InMobi and MobSoc Media both announced new initiatives to make it easier for advertisers to reach mobile users in a more engaging and less interruptive way.
Mobile ad network InMobi released its Native Ads Platform that it says lets app developers and mobile publishers deliver ads that are adapted to their specific look and feel with minimal development effort. The platform simplifies the process of delivering native ads across multiple, discrete publishers by adapting a base set of creative assets like the logo, tag line, and call-to-action.
The InMobi Native Ads platform automatically customizes advertisers' creatives on the fly, matching not only the appearance but also experience elements such as swiping to the publisher's site.
Says Shrikant Latkar, InMobi vice president of marketing, "This brings native advertising to the masses. [By] spending three to five days of simple work they need to do on their app, they can deliver a fantastic user experience and get far more monetization than before." From the brand's point of view, he added, the platform allows them to reach users across multiple applications without having to create custom creative.
The InMobi Native Ads platform is built on the InMobi ad network, so publishers can access campaigns across apps and brands. "You can now use the platform to customize ads from the best brands out there," Latkar says.
In beta tests, InMobi says it has seen user engagement rates up five times for native ads compared to typical banners or other ad units.
MobSoc Media unveiled a network of 35 content sites it has developed to help advertisers target consumers via social media, mobile, and the Web.
MobSoc's model is to create specific online destinations for interest-based audiences across four publishing verticals: entertainment, lifestyle, technology, and sports. Site editors make use of the company's proprietary Social Rank technology to identify trending stories on social media, and then aggregate and curate content for posting in their news feeds.
"We use our proprietary algorithm that pings almost 900 sites. Our content editors know what's trending and breaking in the mediasphere," says L. Jasmine Kim, chief executive of MobSoc Media.
One of its digital properties, Celeb Bistro, has amassed 4 million Facebook fans. Celeb Bistro was created by IT Agility in 2010, as was the Social Rank technology. MobSocial was spun out of IT Agility in 2012, with IT Agility retaining a majority share.
The company's digital properties use adaptive design, so that they render well on a variety of mobile devices.
MobSoc wants to work with brands to amplify their existing branded content or produce advertorial content that can be inserted in the news feeds of the 35 sites. Kim says the company is working with 12 or so clients in early-stage tests, and the company has created some demos.
It's not surprising that more companies are muscling in on native advertising. A recent IPG/Sharethrough study found that consumers looked at native ads 53 percent more frequently than display ads, and the ads upped purchase intent by 18 percent.
In the hunt for app revenue, everyone wants to go native.
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Susan Kuchinskas has covered interactive advertising since its invention. The former staff writer for Adweek, Business 2.0, and M-Business covers technology, business and culture from Berkeley, CA.
March 19, 2014