Brands are increasing their use of native advertising to connect with consumers and build trust. These ads mimic a publisher's or channel's editorial look, but are focused more squarely on consumers' interests and attention spans. Native ads are expected to become the fast-growing segment of digital advertising.
According to Business Insider, ad revenue from native advertising will make up some 75 percent of all U.S. display ad revenue in the next few years. Data from PwC, the Interactive Advertising Bureau, and others were analyzed to note this growth, which is up from 56 percent of all display ad revenue in 2016.
From the consumer side, about one-quarter of consumers view native ads more frequently than display ads. Additionally, native ads help to increase purchase intent. One study showed purchase intent rises more than 50 percent with native ads compared to traditional online ads.
A native advertising effectiveness study conducted by My6Sense found native ads that appear in feeds showed twice as many click-throughs and engagement rates as recommendation widgets, and nearly 10 times higher click-through rates and engagement than ad units.
The report also found native recommendation widgets are the most widely used form of native ad units (38 percent), followed by in-feed units (30 percent), in-ad units (25 percent), and textual and custom designs (7 percent). The data were derived from an analysis of the company's programmatic native ad platform from July through December 2017.
Leveraging the power of native ads is something advertisers should consider. Here are five more reasons advertisers can benefit from native advertising:
Native ads blend seamlessly with site content, so there's less resistance from consumers.
Native ads work because they resemble the editorial style of chosen publications on a consumer's feed. For this reason, they are better received by target audiences. Viewers may not see them as intrusive, and may read the content rather than gloss over it. "The Washington Post," for example, features a native ad that has the look and feel of an op-ed. Readers are more accustomed to that style, and more likely to click through to read the sponsored ad content.
Native ads' custom targeting can result in lower CPC and higher CTR.
Blatantly sponsored article content can turn off viewers, but bringing readers higher value with relevant, targeted paid content can bring about higher click-through rates (CTR) and a lower cost per click (CPC).
A business of any size can use native advertising to reach consumers.
Small, local brands can use native sponsored content in the same way as large advertisers. It's all about targeting your audience with relevant content. That's important to news publishers, who are increasingly offering native advertising formats. At least half of the respondents to a recent native advertising survey say they offer native ad formats; the other half are on their way to doing the same.
If a niche industry brand can use LinkedIn or Facebook to run B2C or B2B native ads to reach its small audience and achieve its CTR goals, then native advertising can be a valuable investment.
Native ads can get more shares because they're frequently paired with informative content.
Shareability is a large part of native advertising success. By combining useful content with relevant targeting, the probability of sharing grows.
Design your native ads with quality in mind. By leading your brand with seldom-seen topics, your sponsored content could attract far more viewers than with overused content.
Native ads attract consumers who are generally more interested and of higher quality.
The trust level of native ads has helped to make them relevant to smart consumers. They are likely to know the content of a native ad will be relevant to their interests. This cooperation between you and the consumer is one of the reasons for the growth of the sector and its continued quality.
Use of native advertising is expected to increase and evolve over the next few years as it maintains its leadership in online advertising.