Banner ads just don’t work anymore.
It’s as plain and simple as that. According to recent studies, the average online media consumer sees 1,707 banner ads per month but only clicks through on 0.1 percent of them.
That’s for all display ad formats; a 468-pixel x 60-pixel banner ad has an industry-wide average 0.04 percent click-through rate.
What’s more, content marketers are creating 27 million pieces of content per day, doubling the amount of content available on the web every year or so.
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As such, we have so much information constantly barraging us that we start to block it out. A phenomenon known as "content shock".
Sure, there’s value to be found in Facebook promoted posts, search ads and other paid channels online, but that’s just one component of the ideal media mix.
What about traditional paid media? TV as we know it is dead, with streaming services and DVRs making it possible for viewers to completely avoid commercials altogether.
In the meantime, broadcast and cable are continuing to see dwindling audience numbers, with “cord cutting” having accelerated during 2015, a clear sign that paid media budgets are best spent elsewhere.
More and more of us are relying on streaming services like Amazon, Netflix and Hulu, whereas others are completely getting rid of the TV and relying solely on over-the-air options.
If you want your advertising to truly succeed, then it’s time to get creative with your media placements.
Here are three innovative ad channels to consider trying.
1. Product Placements on Instagram
Instagram is a highly popular social platform that is owned by, and integrated with, Facebook. Brands are finding significant value with an ever-growing set of paid posting options in the visual network, and now a whole slew of third-party booking platforms are being thrown into the mix, thanks to a new API.
If you want to get your product in front of a large audience of potential customers, though, you can also explore any number of sponsorship opportunities on Instagram.
One great place to start may be to check out the top influencers in your niche who are on Instabrand’s influencer marketplace.
The company will connect you with top Instagram users related to your market, so you can negotiate product placement deals.
Influencers sign up to partner with your brand so they can get paid to create sponsored organic content and spread your visuals to their followers.
To be accepted into the platform, influencers must have more than 10,000 followers and 1,000 likes per post.
This guarantees your product placement will get maximum exposure value.
2. Supermarket Big Screens
How many times have you stood in line awaiting to check out at the grocery store an ended up buying something on display that you didn’t originally intended to buy?
Whether it’s a candy bar, a pack of gum, a magazine or some lip balm, these “impulse rack” point-of-sale displays work because they grab your attention while you wait.
Impax Media offers a similar context for advertising content, placing your ads on screens located in and near the checkout line.
So instead of looking for something useless to buy, your audience will be captivated by your message.
“A captive audience standing on a checkout line is much more likely to view a screen within their line of sight than when they are walking around the store,” says Impax CEO Dominick Porco.
“That’s why captive audiences command higher CPMs.”
In addition to ad spots, the platform also supports sponsored content segments such as car ownership tips and recipes, so you can spread the word about your business without annoying people with a sales pitch.
Because Impax Media uses innovative, proprietary tech in their screens, they can gather a variety of metrics on shopper attention and ad viewing to provide analytics for the advertisers.
This allows you to see how well your clips are performing, so you can adjust your strategy accordingly and properly measure return on investment, just like you would with an online media buy.
3. Sponsored Sneaker Soles
If you’re looking to get extra creative and less conventional with your advertising, you can pay to have your message placed on people’s sneaker soles.
Brands like Supra offer this service to ensure that your ads go wherever the wearer treads.
It works because it’s an attention-catching way to generate interest in not only the shoes themselves but also in whatever they’re advertising on the bottoms.
Because Supra is a high-end shoe, this is a good way to get your message in front of an audience that likely isn’t running on a tight budget.
Many in the industry have noticed that today’s consumers are becoming disillusioned with being constantly connected via smartphones, so offline media surely deserves a place in any paid media mix.
The Best Context for Your Message
No matter what industry you’re in, one thing is clear. If you want to capture the attention of your audience, you must take a creative approach and shift to the platforms most likely to get noticed by the audience you want to reach. Often that means getting creative.
On the other hand, people always need to go to the grocery store, people will always be walking around wearing shoes, and millions of people use Instagram every day.
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These are solid platforms that will help spread your brand messaging while also circumventing content shock.