Native advertising is growing. Since the start of the pandemic, users have been more and more exposed to ads. This has made traditional online advertising less effective, urging advertisers to focus on non-intrusive native campaigns.
The numbers speak loudly and clearly. Native display ad spending increased from $47.33bn in 2020 to $57.27bn in 2021. That trend is expected to last. The native advertising sector is predicted to continue growing, reaching $400bn by 2025.
Let us take a closer look at native advertising, what makes it so popular, and some of the latest trends.
What is native advertising?
Native ads are meant to blend in. While they’re still paid ads, they’re designed to look as natural as possible, without disrupting the user experience. Unlike display ads, native ads have the same feel and function as your website content or app. To differentiate them from editorial content, they’re labeled as ‘Sponsored’, ‘Promoted’, etc. Native ads usually contain less text, relying on captivating images to get users to click. Native CPMs and CPCs are higher than those of display ads.
Forms of native advertising include in-feed ad formats (e.g. on social media platforms), content recommendations (a.k.a. recommendations widgets), sponsored posts, and paid search ads in search engines, among others.
Why is it trendy?
Users have come to expect more from online advertising. They’ve grown more resistant to intrusive ads. Therefore, creatives are expected to be more tasteful and more relevant to user interests. Since native ads rely on a softer, more natural feel, they tend to be more well-accepted. Not only that, but they can be more informative and educational, providing more value to the audience.
As for marketers and advertisers, native ads have become popular due to their effectiveness. They generate an 8.8x higher CTR (Click-Through-Rate) compared to standard banner ads. In addition, they increase purchase intent by 18%. While quality native advertising campaigns require more time and resources to create, they can be more successful in the long run.
For publishers, the benefits of native ads include the higher visibility they can offer and a better user experience. Of course, another advantage is the higher demand for native ad inventory.
Here are some native advertising trends to keep an eye on when preparing your online advertising or monetization strategy.
Native ads help fight ad fatigue. When users become too tired of seeing ads, they simply begin to ignore them. With native advertising, the relevant and interesting content they bring engages the audience. Therefore, publishers and advertisers can use them to build trust. While research shows that the users are well aware that they’re seeing ads, there’s still a positive effect on purchase intent and brand awareness.
Advertisers can use mobile native ads to reach the ever-growing number of smartphone users. Apart from mobile web, native ads are also a great opportunity for mobile in-app monetization, including in-map and in-game. Most apps don’t have ad blockers built into them, which creates an opportunity for wider reach.
By 2022, internet video traffic is expected to comprise 82% of all consumer Internet traffic. Marketers are focusing on creating compelling and informative native video ads. With the popularity of platforms such as TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram, advertisers are trying to imitate the feel of the organic video. This involves using new angles, overlays, and audio to create unpolished, less formal creatives.
Programmatic native allows the serving of targeted native ads in real-time. As a user visits a website, an ad request is generated to fill an available ad spot. The publisher’s SSP (Supply Side Platform) sends it over to a DSP (Demand Side Platform) to fill. Based on data about the actual user, the native ad can be configured on the spot – headline, image, description, etc.
You can use server-side integration as opposed to client-side integration for your native ads. This means no ad tags need to be inserted onto the web page or app. This has several benefits, for example, it allows more control over ad appearance, ensuring a truly native feel. Also, it doesn’t negatively affect page load times. Plus, it helps against malware attacks and third-party cookie issues.
Native advertising is a powerful relationship-building tool. Of course, the landscape is constantly changing, so advertisers and publishers need to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices. With the tips above, we hope you can take full advantage of native ads.