According to the Association of National Advertisers, 63% of advertisers planned to increase their budgets for native advertising in 2015, expanding spend to $10.7 billion, an impressive 150% increase over 2013. The concept of native ads has been around for decades in print, but the advent of digital advertising has seen them become even more pervasive. As native continues to rise, there’s no better time than now to take advantage of its ability to connect and attract the attention of your target audience.
To get the most out of native ads, follow these best practices.
In order to get the right message to the right audience, marketers must select the most appropriate channels. The commercial content must be fully immersed in the look, feel, and emotional tone of the site; it’s a simple but critical concept. Aesthetic and tonal cohesion is vital for you to consider when you decide where to communicate your brand message via native ads.
The content you share needs to add value to the lives of the consumers that view it. In one Yahoo Food case study, users were appreciative that sponsored articles helped them do exactly what they came to Yahoo Food to do: learn how to cook, learn about new types of food, and create variety in their culinary chops.
Within a content environment, lead with content, not the hard sell.
Yahoo recently had a brand sponsor highly engaged sports content during a large sporting event. When a more prominent brand logo was included in the ad, this mobile native advertising campaign yielded better results. Additionally, consumers shared that they appreciated the transparency and clarity. They were also significantly less likely to feel duped versus the original ad, which only contained minimal branding.
If you missed it, we suggest you check out the recording of our joint webinar with Yahoo to learn more about how to get the most out of native advertising. You can also download our white paper, The Essential Guide to Native Advertising: The Rise of a Digital Ad Format and Best Practices for Commanding Audience Attention.
There’s been a lot of debate as to the exact definition of native advertising. Still, there is general consensus in the industry that the definition from the IAB Native Playbook is on point: “[Native advertising refers to] paid ads that are so cohesive with the page content, assimilated into the design, and consistent with the platform behavior that the viewer simply feels that they belong.”
Despite the debate around native advertising’s definition, one thing’s certain: there are many great ways for advertisers to incorporate native into their advertising mix.
Here’s a brief summary of some of the most popular native formats and the leaders in each, according to the IAB Native Playbook.
In-feed ads are the most popular form of digital native ads. These are ads that generally have content that’s related to the surrounding content and is contextual. They can either link to other sponsored pages on a publisher’s site or may link to a brand page, video, or other content. Publishers most commonly sell these types of ads either through guaranteed placement on a certain page or through a broad category, such as “sports” in Yahoo. Ad performance is most often measured through brand lift, CTR, and conversions.
Paid search native ads blend into the native search results on the publisher SERP. They are generally located before the actual search results, and the format depends on the individual publisher, as each one has their own style and layout. These ads link to the advertiser’s landing page and are typically sold with guaranteed placement. Performance for paid search native ads is measured by conversions.
Recommendation widgets are the most similar to traditional display ads. The format of the ad does not necessarily match the native of the page that it’s on, and the ad is delivered through a “widget.” As the name suggests, these ads are presented to consumers as content they may be interested in and links to separate pages. The performance of these ads is usually measured through brand lift and interaction.
There are many other native formats that are not easily bucketed and unique in their own way. However, just because these ads don’t fall under one of the more recognizable formats doesn’t mean they’re not effective. A prime example of this is Pandora. With radio station ads displayed across devices and even in ads on connected cars, they’ve reached the number two spot in terms of total digital unique visitors, second only to Facebook.
To learn more about native advertising and how you can use it to attract audiences, check out our latest white paper, created jointly with Yahoo, The Essential Guide to Native Advertising: The Rise of a Digital Ad Format and Best Practices for Commanding Audience Attention. Also be sure to register for our 9/24 webinar, Your Guide to Native Advertising: Best Practices for Commanding Audience Attention.
Tuesday marked the debut of the Biddable World Conference in London. We were honoured that our VP & Managing Director EMEA, Jon Myers, was invited to kick off the day and discuss the past, present, and future of paid search, social, and display advertising.
Jon did a great job rounding up the history of the industry through our infographic and running through the present day, using our reports such as the 2014 Facebook Advertising Playbook. However, what really caught people’s imaginations was his view into the future and what other media might be bought on a biddable basis in an auction model.
With more and more advertising bought through auctions to target a particular audience – such as search, social advertising and programmatic display – we took a look at what other media might become targeted and biddable.
