Due to so many media professionals questioning the real meaning behind the buzz word “native advertising”, here is my definition:
A native advertising definition
Native advertising is a paid form of advertising where the adverts sit seamlessly into the overall design of the host site. Naturally following the user experience so that they look like part of the site, rather than having any external element to it.
In short: all native ads are clearly labelled branded messages that look and feel like natural content.
The above is a broad definition of native advertising.
Native Advertising Examples
Some of the largest media companies in the world use native ads to monetize their sites.
In fact it was social media companies like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn that pioneered native formats.
Leading publishers are also increasingly turning to native models to boost their ad revenues. Many of these leading publishers use native ad platforms and technologies to power their native ads.
Native advertising types
Native advertising is a broad term – some would say too broad – with many definitions and categorisations. Broadly speaking, you can categorise native advertising into paid search units (Yahoo, Google, Bing), In-Ad IAB standard native element units (which is essentially running a content style ad in a banner placement), content recommendation units. Content recommendation units are those related content units found at the bottom of articles.
You also have In-Feed Native Ad Units
Feeds are the most effective ways of brands to distribute content because the goal of the feed is to show the right content to the right people at the right time. Whether it’s from a news source halfway around the world or promoted content from a brand.
Native advertising growth
In a media landscape where consumers are bombarded with thousands of messages each day, there is a lot of competition for time and ‘eyeballs’. Add to this the ubiquity of online connections – via Smartphone, tablet and desktop, representing countless engagement opportunities for brands – and it is easy to see how traditional advertising forms are diluted and become less effective.
In order to succeed, brands have to have something worthwhile to offer. Interruptions to the user experience are seldom rewarded. At best they are ignored and are therefore irrelevant; at worst they can really damage your brand.
To succeed, brands have to start thinking like publishers – offering their customers interesting and worthwhile content that they want to consume and share.
Rather than be rewarded for ‘shouting the loudest and longest’, which is the traditional reward for spending a lot of money on marketing, for success nowadays you have to use creative techniques to earn that reward. And this is exactly what native does.
By introducing a native ad via a mobile app, brands can ensure their ad doesn’t cause the same level of disruption a banner does – keeping everyone happy.
With the adoption of subtle but extremely targeted native ads through the medium of a mobile device, brands can engage with their customers on mobile like never before.
Mobile advertising via native ads is also the most effective way to target Millenials
Millennials love a native ad – and yes, we have proof.
Just to clarify, the millennials are those that reached adulthood in the 21st century.
So, why does the younger generation click with the native ad so well? Recently commissioned research that interviewed a total of 1,000 UK adults aged between 18 and 34 years.
The research found that 57% of those under the age of 34 will engage with native ads – with this figure rising to 64% for those between 18 and 24.
Programmatic native advertising: OpenRTB 2.3
The future for native is in programmatic trading. Programmatic native works by serving native ad placements across sites on an impression basis, using real-time data and technology, so that only the most relevant native advertisement is displayed to a specific user.
It promises to boost user experience, scale content distribution and reduce time management of native advertising
There has been considerable debate in the industry about how native advertising can – or even if it should – be traded programmatically. But whatever the opinion; it is already happening.
With the advent of OpenRTB 2.3 IAB programmatic guidelines there is now the ability to set up and manage in-feed native ads across multiple publisher placements – all in real time bidding and automated for scale. New technological advances and native ad platform upgrades, mean that the true potential of native advertising can be achieved: the data-driven heavy lifting of managing campaigns is done programmatically, allowing for increased creative experimentation and implementation to be executed by brands.