Move Beyond Storytelling to Enriched Visual Hypertelling

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By Brent Ramos, Director of Search at Adswerve

As a marketer, one of your main goals is to give your prospects the content they want. Today that means making your content valuable and actionable while informing and entertaining. Plus, you need to deliver that content whenever and wherever they want it—but at the same time, anticipate whatever they may want next. Sounds demanding, right? It’s the growing consumer expectation. We now exist in a world of micro-moments propelled forward by extreme personalization.

Ad formats and technologies are evolving to meet the demand by offering more visual content opportunities. Search, for instance, includes more than just keyword-filled text descriptions. Native, display and shopping formats that are increasingly visual, mobile-friendly and immersive are entering the search engine results page (SERP). And if you have a social media account, you’ve no doubt seen that your feed offers myriad ways to browse and purchase products, too.

These shifts impact your user conversion pathing, making it less about your text and more about your visual story. To deliver this level of personalization, you need to understand your audience. In this age of privacy and cookie deprecation, reaching and engaging the right audiences takes a strategy fueled by first-party data that goes beyond creative storytelling to visual hypertelling.

Hypertelling: Accumulate. Silo break. Activate.

The challenge for marketers is to convey masterful storytelling in a visual but privacy-centric way. Traditionally, display marketing has been labeled a push tactic. But, as consumers demand more control of the storytelling experience, you need to transform it into a pull tactic. Here’s how to get started:

Accumulate Your First-Party Data

Your first step is collecting first-party data, keeping in mind that big data is a thing of the past, and thick (or enriched) data is your future. Focus on bringing together your clickstream data, analytics, business intelligence and CRM data in one data warehouse.

Break Down Your Organizational Silos

Often, collecting data isn’t the biggest hurdle you’ll face. The real challenge is breaking down the silos between your media, analytics and business intelligence teams. These historically separate teams need to work together and understand each other’s worlds with unified goals and KPIs. If they don’t share goals or if they move at different paces, your ability to glean the right insights you need to reach your audiences may suffer. Firms that can eliminate silos now will win down the line.

Use Your First-Party Data Insights

Once you’ve collected your enriched data and ensured your media, analytics and business intelligence teams are aligned, you can begin finding the stories in your data. Modeling, scoring and pipe building can help fuel your media strategies with value-based bidding, predicted lifetime value, profit bidding, dynamic creative serving and more.

Alaska Airlines is a prime example of an organization that used these tools to inform its creative approach and tactical executions with visual hypertelling. It partnered with Adswerve, a leading Google Marketing Platform partner, to tie its first-party analytics and media data together and determine predictive customer lifetime value models, illuminating which media investments can develop longer-term value. It also activated the models into successful media and search campaigns to reach potential travelers during an industry downturn.

It’s Time to Start Hypertelling

Omni-channel, user-queried and highly visual expectations are becoming the norm, not the exception. Staying ahead in a competitive market will require first-party data activation. And telling your brand or product story responsibly, in a way the unique user expects, will ultimately win the market.