What 2019 holds for the advertising industry by Imad Jomaa

Imad Jomaa is the founder and president of JGROUP.

The future of advertising in part depends on the world’s pace in technological advancement. In order to keep up with the times, agencies and brands need to be up-to-date on what is relevant, and the means to stay relevant, in order to reach their audiences in an effective manner.

eMarketer, a market research company, estimates that a majority of ads will be bought via automated channels. This will be done through a method called programmatic advertising, which uses specific software to purchase digital advertising. With advertisers’ main goal being effectiveness of a campaign and its efficiency, not everything can be done with programmatic means; storytelling as well as a brand’s value will always need a human driver.

Over the years, in addition to the times to come, advertising has evolved on the safety and transparency fronts. Staying true to a particular brand’s values means running ads in environments and places consumers consider trustworthy. This puts emphasis on brands not wanting to associate themselves with messaging that does not align with their purpose, which is more drive for them to fact check and make sure all content is in line with their brand.

As for the use of artificial intelligence, brands have been moving towards its use since it increases effectiveness through better optimisation. AI can help in creating ads that are customised and relevant to what viewers are looking at or searching for. The crucial aspect advertisers need to keep in mind is transparency, as well as making sure consumers know they can make informed choices on their participation and viewership.

When it comes to measuring an ad’s impact, digital technology has proved to be effective in terms of clicks, likes, views and site visits, but those are not the only elements that measure success and impressions. A new and upcoming method is the use of virtual and augmented reality, where valuable aspects such as biometrics and facial recognition can be measured to capture emotions and facial expressions during an experience. This will usher in a new era in storytelling – where an experience is more impactful than reading text.

The public seeks connection and meaning more than in previous times. Brands should focus on experiences that make a powerful impact that establishes authentic emotional connections. This can be done by targeting consumers directly in order to build relationships, and one way of doing so is by storytelling through engaging videos.

Moving forward into 2019, and potentially years to come, video remains the most addictive, as well as the most entertaining, form of viewing content online. One thing that has exploded on social media, namely on YouTube, is vlogging, and businesses have been gradually venturing into the world of vlogging, and it does not seem like it will be slowing down anytime soon. These video blogs have become so popular over the years since individuals and brands give audiences a peek into their daily lives, lifestyle routines and tutorials among others.

Instagram Live, Facebook Live and other platforms such as YouTube and Twitch will become bigger for brands in 2019. Viewers feel like they are being spoken to directly via live video, where they are able to react, comment and contribute to conversations in real time. In order to make the interaction more personal, live videos can encourage engagement from viewers and prolong viewing time. Brands can utilise live videos to showcase new products, interviews, facility tours, interviews and more.

Another powerful video tool that can be used is 360-degree videos. By providing uniquely interactive experiences, audiences become completely immersed and have a taste of what brands aim to deliver. Travel-centric brands, retail, galleries, real estate and even events can benefit immensely from the use of these videos.

In a world full of rapid changes, it is essential for brands and advertising agencies to keep a look out for trends and stay up to date on industry forecasts. As 2019 is just on the horizon, top trends seem to remain more vivid, more relevant, and could be well on their way to gradually make an even larger impact on the digital advertising world.