It’s a very exciting time for online marketing and rich media ads contribute a great deal to making the internet a more interesting, fun and worthwhile place to be.
Rich media advertisements have been around for a few years, but recently they’ve reached new heights thanks to the HTML5 technology. HTML5 allows agencies to create innovative and unparalleled interactive ads that enlarge, float, start playing videos or roll out a game the moment they’re touched by the mouse.
More and more marketers include rich media ads in their online advertising campaigns because of their excellent results:
- higher user engagement,
- conversions and
What is rich media?
You’ve probably seen a banner floating around a web page or expanding the moment you hovered your mouse over it, at least once in your netizen lifetime. These are not regular banners (as you might have noticed).
They’re called rich media ads and their broad category goes far beyond floating and expanding.
Rich media definition:
As the name suggests, rich media ads incorporate numerous types of elements such as video, audio or other media elements that invite a user to interact and engage with the ad.
The possibilities to build rich media banners and to creatively surprise the people surfing the internet are practically endless. These ads can take the form of pop-ups, peel-offs, push-downs, lighboxes and many more.
Given their surprising nature, state-of-the-art media technology and abundance of content, rich media advertisements have a humongous impact on users. Considerably bigger than that of standard display ads.
Research has shown that rich media ads can outperform standard and animated display ads with increased click-through rates and conversions by as many as five times!
I’d say this is a notably solid reason to incorporate rich media ads into your own online strategy.
The benefits of rich media ads
- Higher engagement – Unlike standard banners, rich media banners can function as video, audio or invite the users to perform certain actions. These ads actively seek a user’s attention and aim at engaging him with the brand. And when you offer an entertaining experience, people are happy to interact with your ad.
- Higher performance – More click-throughs and conversions. Engagement leads to clicks and conversions. Using a wide array of media to convey your message you have more chances to motivate people to click and visit your website. And eventually, convert them into buyers.
- You can include video or audio – Video is king nowadays and you can integrate your videos into your banners and they will be shown anywhere on the internet. With video you can say so much more about your brand and promotion. Studies show people prefer video ads because they entertain, educate and inspire.
- More space – With rich media ads, you get more space to show off your products and speak about your brand, because you’re not restricted to stick to only one layout. You can use more images, calls to action, text, videos or voice over.
- Multiple buttons – You can send people to multiple landing pages, because you can include buttons in various areas of the ad. For example, if you’re selling clothes you can send women to a page and men to another one, by using two different buttons.
- Better tracking – When running online ads you want to know a variety of details about people who interact with your ads and their performance. This is possible. You can not only track impressions and click-throughs but also facts about users behavior and multiple link tracking.
Types of rich media ads
A. On page rich media ads
1. In-banner Video
You’re probably familiar with this type of banner ad and things are pretty simple: you create a banner, embed a video and save it as an HTML5. With Bannersnack, embedding videos into banners is a one-click job.
The result you get is a banner that offers a nice short presentation of your product, without the need for the user to leave the page and go to another website. No disruption. Everything happens right here and now.
Have a look at Eurogamer’s rich media video ad:
2. Expanding banners
Using expanding banner ads to present your product’s benefits or promotion is a sure way to get attention.
How they work: expanding banners act as normal one-side/header banners until the moment you hover your mouse over them. That’s when they enlarge to cover a bigger area of the screen and start displaying a visual story of a brand/product/promotion.
Instead of using a classic size banner with one or two frames to tell your story, you can spread your ad to cover a wider area of the screen and roll out your story.
These banners can expand from up to down, from left to right or from right to left. You can use multiple slides, special animation effects and invite people to interact with the ad or incorporate a nice video.
Credit: Feliz Genzmer
B. Out of page rich media ads
1. Pop-up ads
Pop-up banners have long been with us, that’s why agencies had to find new innovative ways to pop-up without being annoying or boring.
Pop-ups were first invented to break out from the regular, on-site content, and grab users’ attention, given the banner blindness most people have when surfing the internet.
