Nothing works as well as an image for attracting attention. SocialBakers study of 5000 brand pages showed that Photos Make Up 93% of The Most Engaging Posts on Facebook.
Engagement increases conversions and turning images into in-image advertising offers unequaled opportunities for increased ROI. As Dennis Clerke, president of monetization, NetSeer wrote in In Image, But Out Of Context?:
Editorial images have long been considered sacrosanct, and for a reason: they traditionally fall on the editorial side of the article-versus-advertising divide. But they also represent valuable, untapped real estate, along with all the trappings of engagement: in fact, articles with relevant images average 94 percent more total views than those without, according to MDG Advertising.
In-Image Advertising Placements
Creative methods of turning images into ads allows placement in optimum areas without annoying target audiences. They also provide a method to more accurately track views. This video created by Imonomy shows multiple types of in-image ads:
- Images that flip to reveal the ad
- Visible strips on top of images
- Ads that appear when an image is scrolled over
- Make main featured image space available for advertising
Relevance is Key
Simply being able to place your advertising in prime areas by incorporating them into images is not sufficient to maximize revenue. Relevance is critical. The solution you choose needs to be able to ensure that the ad placement matches the content.
As with all forms of native advertising, in-image ads (also known as image-based ads) must attract your target audience and be optimized for lead generation or conversions. It is not as simple as just uploading an image.
IAB In-Image Advertising Primer
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) created an IAB In-Image Advertising Primer with comprehensive information on using In-Image ads:
- Who the IAB are and what they do
- Eye Tracking study indicated only 51% of ads are ever seen
- Types of native advertising (slide 5)
- Articles with relevant photos are viewed 94% more often than those without
- Image-based advertising drives higher key performance indicators (KPIs) including click-through rates (CTRs)
- Average 37% brand lift – almost 3x the industry average accord to Nielsen Online Brand Effect norms
- Average viewability of 77% – 51% higher than viewability benchmarks for traditional display advertising networks
- Case Study results (starting on slide 9):
- Cat photos attract cat lovers: 1.18 CTR; 90% video play rate; 50% completion rate; 4.22% CTR from video overlay to brand website
- Beautiful women sell beauty products: 1.28% CTR to product website; average 6.35 seconds time spent with branded unit; 116% brand awareness lift – nearly 5x industry average
- Images of car inventory drive sales: 1.96% CTR; average 10.4 second ad view time; 30% increase in qualified leads; Cost per lead (CPL) decreased by more than 20%; 20% lower bounce rate.
- Car images call buyers to action: 5% uplift in brand awareness while all competitors brands fall; 12% uplift in purchase intent; Strong Call to Action (CTA) results; 10% would call a dealer for more information; 11% would request a brochure; 16% would request a test drive
- In-image native ads are a win for consumers, advertisers and publishers
At this week’s IAB Leadership Meeting, viewability was the hottest topic. Covered by numerous industry publications including the Wall Street Journal, IAB told marketers 100% viewability is unrealistic:
Mr. Morris called for “rapid improvement” in the accuracy rate and the amount of media that can be accredited by vendors, but urged the industry to transact carefully during what he described as a “transition phase.”
While advertisers are pushing for 100% viewability, IAB has suggested 70% would be a more realistic goal. Whatever number is eventually settled upon, accurate measurement will be key.
Publishers who want to keep their ad rates from dropping will want to focus on being able to prove their readers see ads. Because readers interact with In-Image ads, advertisers can be assured their ads are being seen.