Native Advertising has been widely adopted by publishers and marketers because of its fundamentally different approach to delivering advertisers’ messages. Instead of relying on a static image, a native ad assembles individual ad elements based on the style sheets of a site or an app where it is served. This dynamic nature of content delivery gives native ads infinite variability in how they are presented, thus allowing them to be inserted in the previously non-monetizable content ‘feed’.
Native delivery means uninterrupted delivery
This flexible delivery of an ad rightfully results in many questions from marketers who are just entering the native advertising ecosystem. We have evaluated all existing guides to mobile native ads and we think they create more confusion than answer real marketers’ questions.
The mobile native ad world is cluttered with nonsense terminology that has gone absolutely wild. Here are some of our favourite ones: native interstitials, native banners, native rich media, native floating ads. When these terms were coined, I think the basic principle of native advertising—uninterrupted delivery—was thrown out the window. Who cares if the interstitial ad is coloured the same way as the app? If a user has no control over whether or not she wants to engage with an ad, it’s not native.
Brands that invest in mobile native advertising need to remember that with native ads, it is all about giving users the choice to interact with the branded content.
Buy standardized native to scale your campaign
The reality is that through custom work between a publisher and an advertiser you can make any advertisement native to the user experience. The challenge comes when you want to scale it to reach all the potential users of interest. First the need to achieve scale happened to banner ads, and it is now happening in native advertising. Advertisers require a degree of standardization to have transparency and ensure they can reach wider audiences.
Over the last couple of years, we started to see standardization in native advertising. The company that played a pivotal role in moving the native ad industry toward this standardization is Facebook. You may think that standardized native is an oxymoron, but it’s not. Standardization came in the form of defining the ad elements that go into the dynamic creative of a native ad.
Advertisers who are interested in buying native ads programmatically should really focus on one form of mobile native ads: in-feed mobile native ads. The core elements of an in-feed mobile native ad are: image (usually 1200x628), headline, body, sponsored label, and brand logo.
The wide adoption of the above approach by native ad exchanges enabled programmatic buying of mobile native ads at scale.
Think about activity post-click
While one may be tempted to leverage in-feed native ads’ staggering efficiency at getting users to engage with an ad, the consumer journey is very different than that with banner ads.
First, native advertising is a channel for content amplification. When consumers discover a sponsored story among editorial content, it’s not a far stretch for them to assume it will be content. However, if they arrive instead at a sign-up page, or even e-commerce, this could result in high bounce rates and a negative perception of the brand.
Second, you must think of the user who is experiencing your site on mobile. Is your site built for mobile? If so, how do you measure the success of the engagement? Do you track time on site or social shares? All of these questions should be answered when you are promoting content through native advertising on mobile.