Today, pop-ups range from classic size pop-up banners to out-of-the-ordinary tiny animated stories that leave you hunger for more.
Here is an example I find truly inspiring: Overwatch’s animated pop-up banner for their new Super Heroes game. The way they built the ad is suggestive for the game. It’s like a sneak peek at the game.
2. Floating ads
Floating banners are another type of rich media ads that apparently exist independently from a web page. These banners can move with the page as you scroll down, or can maintain a locked position.
There are endless possibilities to create an impressive floating banner. There’s no need to stick to a square or rectangular shape, to one or two slides. Depending on your product or creative idea, a floating banner can take the form of…just about anything.
Lighboxes are pretty advanced interactive ads, because they can actually integrate a mini website and engage the user to complex actions.
“Lightbox is an expanding creative that works on both desktop and mobile. On desktop computers, a two-second mouseover expands the Lightbox. On mobile devices, you tap to expand. When expanded, the Lightbox takes over most of the available screen space to feature brand content, including videos, maps, games, and more.” Google
This is a beautiful example of an expanding lightbox.
In-stream video ads
Marketers realized people are already used to commercial breaks from TV, so they identified the opportunity for in-stream video ads on the internet a long time ago.
This is a great placement because you can match an audience’s interest with what your brand has to offer. In-stream video ads are placed within videos that people willingly choose to watch. Generally, users will watch the videos until the end so they will accept watching non-skippable video ads too.
For example, you can place your video ad for a cleaning product 2 minutes into a video about cooking at home.
People are already in the lean-back mode, open to receive the information, and the video ad is just like a small commercial break.
Here’s a quick example of an in-stream video ad for Petronas, an oil and gas company, during the streaming of a video debate for a Formula 1 race, on SkySports. See how they matched the audience with the product benefits?
The team at Animatron has recently conducted a study that shows just how important video ads are in online marketing campaigns. Videos can drive people to your website, promote new products and covert random viewers into buyers.
“ Video ads are on the rise. In 2018, 76% of businesses use video ads to drive traffic to their websites and promote new content, and 82% of consumers are likely to proceed and learn about the product or service after watching a video ad. This tells us a lot about the power of video ads. If a business wants to boost its online presence, be it on social or not, it is essential to start using video.” Olga Bedrina, Animatron
How to create rich media ads in Bannersnack
I’d like to show you how you can create a simple rich media banner similar to the one below, in just a few minutes, without any previous design course.
Here we go:
1. Choose a preset size for your banner or create a custom one.
2. Pick a background image. You can either browse through our stock image database or upload your own picture from your computer.
3. Upload a picture of a car from your computer. You need to cut the car from a picture prior to uploading.
4.Duplicate the car as many times as you like. We’ve created 6 cars here.
5.Go to every car layer and change the color of the car. Click on the car, go to Color -> Saturation and change the color. For better results, you can change the color of the car in Photoshop and then upload those files separately.
6.Add your text and logo.
7.After you have created all your layers, you can start animating the objects.
Add the animation effect for your first car. Go to the layer with the first car and click on the object. Check to see where the object is listed in the Timeline view and click on the layer. Go to the small rectangle at the left of the layer and click on it to see all the animation effects. For this banner we chose the “Slide right” effect.
Then, you need to set the timing for each car, so that you can create the impression the car is changing its color. Adjust the layers in timeline.
Make sure to animate your last car using the “Slide right” animation so that the car will move to the right side of the banner and leave the landscape.
8.Time to add the button. Go to the control panel on the left hand-side and pick a button. Then, add your text. Next, choose an animation effect. We used “Slide up” for the button.
9.Save and download your banner as an animated GIF, MP4 or HTML5 file. Or copy the embed code and paste it to your website.
EnRich your online campaigns! Have a try!
All righty now, we’ve reached the end! I hope you’ve learned a few things from the rich media examples I listed above. You can try creating a rich media banner for your website, in Bannersnack right now, free of charge. Our users usually experiment with our editing tool and create some pretty spectacular stuff. See what you can do for yourself!