Featured, sponsored, promoted, allied and presented by – these are some of the hot keywords associated with native advertisements on publisher pages. Native Advertising, not new to the digital media world (but relatively new under the name “Native Advertising”), has been gaining more and more traction in 2013 as publishers and ad buyers fit this into their digital media budgets and plans.
Native Advertising offers another digital channel for exposure without the often times jolting user-experience. Creating a seamless integration into feeds without disruption is the goal. With sophisticated platforms, the content displayed can be anything from videos, articles, and images, but are usually a reflection of the types of content the user consumes most.
So who is jumping on this band wagon while it’s still in its relatively early stages of its current iteration? From The New Yorker, to The Washington Post, to Google, that’s who! Big brands, publishers and advertisers are seeing this as an opportunity to reignite the CTRs that have seen sharp recent decline. According to the article, 10 Horrifying Stats About Display Advertising, 8% of users account for 85% of clicked display ads (comScore), while we know even that number has been inflated by bots, and click-thru rates have fallen to .1% for displays ads.
So why is Native Advertising taking off suddenly? I think as social and digital platforms are evolving, so are the users, naturally. Gone are the days when users noticed banner ads that meant nothing to their lives. Users are looking for personalized content that has an impact on their lives, not useless banner ads that are shown across all platforms at the same time, to all users with similar “eyeballs”. Why would an ad about golf interest a football and baseball fan? It wouldn’t, and Native Advertising is looking to solve that.
Native Advertising also serves to balance programmatic buying. On one end of the barbell, you have commoditized real-time bidding, and on the other end, you have the more premium Native Advertising.
All-in-all, Native Advertising is really nothing new (Did I hear “Advertorial”?) — tailoring content to meet user interests is as old as advertising itself. Dressing Native Advertising up in different mediums, tailored to content and users, with the ability for it to be different from platform to platform, now that’s what you would call, “an old girlfriend in a new dress.”