Accidental Click: Display Advertising's Pitfall

Whether its click fraud, or the accidental click, media agencies and their clients are yet to come to grips with these pitfalls in display advertising. Besides, click fraud (usually, clicks appearing on impressions that were actually never even seen), the accidental click is something that seems unavoidable at the moment – happening typically on mobile and tablet, and sometimes on gaming content sites. The problem with the accidental click is that there is never any intent there towards conversion – and no matter what Click Through Rates say, it is conversion that really counts.

One quick giveaway for the accidental click is the high CTR (Click Through Rates), but low conversion. Typically, a good agency will spot this, domain by domain, and try and block that domain from campaigns or raise the issue with the publisher/SSP where this happens. One way to tackle this is also design. One cannot but blame the incredibly small size of the mobile ad and the even smaller call to action button for this – so at design stage this might be worth considering.

The accidental clicker will not convert – you simply need to accept that. In act, typically, the accidental clicker absolutely hates the way he or she was drawn into that accidental action – and they end up with a pretty negative impression of the brand in question. Brands must be more accepting of higher CPC rates because often agencies will not pursue their goal of helping avoid the accidental (or the fraudulent unseen click) if they are chasing low CPC rates. 

With today's programmatic options, you need to recognize display advertising for what it is: that display actually works well (often in multiple impressions) along the customer journey path – and you can track that. There's this concept of 'view-through' conversions – which means that the actual conversion (the Zero Moment of Truth per Google) actually may happen on another channel because the user has seen several display reminders before arriving at a decision. Search is usually one of those final decision moment channels – but it happens (that coveted final click to convert) because of the sowing of the display seeds.

Forbes published a piece on this and how Google were handling this "Google found most of the accidental clicks on app image ads happened at the outer edges of the ad, no doubt because people were trying to scroll up or click on adjacent content. So now, Google has added a prompt to “Visit site” whenever people click on the outskirts of the ad. It’s an extra click, but it also ensures that’s really what the person wanted to do."

In summary, the accidental click cannot simply be attributed to 'fat finger syndrome' on a small screen and wished away. The brand, the media agency, the publisher, and often the design agency ned to work closely together to avoid this pitfall.

2016: Where is Content Marketing Headed?

While three out of four marketing professionals claim to be 'using' content marketing, way less than half of that number can vouch for the actual effectiveness of what it does for them. I suspect that one of the main reasons why content marketing does not work for quite a number of folks out there is because they really don't know where its headed and they don't have a strategy. And, add to that, they have no clue about their real target audience – and content audience is not always the same as a marketing/advertising target audience. First things first, though, one needs to know where content marketing stands today, and what we could or should expect to see in 2016.

The role of the brand as content generator or creator is a given. But how does that content stand out amongst the huge amount of content that is out there. With technology today, any one and every one is capable of creating broadcast quality content (at least technically, if not creatively). Apps and hardware-software combinations now lets the girl next door create tv or cinema quality content. So, brand created content needs to be top quality from a production point of view, first and foremost. More importantly, its vital that the storytelling – the real value of content – is one that is top notch. Not every one can tell a good story, and that's exactly where content in 2016 will need to excel – a good great story (one that resonates with the audience), told well (creative quality, production excellence) and delivered in context.

Add to this a new role for brands that want to stand out: brand as curator or aggregator, facilitator, connector of all stories great and small – around the brand, the customer, the context. 2016 will see audiences connect and engage with brands that not only tell their own beautiful stories, create their own great content, but also ones that curate and bring them the best out there from various sources. Call this what you will, but it's like the big move we've seen in music – from the pure artist to the dj, the producer. Imagine that then for 2016: the brand as mixer.

I've said this in 2014. And in 2015. And I am saying this again: this will be the year of visual content. And in that reference: video. Brands will be in video like never before, weaving in better video, higher quality streaming, video apps, and interactivity within video. But video. Cue in then: attention from both audio and moving images. Good old theory.  Cisco have already predicted that video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic by 2017.  And, I'm betting you'll see interesting video formats as well, the standard, the 16:9, the vertical, the square 640x640 and more.

Next big 2016 content buzzword? Mobile. It's almost repeat time again, just like video. But honestly, we'll really see a lot more focus on mobile content – not just mobile friendly, but mobile specific content. Brands and marketers are quietly slipping out of their 'digital first' corner towards the 'mobile first' one. And we'll see a lot of conversion driven mobile content being created to improve mobile engagement, and persuasion mechanics.

Because good content is inherently endearing, it somehow really glues itself to a concept of following, and in extension loyalty. I don't necessarily mean great loyalty to brand or product purchase, but more a sort of affinity towards the brand that brings good, relevant, useful, entertaining and sharable content.

Finally, 2016 will not just see an exponential increase in the volume and velocity of content, but also in a scale of variety. Yes, we'll see video, but we'll see video being brought to you across different platforms, different delivery mechanisms. You'll see clever content being built via video into apps. That's like content within content. Who would have thought of that?