Display advertising | 07 min read

7 reasons why you have to start building HTML5 rich media ads

Rich media ads are how you make your HTML5 display advertising stand out. In this blog we’ll detail the top seven reasons why rich media needs to be part of your marketing mix. The fact is rich media helps to drive engagement, and traffic, more effectively than standard static banner ads. Plus, combined with HTML5, it’s helping marketers produce ever more sophisticated banners in-house.

Sounds good, doesn’t it? Read on to discover why you have to start building HTML5 rich media ads today…

What are HTML5 rich media banner ads?

Firstly, according to Google, rich media ads can be defined as the following:

“Rich media is a digital advertising term for an ad that includes advanced features like video, audio, or other elements that encourage viewers to interact and engage with the content.”

These are banners that set your brand apart and make it more relevant to viewers. And the best thing: building rich media ads is easy if you have access to a creative management platform (CMP).

CMPs allow designers to produce HTML5 rich media ads without the need to code. And yes, it’s perfectly possible to code banners from scratch…but the truth is, use a CMP, and rich media ad production can take minutes rather than hours.

Think LEAN and CMP

In the past, a criticism of using rich media banners has been the “weight” of the banner. This stemmed from poorly designed rich media ads (or old school Flash ads) that reduced performance; slowing down pages or obscuring content. Hence the adoption – by some viewers – of ad blockers.

However, thanks to the use of HTML5, as well as the application of the IAB’s LEAN standards, performance isn’t an issue. Moreover, if you build a rich media ad via a CMP, your ads will be lean by default.

But without further ado, here are reasons why you need to start using rich media in your online display campaigns.

1. Boost creativity

At the heart of HTML5 rich media ads is creativity. They offer brands an inexhaustible list of ad types to use and scale across devices. Meaning marketers and designers have the chance to take advantage and experiment. This could be varying the type of content in the ad, mixing graphics with video, or engaging viewers through different types of HTML5 component.
For many years, the humble banner ad was static and offered very little in terms of interactivity. Not anymore. New formats are being developed all the time! The message is: get creative with your display campaigns!

2. Drive engagement

Rich media and viewer engagement go hand-in-hand. With findings showing that brands experience higher levels of viewer engagement from rich media ads. For example, statistics from eMarketer show an improved click-through rate (CTR) using rich media banner ads. Great news for branding campaigns.

What’s more, among the many types of digital display, it’s video and rich media that are predicted to see the greatest growth during 2018 and beyond. For advertisers, they’re an effective means of engaging, and ultimately, converting.

Another area in which rich media ads can help improve viewer engagement is optimisation. Use a CMP, and marketers can watch viewer data and use functions such as heatmaps to measure the success of designs. Plus, if available, use real-time updating to revise live banners on-the-fly. Making it simple to produce more successful banners.

3. Amazing mobile ads

Mobile formats don’t need to be boring. Users are spending over four hours on their smartphones each day – it’s where you need to be seen. If you want to produce disruptive, or boring static banners, then fine – but the truth is rich media offers both the excitement and subtlety that can grab viewers.

According to Nick King, UK Commercial Director at Exponential, rich media ads are geared for mobile. They allow smart advertisers to “engage the user in a non-disruptive way that doesn’t intrude on the intensely personal relationship between the mobile device and its user.” For example, you can embrace how viewers interact with devices, using swipe actions to rotate cube banners. Better still use a CMP and scale your HTML5 rich media campaign to work across all devices.

4. Improved click-through

Compared to standard banners, rich media ads offers better click-through rates and viewability. For example, AdRoll found that rich media banner ads have a 267% higher CTR than standard static banners.

Rich media ads also provide an opportunity to cut through so-called “banner blindness” by being more memorable. When the first banner ad appeared on our screens in the mid-nineties, it enjoyed a high CTR – it was a novelty. However, now viewers are accustomed to static banner ads, becoming – effectively – blind to them.

Memorable rich media ads can better influence brand recall and recognition. Therefore, if you want your brand to be more memorable to viewers, start building HTML5 rich media campaigns!

5. Better reach through video

Different segments of audience engage better with different types of media. Some people engage best with in-banner video, others with text, and so on. Rich media allows you to effectively communicate with different segments of your audience in the format they prefer.

Video banners, and using video in-banner, is becoming more and more popular. According to eMarketer research, the most popular types of rich media ad is video. They make awesome backgrounds, can be used outstream, or as part of a HTML5 animation. The fact is using video within display advertising is increasing due to greater user engagement.

There are of course best practises to follow when using video as you want to engage with viewers, not annoy them! Yet HTML5 combined with video is easy to design, scale and publish – with the right tools. For example, a campaign for a film could have banners containing a trailer that ends with a call-to-action (CTA) frame. Simple, but in the right hands, the options are endless.

6. Dynamic creative

Being relevant to viewers is critical for a display campaign to be a success. Different viewers engage through different types of media and message. Dynamic rich media ads mean you can engage with different segments of your audience in the way they prefer, at the most appropriate time.

Dynamic creative enables you to serve rich media ads that are enhanced by data. For example, browsing behaviour, or location data. Indeed, it can be whatever data you want – or have access to. Dynamic creatives offer the ability to show ads which are more relevant – enhancing the chances of a conversion or click-through.

Furthermore, you can produce dynamically optimised rich media banners ads too. Dynamic creative optimisation (DCO) means you can produce ever more personalised display advertising. Better still you can do it in-house, all via a CMP with the right integrations.

Which leads us neatly to our last reason as to why you need to build HTML5 rich media ads…

7. You can do it in-house

Rich media is perfect for brands that work (or want to work) in-house. Indeed, HTML5 has made creating and delivering engaging rich media experiences more accessible and affordable than ever. Rich media ads produced in-house allows advertisers to embrace agile ways of working, and be on the pulse, with campaigns that are consistent across all platforms and devices.

Furthermore, thanks to the development of CMPs, the front-end skills required to develop and deliver dynamic rich media campaigns are no longer the domain of specialist agencies. Working in-house with a CMP means all marketers can produce rich media campaigns, with all the benefits of programmatic. It’s no longer the work of less than transparent agencies!

Rich media banners built through CMPs also offer the possibility to collect and analyse more useful data than standard banners. Not only do you have access to metrics such as impressions generated and click-through rate, but data on engagement, video plays, and other interactions depending on the type of ad you’ve built. It makes A/B testing, multi-variant testing, and optimisation a reality for all sizes of in-house team.

Take-away: build rich media campaigns

Today, more than ever, it is a challenge for marketers to grab the attention of consumers. HTML5 rich media banner ads are one way of making your display advertising campaigns stand-out. Building static banners isn’t going to cut it. Sorry.

Therefore, it is essential to take advantage of the latest technology. As mentioned, a creative management platforms makes building dynamic rich media campaigns a breeze – it’s what they’re designed to do after all!

Rich media is at the heart of the Bannerflow CMP. Get in contact if you want to find out more.

Share this article

Contact us