most valuable benefits of running rich media ads is that they offer more than 150 measurable elements so companies can understand and optimize the consumer experience. For example, rich media ads allow companies to track important elements in real-time such as engagement rates and times, interaction rates, video initiations and completions, CTRs, mouseovers, and user data that is uploaded within the banner.

Rich Media Works with Mobile 

In the second half of 2012, eMarketer reported that iOS devices accounted for 50.52% of the US mobile internet traffic share which makes rich media units even more necessary today because iOS devices don’t serve flash ads. Rich media plays an even more important role in the effectiveness of mobile campaigns as brands have the ability to take advantage of features like store locators when a user is in close proximity to a retail location. A recent study by Celtra on mobile rich media ads showed that video is the most popular feature appearing in 45% of all mobile rich media ad campaigns, while location-based features are the most engaging (18.8% engagement rate).

As the internet becomes more and more cluttered, brands will need to continually find innovative ways to stand out by creating more engaging ad experiences that are personalized and actionable. Over the past few years, rich media ads have continued to transform across various platforms showing that the key to a successful ad campaign is through rich and compelling content.

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About the Author: Lindsay McGettigan

Lindsay McGettigan

As VP of Digital Strategy, Lindsay serves as the connective tissue between R2i’s Strategy, Analytics, Search, and Account teams to ensure that the appropriate digital tactics are being employed to meet client’s business goals at every stage of the customer lifecycle journey.

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