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Your Digital Ads: Five Reasons Why You Can’t Ignore HTML5 Anymore

Marketers can no longer ignore HTML5 (a.k.a. H5), the newest version of web coding that allows browsers to render websites. It’s been over 10 years since the last HTML update, which is a long time considering how much the web and digital advertising have changed.

Advertisers have used Adobe Flash for years to create animated online ads, but with the adoption of HTML5, Flash is on the way out. Unfortunately, the transition from Flash to HTML5 has not been smooth or easy for brands, publishers or developers. Technical and political barriers have hindered wide and early adoption. But here are five reasons why you can’t ignore HTML5 in the future.

HTML5 is the Future

H5 will become the industry standard. It is the future of display advertising and it’s a transition B2B marketers should fully understand. The goal of H5 is to create a standard and consistent experience across all devices and browsers. H5 gives us the ability to build more immersive and responsive ads that are like mini web pages. These require multiple files – an HTML file that is responsible for organizing assets and content, a CSS file which makes the ad look good and a JavaScript file for interactivity as well as image files.

For ListenLoop, H5 means each retargeted ad we deliver is unique. Aesthetically, our ads can show things like company logos and other firmographic data to resonate better with buyers. For tracking, HTML5 ads can measure interactions per visitor, enabling advertisers to get post-view conversion reports like never before. No longer must advertisers be shackled to click attribution models, unlike the days of image- or Flash-based ads.
Flash will become a liability for advertisers going forward because it’s on the way out of web browsers. The continued use of Flash will reduce the audience that is capable of viewing your ads. Some ads may not run as expected as H5 becomes more integrated with publishers and browsers. Users will have to click a start button in Chrome, for example, to initiate animation because auto-play has been eliminated for Flash. With H5, your online advertising campaign should run as expected.

New Guidelines for HTML5

In September, the International Advertising Bureau (IAB) updated guidelines for HTML5 best practices and specifications for brand advertisers and ad-focused developers. The IAB is in a public comment period until this Friday, October 30th. This is the first update the organization has made regarding H5 in over two years so it has caught the attention of designers.

Learning everything you need to know about H5 can be overwhelming, so we’ve created five lists of five things you should know about HTML5.

Five reasons to embrace HTML5 right now:

  1. Google, Firefox, Apple, Facebook and Amazon are all transitioning from Flash to H5.
  2. YouTube uses H5 by default in Chrome, IE 11, Safari 8, and Firefox.
  3. Over half of the top 10,000 websites around the world use HTML5.
  4. HTML5 multimedia content can run on any type of computer and mobile device, unlike Flash.
  5. Publishers will begin to ban Flash to preserve the user experience and for better security against malvertising.

Five things HTML5 means for advertising:

  1. H5 opens the door to a new set of rich animation and interactive content features that work universally across any platform or device type. Ads render like web pages.
  2. You will need someone with technical expertise because tools are not readily available to build H5 ads.  The free tool we think works best is the Google Web Designer.
  3. Mobile advertising only supports H5 so if you want mobile impressions, you have to be on board with H5.
  4. Geolocation means you can pinpoint user location using the positioning capabilities of their device.
  5. Overall, the user experience is better with HTML5 with faster load times.

Five improvements with HTML5:

  1. Audio and video
  2. Vector graphics and animation
  3. Drag and drop
  4. Editable web page content
  5. Storage within the browser

Five challenges with HTML5:

  1. Tracking is not standardized.
  2. You may need to use an external tool to convert existing Flash ads to H5 or work directly with the publisher. Work with publishers to understand what their plans are for H5 and start designing ads in H5. Converter tools only work about 50 percent of the time.
  3. H5 displays inconsistently on older browser versions or Internet Explorer.
  4. Designers are having difficulty syncing audio with animation. It’s time-consuming and there are few tools available to make it easier.

Five technical considerations for creative ads:

  1. Pixel density
  2. Screen sizes
  3. Keyboards
  4. Touch Screens
  5. Animation

We hope your transition from Flash to HTML5 is seamless. Your B2B display advertising can only get better and with personalized ad retargeting, it can only be more effective.

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