There are more than five trillion images online.
Traditional display advertising has remained static for several years, while its performance has steadily declined. With the exception of the IABs Rising Stars initiative, banner ad creative had not been updated since 2003. Still, relatively few alternatives exist to combat low engagement rates and what is commonly referred to as banner blindness.
Programmatic buying breathed new life into the display ecosystem, but it has done little to improve the results of advertisers with awareness objectives or to bolster the CPMs of premium content publishers. While the creative community is generally supportive of new, more dynamic formats, they are meaningless to brands without also having delivery at scale.
Enter in-image advertising.
Displaying contextually-relevant ads on images where a viewers attention is focused, has had a profound impact on engagement. Not only are in-image ads seen more often due to their placement within editorial content, consumer engagement is significantly higher, yielding a meaningful lift in brand metrics and click-through rates five to seven times higher than standard banner ads.
Turning images into advertising inventory represents an exciting channel for advertisers and a new form of monetization for publishers. But why now? Why did it take more than 15 years into the advent of the commercial web for a format seemingly so obvious to emerge?
The answer lies primarily in technology. Understanding the meaning of images so they can be classified for ad targeting is only one such feat. Another technical challenge is accurately displaying ads on photos of varied sizes, and the dynamic inventory source they represent since photos are constantly being added to publishers pages.
Also noteworthy is the explosion of images and the rise of the visual web. By some estimates, there are more than five trillion images online, with more than 300 million new ones uploaded daily on Facebook alone. While not all photos are suitable for advertising, the sheer volume of available images makes those that are contextually relevant and brand safe a scalable opportunity for marketers.
This white paper provides brands and the agency community with a basic overview of in-image advertising and how it can be used to reach their objectives.
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Bonus Video: 3 Billionaire Success Lessons from Mark Cuban