The world of advertising has changed monumentally in recent years, and it continues to evolve.
In the past, advertising was simple and there wasn’t much of it. We would see ads in our local or national newspapers. We would hear spots on our local radio – there was no such thing as satellite radio, news via podcasts or streaming music online.
We would see advertisements on television, which was local or national but with few channels available. Besides the many changes to those media, the online world has introduced us to other massive changes.
Now we have the Internet, and we have also experienced incredible growth in mobile, tablet and smartphone technology and usage.
All that technology has meant an incredible increase in numbers of messages and the amount of information we receive daily.
According to visualcapitalist.com, we are exposed to over 5000 brand contacts a day, with 362 of those being advertisements. And how many of those ads make an impression? Not many – only 12.
So it’s not surprising to see advertisers evolve with us.
The explosion of Native Advertising
Spending on native advertising has exploded and is expected to continue to grow at a rapid pace.
Visualcapitalist.com reports :
- People view native ads 53% more than banner ads.
- 70% of people want to learn about products through content rather than advertising.
- 32% of consumers are more willing to share native ads with family or friends, vs. 19% who would share banner ads.
Evolution Of Native Advertising
Callum Mundine, Amazon Marketplace Specialist of One Egg has stated that native advertising has evolved, in part, becuase of the ever-changing usage patterns and habits within the consumer market.
Among the most successful tactics for native advertising are the following.
Native banner ads
Let’s use an example to show how native banner ads have proven effective. You’re shopping for a specific product, in this instance a backpack, and you find an article that reviews backpacks.
Embedded in the article is a banner ad for a popular backpack sold on Amazon. These types of ads fit unobtrusively into the web page and invite users to click on the product.
Native banner ads can appear in search results, recommendations, and text links embedded in the web page content.
Social native ads
Social native ads, which blend into the newsfeed of your favourite social media, have also been effective.
They don’t stand out like banner ads and the networks have powerful built-in targeting tools. Examples include Twitter’s Promoted Tweets and Facebook’s promoted stories.
Native-style emails have also proven to be effective for advertising, with plain-text emails being the best.
These look like emails you might receive from family and friends, so they have proven to be more successful than HTML-style emails, which are image-rich and look like advertisements.
Native Discovery Ads
Another successful evolution of native advertising is native discovery ads.
These are targeted to when consumers are just beginning the discovery phase of their search – they are surfing the net, scrolling through results, and they are prime targets for a native ad related to their search.
Integrating native ads with the scrolling experience is effective because this is a key way that users behave online, particularly on mobile devices.
Sectorlight.com cites a ClickTale analysis that states 22% of mobile users scroll to the end of the web page, no matter how long it is.
Users are now so used to scrolling through searches or “feeds” to find what captures their attention, that the top 10 mobile sites in news, technology and entertainment all use a feed-based design.
Native ads are a perfect fit for that consumer preference.
Native ads appear within the feed, and therefore receive more attention from viewers than banner ads, on both desktop and mobile devices.
Sponsored content can vary from a guest post article to a list to a video, as long as it looks native to the publisher website.
It’s most successful when it provides value to readers, by being educational or entertaining.
Sponsored content can establish a business as an expert in its industry, it can establish trust with customers, and it can create long-term brand awareness. It can also lead to a short-term benefit in a sales jump when published.
Trends to Consider
It’s important for companies and their marketing strategists to remember the technology and how it’s used will continue to evolve. Change got us to this point, and change will continue to happen.
For instance, smartphone usage continues to grow, and how people use their phones is evolving as well.
Advertising campaigns need to understand and create native ad content that works with the way people use their phones.
Location-based advertising is a powerful tool, particularly for small businesses. The rise in smartphones is a huge opportunity for these types of companies because they can target their local population using smartphones more than ever.
Taking into account the differences within your audience is also important. Customers are not typically, all the same, so consider advertising that fits the different members of your target audience.
Differences can be in age, gender, culture, etc. Knowing your audience remains an important component of any advertising campaign.
Understanding the habits of your customers is also important. A video is a good example of that.
While words may seem powerful, short videos can be extremely effective in getting a message across to potential customers.
People love to watch videos, and using smartphones provides the opportunity for a video to reach customers anywhere and anytime.
The continued success of native advertising has bred an even more powerful marketing tool, known as “programmatic native” advertising:
- “Programmatic” is an automated technology that scans millions of websites to purchase and deliver a digital ad.
- “Native” is customized advertising, where the ad matches the form and function of the content surrounding it.
Companies can combine the two to reach out and connect with prospective customers. The technology uses real-time customer data and insights to target the right users and ensure ads are relevant. This will allow ads to be even more targeted.
Our digital world will continue to change and the way we use our technology will also evolve. Mobile adoption and use is one example of a recent evolution.
In 2014, Nielsen reported smartphone penetration was at 70 percent in the U.S., and that the average American spent seven more hours each month with their phones than they did in 2013.
That report was four years ago. One can only imagine the increased number of people using mobile technology and the increased time each spends on their device.
The number of messages each user receives also continues to grow. Consequently, advertisers must continue to monitor their audiences, how the audiences use their technology, and what works best to reach those would-be customers.
Native ads command focus and attention now and have been proven to be effective.
It’s expected that native ads will also continue to evolve and remain an effective advertising tool for all sizes of businesses.
Additional Resources: https://appleyardagency.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-native-advertising/