People are increasingly listening to the radio through the internet on services like Pandora, iHeartRadio, Spotify and Last.fm. The likes of Spotify have already hinted at the possibility of using an RTB platform in the future as they look to scale their advertising offering. So a future of biddable radio advertising may not be far away.
Despite all of this, one of the main ways that consumers listen to radio is still in their cars through a traditional radio signal. By the end of this year, most major car manufacturers will include some sort of connectivity as an option for new car purchases. This combined with advertising behemoth Google’s move into the production of driverless cars, suggests that traditional radio may start to lose ground in the in-car market too. There could be a day in the future where local advertisers can bid on advertising their services to cars driving through their town based on interest and demographic data from their car.
TV is increasingly watched online, whether it’s through smart TV’s from the likes of Google and Apple, gaming devices like Sony’s PlayStation and Microsoft’s Xbox, or through the general ease with which an internet enabled device can now be connected to a TV. Consumers increasingly consume TV shows and movies through catch-up and on-demand services like 4OD, BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 5 On Demand and YouTube as well as online subscription and pay-per-view services like Netflix, Amazon’s Lovefilm, and Tesco’s Blinkbox. You can even watch live TV across multiple devices using ad-funded apps like TVCatchup. Ultimately, younger generations are watching less and less live TV.
Some of these platforms, like YouTube, already offer advertising through biddable placements, whilst others are beginning to open up their inventory to video RTB platforms. Who knows, Netflix, Lovfilm and Blinkbox could even become ad funded subscriptions like Spotify in the future.
Interestingly, in the cable and satellite TV market, UK based BSkyB are already offering advertisers the opportunity to target specific households based on demographic and audience data through traditional set-top TV boxes using Sky AdSmart. This is bringing internet-like targeting to traditional media. What’s to say this couldn’t end up being bought on a biddable basis?
The outdoor advertising world has slowly moved on from the days of static billboard advertising. Increasingly, we’re seeing digital advertising boards rolling through different adverts. Innovation and better targeting are already coming into outdoor advertising with brands like Google and British Airways leading the way in creative.
Google have been promoting their Google Now product through local placements like the one below at the London Eye and also on the Underground at London Waterloo with a digital billboard highlighting the best coffee shops in the area using the Google Now interface. British Airways have also recently been using outdoor advertising to interact with their planes flying over advertising boards in London, bringing a much more interactive and targeted approach to outdoor advertising.
Mobile devices could also open up a whole world of potential targeting opportunities in outdoor advertising. Imagine a world where advertisers could bid on the audience within a certain radius of an outdoor advertising board, based on the demographic and interest data that their mobile device is giving away.
The whole world!
There is now advertising everywhere you look, and there is more of your world that could become ad funded. If you look at Nest, Google’s most recent acquisition, there is the potential that more targeted and biddable advertising could be delivered into your home through household appliances. Who knows, your energy bills may even become ad funded!
Also, if you consider Google Glass and the data Google holds about you, there is huge potential. Going back to the outdoor advertising examples above, you could see a world where all outdoor advertising boards are blank and personal advertising messages appear projected through your Google Glasses. Advertisers could bid to project their message to you based on where you are, when you are there and what intent you’ve been showing recently through your searches. With Google Glasses reportedly being developed into Google Contact Lenses, we may not be so far away from the Minority Report world where targeted biddable ad messages are delivered to everybody as they go about their daily lives.
Whilst a lot of this seems a bit far fetched, what we can be sure of is more media is becoming biddable and a lot more media will become biddable in the not too distant future. Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
Photo courtesy of Google.
Rich Media advertising is a form of advertising that utilises an array of interactive digital media, including streaming, video and audio. It represents a powerful creative opportunity, allowing campaigns to deliver far greater impact. This blog aims to understand the differences between more familiar ad types and to highlight the benefits of Rich Media ads.
Familiar ad formats include text ads and standard display ads, either static or animated using tools like Flash, typically having only one interaction. Rich Media ads are more complex and allow for greater creative freedom.
Not to be confused with Sitelinks for natural search, when enabled in an AdWords campaign, Google Adwords Sitelinks will display additional links underneath a standard text ad, and are used to drive clicks to deep content on your website. Typically Ad Sitelinks will only be served below text ads with higher-than-average CTR, position and quality score such as a creative served when a user searches one of your trademarked brand terms or a domain name that you own. Sitelinks are useful for messaging new promotions, driving traffic to high-converting content, and creating exposure for areas of your site that do not rank high in natural search.