The natives aren’t restless, they’re revved up and ready to go. Native advertising is hot these days and for good reason. Creative that matches the form, feel and function of the content where it appears has a higher likelihood of resonating with the viewer. In addition, there’s a greater chance that the trust the consumer has in the publication he or she is reading will rub off on the brand if the native ad is done well. That’s one reason the Wall Street Journal recently highlighted native’s growth streak, citing eMarketer data projecting that this year more than three-quarters of all display advertising on mobile will be native, and nearly 96% of spending of advertising on social media will be native ad units. Here are a few things advertisers should consider in planning their native strategies.
When It’s Done Right, the Pay Offs are Huge
Want some evidence of how effective good native can be? When the New York Times launched its T Brand Studio devoted to creating content for brands, its native approach to promoting Netflix’s Orange is the New Black show exceeded both the Times’ and Netflix’s expectations. The paid Post, “Women Inmates: Why the Male Model Doesn’t Work,” was among the top 1,000 trafficked articles on NYTimes.com during the airing period. And if 1,000 doesn’t sound like a lot, that represents 1.47% of the 68,000 articles published during that time period. For an ad. That noted, native advertising can have a dark side. If an ad is not clearly marked as such, consumers get confused and angry, which damages the standing of both the media organization and the brand in one fell swoop. To avoid such a misstep, one of The Drum’s editorial contributors offered some advice in his recent native advertising trend report. Here are a few of the most salient points.
Video is the Way of the Future
One strong spot for native ads is video, and mobile-oriented video, in particular. As 78% of marketers plan to increase their production of digital video ads this year, much of those budgets are expected to be put toward native video ads, according to a recent survey from Clinch. Other online platforms, including LinkedIn, have also recently launched native ad options and sponsored content tools.
Make “Thumb-Stopping Creative”
We don’t have to tell you that consumers are embracing mobile like never before. But here’s a fun fact from Adyoulikeit, a leading native ad platform. Most mobile users scroll 178 meters through a feed each day. Power users go up to 277. Native advertising is the form that works best in the mobile medium, but, with users scrolling quickly, advertisers need to be sure what they’re putting in front of consumers is going to be get their attention — which leads to next point.
Content is Still King
As Anda Gansca, co-founder and CEO of content measurement and intelligence platform Knotch, told eMarketer, “When it comes to content, the formula for success is multivariate,” she said. “And it’s so much more complex than for advertising. Brands have to embrace the fact that by doing content, they’re trying to engage in a much more complex form of communication. And as such, they need to define their own success and understand how they want to improve based on their own benchmark.”
In the end, if publishers and brands make it their responsibility to draw a line clearly between editorial and native ad content and consumers make it their responsibility to look for and be aware of that line, native advertising is a win-win-win for all three parties.