People are becoming more sophisticated, the technology is evolving at a rapid rate and digital advertisers are keeping up with the changes by employing advanced tools and techniques; native advertising is one such format that allows marketers to convey their messages more efficiently to the customers.
Introducing Native Advertising
“Ads that blend in”
Native ads are paid ads that blend in with the content being consumed. These forms don’t stand out obviously as advertisements unlike banner or display ads; rather they fit in with the content flow of the site in which they appear. This ‘fitting in’ is because the ads mimic the function, look and feel of the site or the app in which they are placed. Such seamless integration with the user experience imparts a certain amount of trust to the audience.
With the change in user behaviour towards discovering and consuming content on media, and with increased resistance toward traditional ads, digital marketers are leaning towards native advertising to cater to and engage with modern customers.
A Brief On The Types
Native ads, just like other forms of advertisements, have different formats as illuminated below.
In-feed ads are those that are seamlessly displayed in our social media feed or publishers’ websites such as The Times Of India. These placements are paid for and appear in-line with other published content without any flow disruption.
Since in-feed ads fit in with the content flow of each site, their appearance varies from site to site, depending on the user experience offered by each of the sites.
Paid search ads
Advertisers and marketers use native ads as a form of search engine advertising. These are basically ads that appear on the top of the search results page. These native paid ads look like organic search results instead of standing out as an advertisement. This blending-in makes these ads more likely to be clicked by the users.
There are other spots on publisher sites, search engine results page and social media, where one can find a native ad. These are the recommendation widgets that appear at the side of the page or the bottom of an article. These ads recommend other content that we may like.
Promoted or sponsored ads appear when we use e-commerce websites or shopping apps. When we perform a search for a particular product, these promoted listings, which are similar to our searched product, appear in the search results and look similar to organic listings. This appearance prompts a customer to click on these promoted products as well.
Native display ads
These are display ads with native ad elements. They are similar to any other ads we might see on the web, but the difference is that these ads will have contextual relevance; they will not look out of place on the page where they appear.
“A/B test no matter which type you choose”
Parties That Benefit From Native Ads
We might believe that it is just the companies and businesses that gain from native advertising, but here is the case:
- Users also gain benefits from native ads! Native ads cater to the tastes of the consumers. They can discover and engage with the content of their interest or preference when such native ads are displayed.
- Native ads benefit publishers as well. Publishers monetize their content across multiple devices and platforms using native advertisements.
- Of course, businesses as well gain benefits using native ads. They use native ads to reach target audience at impactful moments when users are already consuming similar content.
“Consumers engage 53% more with native ads than other types”
Choosing The Right Platform
To optimize native advertising, one needs to choose the right platform for content discovery. The platform should be capable of reaching a substantial number of users for effective functioning. Taboola is one such platform that has gained traction. These content discovery platforms use predictive algorithms to show users those ads that are aligned with their interests. Below, we have listed out the prerequisites to check before choosing a content discovery platform.
- Network quality of the platform: The websites and page placements to which the platform has access.
- Platform compatibility: The platform should be checked for its compatibility with various software solutions such as CRMs, operating systems and various devices as well.
- Tracking functionality: One should be able to track the required performance metrics.
- Targeting capability: We should check the targeting and retargeting capacities of the platform, the possibilities for B2B and B2C targeting, targeting based on demographics, behaviour and more.
- Reach: It is also critical to check if the platform can reach a large user base in the targeted regions.
- Service: It is a huge added bonus if the platform offers flexible self-service options as well as account management support.
The Programmatic Native Ads
Programmatic native advertising is nothing but serving native ads to targeted consumers in real-time. Businesses and brands can optimize their already advantageous native ads for RoI by using programmatic auctioning of the ads in the real-time bidding process. This process happens within a fraction of a second to deliver the best user experience. Programmatic native advertising helps optimize campaigns by pausing ads that don’t work and investing more in those that do work. These ads increase user engagement and this translates to higher conversions.