At ad:tech New York, the future of tablets seemed bright – marketers discussed that iPad sales are expected to reach 40 million by 2011. Brands looking to leverage these platforms to reach high-tech audiences need to create content that caters to tablet features without sacrificing quality. Michal Shapiro, Conde Nast's executive director of creative services, offered attendees some insight on content development for tablets.
Shapiro began with an overview of the types of content she has worked on for Conde Nast. One notable ad was for a haircare product and was directed at iPad users; it featured an image of a straight-haired woman and accompanying text explaining her dull life. Users were then directed to shake their iPad, and the woman magically developed curls as the narrative shifted toward exciting things to come. This successful ad, Shapiro explains, tells a keyword-optimized story and takes advantage of the advanced capabilities of the iPad.
Creating narrative ad content for tablets is key, says Shapiro. Copy should be married with high-resolution photos for optimal storytelling, and the features of tablets – including touchscreens, landscape and portrait viewing options, swipe features and zoom capabilities – must be leveraged in that story. She suggests that marketers always make their content viewable in both portrait and landscape instead of forcing orientation on consumers. Additionally, she says that research indicates users like links and are frustrated when URLs don't take them to new pages.
When linking, it's important to consider that the best results come from multiple links that take consumers through a narrative. Shapiro says she has seen success using links that carry users through a purchase funnel. Instead of linking an advertisement for a purse to a homepage, she says, link to a product page for that specific bag. From there, make sure to include clear calls to action. Shapiro stresses that navigational cues must be intuitive.
While creating sophisticated ad content for tablets can be an investment, Shapiro suggests it pays off. She cited stats showing that 45 percent if iPad users click on multimedia ads, though just 26 percent of iPhone and 27 percent of other connected device users click through ads. Moreover, 24 percent of ad viewers made in-store purchases with their iPads, compared to 10 percent of other device users.
Marketers may want to get on board with tablets when designing 2011 campaigns, whether through brand-specific apps or ads with]in existing content on the devices. New Image Media officials at ad:tech New York said interactive periodicals on tablets are a $3 billion market.