According to Juniper Research, the number of smartphones will more than double by 2014 and exceed 350 million by 2017, making it easier for people to remain connected at all times.
The potential of this is clear; brands can now reach their audience at any time. It does however also mean that consumers expect a different approach from advertisers at a time when advertising is changing incredibly quickly.
In order to win customers and boost conversions, brands need to ditch old advertising techniques and explore ways in which they can connect with their audiences in real-time, at the precise moment when purchase intent is highest.
Consumers share on social media every second and these moments represent an untapped opportunity for advertisers to interact with them. Hashtags are now synonymous with social and are used by consumers across social media to relate the content they post to brands, products and emotions - essentially enabling organic search.
By targeting hashtags, publishers can instantly connect with consumers who show interest in their content. Connecting with audiences using hashtag targeting gives advertisers a competitive edge, enabling them to exploit and monetise their earned media, making their paid media smarter and more effective.
For example, Advertising Week can identify individuals who use the hashtag #AWEurope on desktop computers, tablets and mobile devices and build a campaign with full page ad roadblocks across desktop and mobile platforms inviting these individuals to attend the event. Similar to search advertising, Advertising Week could then reach consumers by targeting hashtags based on categorised terms like #advertising or #ads with its promotional advertising campaign. The potential uses of social data for publishers are vast and it's vital that their content is easily shareable for that reason.
Advertising was once measured by three factors: frequency, how many times ads are displayed, recency, how long the gaps are between displaying each ad and environment, where the ad was displayed.
When online advertising was created the rules changed and, with the developments in social media, relying solely on tried and tested techniques is ineffective; connecting with customers in real-time and using native advertising techniques has never been more important. Publishers supported by web designers, should abandon antiquated advertising models in favour of a more innovative and timely method. The rise of social hashtagging and their wealth of global users and accessible information make this an easy transition for businesses to capitalise on.
Brands that look to implement these innovations will benefit from tapping into the ever-expanding digital audience.
They can grasp this opportunity or fail to adapt and be left behind.