Digital MarketingDisplay AdvertisingThe Mystique of Native Advertising

The Mystique of Native Advertising

Native advertising is becoming increasingly important as consumers become more and more ambivalent to traditional online advertising strategies.

Internet users nowadays read copious amounts of online and mobile content every day, every minute – but surprisingly, advertisers are finding it harder than ever to reach and engage with them. As evidenced by inauspicious click-through rates, it is an unspoken truth that consumers have become comparatively numb to traditional online advertising and digital advertisers are now taking up the challenging quest of linking their ads to customer action.

New ways have to be sought to fashion a sustainable model for reaching today’s consumer. Apart from innovative efforts to reshape banner ads, native advertising has become the Holy Grail for advertisers.

The science of native advertising is a form of content marketing. It blends seamlessly into the content of the page like original content. That’s why consumers are more prone to viewing, but not seeing, native ads.

In fact, a May 2013 IPG Media Lab & Sharethrough study into the effectiveness of native advertising found that 53 percent of people view native ads more than traditional display advertising.

The Communication and Cognition Laboratory of National Chiao Tung University in Taiwan recently conducted an intuitive eye-tracking experiment to study how people view native ads. The results revealed that 58 percent of the subjects noticed the native ads appearing on Yahoo Taiwan.

It also found the fixation rate for a native ad is three times that of a display banner ad and the average time for native ad browsing is almost the same as content browsing, respectively taking one second versus 1.3 seconds.

Finally, more eyeball time and more attention is focused on native ads, with close to 60 percent of users being able to remember the brands in the native ad viewed – demonstrating clearly that native ads can strengthen brand impression.

Positivity Grows in the Market

Native advertising goes beyond product attributes and delivers useful or entertaining information to consumers by melding content, technology, and advertising.

While display advertising is good at building rapid awareness, native advertising is good at deepening relationships – which is what marketers want to achieve as a sustainable measure. Hence the optimism about native ads, especially in relation to mobile – 83 percent of U.S. mobile marketers find native advertising important and 97 percent think it is effective.

When it comes to adoption, compared to the more than 95 percent of marketers who have already purchased or plan to place mobile ads, 37 percent of marketers are planning to purchase, and 26 percent have already purchased, mobile native ads, showing an upward trend for native ad adoption.

Winning Factors That Help Native Ads Shine 

Here are two key factors that promote success for advertisers:

1. Appearance across devices: With the automatic adaptation of native ads into different devices, native ads can thus deliver engaging experiences that appear seamlessly and naturally across PC, mobile, and tablet.

Food123 is an e-commerce website offering food and beverage deals in Taiwan. An image, a short title, and description are all that were required to put together a native ad, and then the ad was automatically adjusted and displayed according to the screen format of different devices.

The simple requirements for putting together a native ad significantly lowers production cost and heightens cost efficiency, which brought the brand 30 to 40 percent higher return on investment (ROI) than other digital marketing tools.

erika-wang-native-advertising-food-pic-8sep2014-edit

2. Blending into the content: Native advertising attempts to gain attention by providing valuable content in the context of the user’s experience. This way, ad viewing is more personalized and engaging, and it bridges the gap between content and advertising.

Samsung Taiwan subscribed to the new native in-stream ad on Yahoo’s desktop and mobile products to promote its Galaxy S5 flagship smartphone. With its tailor-made native ads combined with cohesive content that is more viewable, the campaign proved eminently successful. The click-through-rate surged five-fold in just a month, at only one-third of the cost of placing a traditional ad.

erika-wang-native-advertising-samsung-pic-8sep2014-edit

Looking forward, native advertising is the way to go for marketers, and it is flourishing across content portals, social media, news properties, and video-sharing and streaming sites. Marketers need to continue seeking new and different possibilities for achieving a lasting impression by creating compelling branded content to engage with consumers.

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