2015 has seen the colossal rise of native advertising and its widespread adoption amongst the advertising community—and the year isn’t even over yet.
Gone are the days when native was considered an industry buzzword or fancy new form of digital advertising. It has officially entered the mainstream, and is increasingly swallowing up larger and larger portions of marketing budgets across the world. There’s no doubt about it: native is here to stay.
But like any new advertising revolution, it’s subject to the ebb and flow of rising and falling trends. Here are five native advertising trends we’ve noted so far this year.
1. The rise of programmatic
Each and every minute, blog writers publish 1,400 new posts, Facebook users share 2,460,000 pieces of content, and Twitter users tweet 277,000 times. Enough to make your eyes glaze over, isn’t it? What’s even more shocking is that in the time it took you to read and process those numbers, a minute has likely passed and those figures will have doubled. And this process repeats itself 1,440 times a day.
Internet users are relentlessly publishing content, and in order for it to be seen, it not only has to cut through the noise—it also has to get in front of the right people.
As the creation of content increases, so too does the need for scalable distribution channels, and the programmatic buying of media inventory offers exactly this.
Programmatic native advertising serves each ad unit on an impression-by-impression level, and leverages real-time data and decision-making to ensure that the most relevant ad is placed on each site, creating a user experience that’s completely unique to everyone on the web.
2. The importance of captivating creatives
Simply throwing money at a native ad campaign isn’t enough. Brands are recognizing that they need to ensure all aspects of their creatives are finely-tuned and optimized for maximum impact on their target audience. By creatives, we're referring to imagery, headlines, body copy and calls-to-action.
“Visual content is more engaging,” explains Vanessa Chan, Customer Success Manager at StackAdapt. “It’s more likely to catch the eye of your target customer.”
Research has shown that 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, which demonstrates the importance of visual storytelling in native ad campaigns. But it’s not just the images that matter—proper attention and care must be made to craft the perfect headline.
“A good headline is catchy and offers the reader some sort of value proposition,” Vanessa says. “It should clearly convey to the user why they should click on your ad to learn more. It also needs to be believable though, so it’s important to avoid titles that could be considered as clickbait.”
According to Nielsen, 79% of people consume content via a headline rather than through the content itself—irrefutable evidence that a captivating headline is imperative to a successful campaign.
3. The ongoing surge of mobile growth
As was to be expected, advertisers in 2014 were viewing this growing appetite for mobile usage as an opportunity to reach consumers while on the go.
Building upon this trend, we’ve seen mobile continue to rise in 2015. For this reason, brands need to ensure that the content they create is designed with mobile in mind, taking into account the close screen and feed-based environment of the mobile user experience.
4. Brands are thinking more and more like publishers
Traditionally, publishers have monetized their sites by building an audience and selling opportunities to engage with that audience to advertisers. Prior to the widespread adoption of social and native channels, brands relied heavily on publishers to reach their consumers with content. However, now brands are taking a publisher-agnostic approach to distribute their content through programmatic native advertising technology partners, as opposed to just relying on the audience of a particular publisher.
5. Bigger budgets are being allocated to video
If the last couple of years have taught us anything, it’s that content truly is the key to customer engagement. With this in mind, it comes as no surprise that both marketers and publishers alike are testing which forms of content resonate with their audience the most. Facebook is an example of a publisher that’s shifting its focus to video ad products, and big names like Buzzfeed are also increasingly discovering innovative new ways of monetizing video content.
What trends in native advertising have you been tracking in 2015? Share your thoughts by tweeting @StackAdapt!