Why Native Advertising?
Advertisers are facing hard times with the advent of digital. Indeed, it offers huge opportunities to reach the right person at the right time, but let’s face it: we all hate seeing aggressive ads on our screens while we navigate. It’s time for our brands to go further in the conversation, and understand why we dislike those banners so much. Native advertising has become the solution for a few years: this new type of ad is a piece of content that looks and feels like the editorial environment it is plugged in.
Internet users and Advertising: the growing war
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), is a high authority in the digital advertising world that standardizes formats, and provides legal support for this industry. It also conducts many researches and surveys to publish reports, delivering valuable information and insights to advertisers or agencies in this sector.
It has recently released a barometer saying that 30 to 36% of French Internet Users have an adblocker installed on their browser. Adblockers appeared at the same time as the Internet, but it is only very recently that this technology has boomed. The same IAB report says internet users that have installed an adblocker has increased by 20% in the last 12 months.
The market must offer an alternative to those classical formats, brands want to act with great caution and respect towards internet users.
Understand what the user wants
Web-surfers do not want to be forced to see an ad: they want to control the advertisements they see by choosing to turn the sound On or Off, by choosing to see only 2 instead of 10 times the same ad, or simply by being able to close the ad when they are done looking at it.
The IAB report says 40% of people who have installed an adblocker answered “I want less ads”, and this is something we all understand.
However, what is interesting is that the same survey shows how 37% of the same group installed their ad block “to have well contextualized adverts”. It reveals digital advertising is not dead: it is still accepted, but in a different way. This is all the more surprising since behind this statement we understand there is a real demand from users to keep ads on their screen; it just has to be better integrated.
Native Advertising: the solution?
What is Native Advertising anyway? According to Sharethrough, it is a form of paid media where the ad experience follows the natural form and function of the user experience in which it is placed.
Matt Cohen, founder and CEO of start-up OneSpot, defines native advertising as “non-interruptive” advertising. “Promoted tweets are native to the Twitter browsing experience. These advertisements are not asking you to do something other than what you’ve come to the website to do already.”
Advertisers now have to suggest an ad instead of pushing it. The best example on the digital advertising market is the model of Google’s sponsored links: the advertising is pushed forward as a suggested service, and not imposed. It is there because you asked for it, or something like it.
Here are multiple examples of Native Ads:
Search and Promoted Listing
We consider this type of digital advertising efficient because it responds to most of internet users’ concerns towards digital advertising.
Also, figures speak for themselves:
- 25% more consumers were measured to look at in-feed native ad placements (the most common editorial native ad format) than display ad units.
- Consumers looked at native ads 53% more frequently than display ads.
- Native ads registered 18% higher lift in purchase intent and 9% lift for brand affinity responses than banner ads
(Source: Native Ad Research from IPG & Sharethrough).
As performance is the key, click-through rate is the main metric advertisers are going to look at. Business Insider’s Premium Research Service has conducted a study on digital media ad spend in the US, and some interesting figures were pulled out: average CTR for native ads on smartphone represents almost five times the average CTR for traditional display. The graphic below shows the huge gap between display and native ads.
Native Video kills the Display Star
Catching the attention of your user is the key for advertisers, and video has become the rising medium to find efficiency. Combining it with editorial contextualization and good integration, native video advertising is conquering the digital advertising market.
The Digital Marketplace Teads has decided to focus its business model on video instead of classical display banners. The idea was to find another way to offer quality branding content to users, without forcing it to see the ad: they wanted to escape from the pre-roll that is sometimes unskippable, unwanted, too long compared to the content you want to consume, etc. Teads discovered what we call “outstream video”: the video is plugged into an editorial content such as an article, and is stopping if the user scrolls down.
This guarantees to the advertiser that if its ad is seen until the end, the user has actually watched it until the end. This helps the publisher monetize its website with beautiful and well-integrated ads. This engages more the consumer as the format is contextualized, integrated, non-aggressive, and stops when wanted.
The video is no longer limiting, it does not represent a barrier to the content you want to see, and this is what proves its effectiveness.
Native advertising still has a promising future. Personalization is the key to effectiveness, and the market has understood this. Many new actors will come to the market to push the individualization to next level, with DCO (Dynamic Creation Optimization) for example: your ad is different according to the time of the day, to your age, to your geo-localization etc.