For a long time, native ads have been one of the hottest marketing disciplines in the US, and it is on its way to achieve the same status in many of the European countries. The demand for native advertising will continue to rise in tandem with the growing threat that ad blocking poses. Furthermore, the growth of content marketing is significant and new research documents the positive effects of native advertising. In this post I will identify four trends that will affect native advertising in 2016.
1. Taglines becomes the new headlines
A good headline catches the viewer’s attention and with few words conveys what value the item can create. It makes the user want to read more. Many more brands will focus on creating value in headlines. This was evident from the recent conference “Native Advertising Days” in Copenhagen. According to the analysis-firm Nielsen, a large part of consumers interact with content through the headline instead of the running text (76%). In addition, the amount of time that a user is engaged has dropped drastically in the last few years. An analysis created by Microsoft shows that the average user can only concentrate for 8 seconds before losing interest. The changing media landscape supports this development. News items are reduced to a few characters and we converse in emojis.
2. Strategic partnerships make their entrance
Strategic partnerships will become more prevalent in 2016. Brands and media will work closer together and for extended periods of time to create content that the brand can use on a number of internal and external platforms. This can be supermarket chains that hire specific food bloggers to create videos and share recipes. It can be fashion bloggers that create content such as blog posts, videos, PR-interviews and so on. Content that is less expensive and more effectful than if the brand creates the content itself.
This development stems from a greater focus on content. Brands understand the importance of working with the best people in the business. From the media’s perspective, there is a growing need for closer relationships with specific brands. Finally, users today have a keener eye for detail that makes something seem less credible if it’s poorly created.
3. Native video ads will become significantly more widespread
The spread of native video ads where the user activates the video and where there is no restriction on the length of the video spot will become a trend. Cisco estimates that video will account for the majority of all consumer traffic in 2017 (69%). Facebook is an example of a publisher who has shifted its focus to video products rather than traditional display advertising.
4.Analyses that measure “engagement” will be in focus
Native ads are typically rated on “old-fashioned” metrics such as reach, number of clicks, etc. However, when it comes to boosting attitudes, preferences and purchase intentions for a given brand, native ads are really useful. Therefore, there will be an increased demand for analyses that can shed light on these specific parameters. In other words, the time spent with content, comments, shares, time the user spent on the brand’s site etc.