Is Rich Media the Key to Better Engagement?

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Is Rich Media the Key to Better Engagement?

Will video or flash snippets, flexible calls-to-action, adver-gaming and other tactics really deliver measurable boosts to brand and performance campaigns?

New research from Adform may just put to rest any doubts. Over the past year, we have monitored the engagement rates of rich-media ad campaigns executed on behalf of our clients and found that their engagement rates have enjoyed a steady upward trajectory. As of the first quarter of 2013, the average rich-media engagement rate is an impressive 8.65%.

Engagement occurs whenever a user initiates a banner event, such as hovering over a banner for at least one second, clicks on it, plays a video or clicks on any video button, as well as clicks on any button in the banner (including the close button).

The engagement rate is calculated as:


# of engaging impressions / Impressions × 100 %.


Moreover, as we note below, the click-through rates for rich-media banner formats outpace standard formats by factors of 2 to 1.

Let’s take a closer look at the trends we have seen:


Rich Media Growth


First, we can see that agencies and brands are jumping into the rich-media game with both feet: from 2012 Q1 to 2013 Q1, the number of rich-media impressions hosted by Adform increased by 160%.

Oddly, the number of rich-media impressions declined during the holiday season by 25%, but rebounded quickly in the next quarter with a 46% increase.



The CTR rates for both rich-media and standard banners are relatively stable, with rich-media banners consistently delivering twice the number of clicks.


Avg. Engagement time


The engagement times for rich-media banners are relatively stable as well. Note that these rates are the average for all rich-media banner types, though we all know banner type has a huge impact on engagement time. For instance, the engagement time for floating ads is a fraction of the rate garnered by expandable ads. Moreover, banners that are auto-initiated (auto-expanding or auto-video play) have lower average engagement times than those without auto-initiation.


Despite these caveats, the message is clear: rich-media banner ads are a smart strategy for brand campaigns.


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