One of the best ways for distributors to reach their target audiences and increase sales is through the use of shoppable ads. In recent months, Google added shoppable ads to its capabilities and Instagram is also promoting ways to monetize consumer searches for advertisers.

Erich Campbell, program manager of Albuquerque, NM-based BriTon Leap’s Commercial Division, believes these shoppable ads do, in fact, reach customers.

“Decorators and apparel sellers often expect customers to know what they want before they contact us,” Campbell says. “In truth, they often need a creative target. Shoppable ads allow us to give customers a vision. You can create something remarkable to get people in the door and discussing the possibilities.”

Let’s look at the benefits of these ads and how you can implement them into your decorated-apparel business.

Why Interactive Ads Are So Important

The internet allows buyers to move beyond simple visual, audio or video advertising. Now, customers can actually become immersed in the content, thanks to interactive components like “choose your own adventure” videos, quizzes and polls.

Hulu is even letting people “choose their ad experience” by picking which advertisements they prefer to watch, during their favorite TV shows’.

Here are some numbers to put the need for interactive content into better context:

  • 70% of marketers believe traditional, “static” content works in educating a potential customer about buying a product. But when you add an interactive element, that figure jumps to 93%.
  • 80% of marketers feel that interactive content can help a company stand out from the competition. (This is important when you think of how tough competition can be, when everyone is looking to make their business stand out from the crowd.)
  • 79% of marketers agree interactive content is better at brand recognition and retention. You can reuse interactive content to help promote products and services to returning customers.

Finally, the best clue that you should start using interactive elements in your advertising is that your competitors will be doing so very soon: 75% of marketers said they’ll begin implementing it soon. This comes after 88% of B2B marketers predicted a 10% to 30% increase in interactive content last year. The numbers don’t lie. Interactive content is one of the biggest trends to hit marketing.

Two Examples of Interactive Ads

There are two examples of interactive content already in use. These include Google Shoppable Ads and Instagram’s shopping tags. Let’s break down how these work.

Google Shoppable Ads: When you type in search terms on Google, the item you’re looking for appears in multiple forms under Google Images. When the shopper hovers over each item in the image, they’ll receive a pop-up balloon that includes the product’s name, along with the price and ordering information.

Image Source: Google Ads Blog

Let’s say you’re offering logoed t-shirts, hats, lanyards and sunglasses. You could post an image on Google with one model wearing all of these items. Then, the potential buyer can hover over the picture and see each item’s cost. You can include these items on your website or in email advertisements to your customer list.

This type of ad allows you to showcase your work and display product info in a fun, clean and presentable way, making it more enticing to click. It also allows for click-throughs to your website directly from Google’s search page. This is especially important because your images will show up in generic searches such as “logoed items,” which makes up the bulk of sales searches on Google.

Instagram Shopping Tags: At this point, every marketer should be aware of how important social media is to promote a company and its products. If you’re not on social media, then you need to stop what you’re doing and set up accounts on at least two platforms immediately.

One of those two should be Instagram, a platform that now has 1 billion monthly active users. With Instagram, you can post pictures and even infographics about the products in your webstore.

Since Instagram is so intensely visual, Campbell believes it’s the perfect platform to reach customers with interactive content. “With so many buyers on Instagram following fashion influencers, this will be impactful for decorated-apparel sellers,” he says. “The ability to address what a customer is already looking for and place a visual in front of them that immediately provides a representation of how a decorator can achieve that vision is incredibly powerful.”

Then, you can tag each item in a picture so they appear the same way as Google’s shoppable ads. A shopper can hover over the item, see the product and cost, and then click a link to visit your webstore to purchase it.

Instagram shopping tags work with still graphics (not video) and even work within Instagram stories. Now that Instagram has enabled shoppable content, you can bet that other platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter will look to follow suit, so they can better monetize searches on their platforms.

Tap Into Interactive Content

When you’re looking to promote your products to B2B buyers, you have to stay competitive with new and innovative forms of advertising.

Interactive content can easily turn your “passive” viewers into active purchasers. When using your social media platforms, you can promote to a variety of niche markets like healthcare, education, finance and real estate.

As a clever way to market your business, Campbell suggests targeting a local area with a design that speaks to its regional culture. “Show a custom shirt that has art or a saying that’s entertaining and shareable in its own right—something that has the potential to court an audience,” he says. “They’ll share it without even thinking that they’re spreading the word about your service.”

Ultimately, Campbell says, you can achieve two powerful goals: “You can create a potential market for your own decorated-apparel line, while also spreading the word about your services, showing your work and its quality.”

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