Is Desktop Engagement No Longer Relevant? And Other Native Findings

Bidtellect’s half-yearly report captures trends of the native ecosystem based on far-reaching data. The emerging trends? Mobile, tablet, and video growth.
native findings

Bidtellect_CharlotteOtrembaBy Charlotte Otremba
Communications & Marketing at Bidtellect
USA
Connect


Mobile and video.

If there are two words to sum up Native trends of 2018, it’s mobile and video growth.

Bidtellect recently released its half-yearly report – a high-level overview of trends and takeaways in the Native ecosystem. The goal is for marketers to gain a deeper understanding of their content distribution strategies.

And this quarter, in addition to trends in Standard Native campaigns, we took a closer look at changes in engagement by device and growing video use.

The three major trends that emerged were: 1) Mobile and Tablet Engagement are Growing rapidly, 2) “Deeper Dive” Engagement is no longer reserved for Desktop Alone, and 3) Video Completion Rate is Rising.

From 2017 to 2018, both mobile and tablet engagement grew about 12% and the industry can expect it to continue to grow and a higher rate.

Runaway growth: Mobile and tablet engagement

In her 2018 Internet Trends Report, Mary Meeker reported a significant increase in mobile usage (and identified a ~$7 billion advertising spending opportunity), and the growth in mobile and tablet engagement agrees. Users are not only engaging with content on mobile and tablets at a growing rate but engaging deeper and more thoughtfully.

RELATED: 9 Books Native Advertisers Need to Read – And Why

CTR as a sole measurer of engagement can be unreliable, not accounting for “fat finger” or accidental clicks, bots, and true time with the material.

Using a unique Engagement Score calculation that takes into account time on site, page views per visit, and bounces, we saw that a truer engagement with Native ads across devices grew steadily from Q1 to Q2 this year, but mobile engagement had the largest jump in growth at 14% – twice that of other devices. Screen Shot 2018-10-31 at 09.40.55

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But Mobile also led the way in CTR by device type. At 45% – nearly half – it’s clear the trend goes beyond fat-finger clicks on the phone.

Growth in Mobile and Tablet engagement matches the nation-wide trend in spending: eMarketer reported a 30% growth in Mobile Native ad spend versus just 15% growth of Desktop spend – proving marketers have caught wind of consumer behaviour and are targeting their mobile devices, as well as improving mobile Native capabilities.

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It’s becoming clear that mobile and tablet devices are no longer only reserved for quick searches and clicks

Deeper dive engagement

In comparing time spent on sites this quarter, consumers spent longer on their mobile and tablet devices – with tablet in the lead.

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From 2017 to 2018, time on site increased in mobile and tablet, with a greater jump in time on tablet: 11% and 33% (wow!) in growth, respectively, pointing to a trend of consumers spending more time with content on portable devices.

RELATED: 6 Reasons Why You Need to Take Data Seriously when Creating Native Advertising

It’s becoming clear that mobile and tablet devices are no longer only reserved for quick searches and clicks, but trending towards deeper, longer, more meaningful engagement once reserved for desktop alone.

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In her esteemed Internet Trends Report this year, Mary Meeker reported findings to support this notion: mobile usage is up to 3.3 total hours per day – nearly half of the total time spent in digital media (5.9 hours).

We can expect to see continued growth in mobile and tablet engagement as users are on the phones more often, much longer, and for more important tasks, and technological advances to match.

In a recent case study of a top beauty brand, the video completion rate (VCR) of outstream video was 66% – more than double the benchmark of 27.3%.

Video completion

We compared three native video types: Outstream (Auto-Play Video), In-Feed Click-to-Play Video, and In-Feed Auto-Play Video, and compared engagement based on completion rate: a calculated percentage at times that a video is played to the end. Outstream (Auto-Play Video) had the highest completion rate.

In fact, in a recent case study of a top beauty brand, the video completion rate (VCR) of outstream video was 66% – more than double the benchmark of 27.3%.

RELATED: How Not to Suck at Video Marketing

And, interestingly, from 2017 to 2018, the greatest growth in video was In-Feed Click-to-Play Video: a whopping 143%. That a Click-to-Play type had the highest jump in engagement points to a more proactive, engaged viewer, who seeks to engage with ads that are relevant and in-line with their interests, goals, and personality.

Just as static native ads appeal to users for reasons like unobtrusiveness and offering relevant, valuable content, this data proves that the same applies to video.

In other findings, View-Through Conversions emerged as a new priority for marketers as native video usage continues to expand: 28% of marketers made View-Through Conversion a campaign objective in 2018.

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Looking forward, it’s clear that marketers should emphasize – if they’re not already – a content marketing approach in conjunction with native advertising

The takeaway: Create high-quality native content fit for multiple device types

“With increasing engagement on content-driven landing pages, combined with continuously- improving technology to drive consumers to engage with said content, a content-driven strategy is not only viable, but a necessary component to any marketing mix in the shifting landscape of digital ads.” – Arthur Hainline, Director of Optimization and Data Services at Bidtellect

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RELATED: Why Honesty Is the Key to Succesful Native Advertising

Looking forward, it’s clear that marketers should emphasize – if they’re not already – a content marketing approach in conjunction with native advertising, creating high-quality, valuable content that is engaging to their targeted customers can sustain a full consumer lifecycle to impact the bottom line.

We saw a significant growth in video engagement, especially completion of click-to-play videos, proving consumers engage and engage proactively. A valuable content-first strategy has never been more imperative.

Report Summary

Analyzing data from this 2018 and from 2017, the high-level overview found that engagement in mobile and tablet devices grew significantly over this year and from 2017 to 2018. Users are not only engaging with content on mobile and tablets at a growing rate but engaging deeper and more thoughtfully (with growth on time on site in mobile and tablet).

We saw a significant growth in video engagement, especially completion of click-to-play videos, proving consumers engage and engage proactively. A valuable content-first strategy has never been more imperative.

RELATED: How Not to Waste Money on Native Advertising

While Native advertising has often been perceived as an upper-funnel strategy used to increase brand awareness, native and content now sit at the center of brands’ marketing campaigns, used to connect and engage with consumers at all stages of the consumer lifecycle.

About this Report

Bidtellect’s Quarterly Native Report was created to provide advertisers with important insights and trends in the Native Advertising industry. Bidtellect’s platform processes over 10 billion Native auctions daily across 58 million distinctly targetable placements, and this number continues to grow quarter over quarter.

We collect data from the start of an auction through post-click consumer activity including but not limited to the metrics captured in this report.

The Native Advertising PowerHouse podcast: Giving industry professionals a voice and letting them share their personal experiences that can ultimately help us all become better marketers – check it out today.  

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