Q&A with: Kenneth López Triquell
Sales Director Europe at Zemanta, an Outbrain company
Why should marketers be paying more attention to native advertising?
In terms of numbers alone, native advertising spend is expected to reach $85.5 billion by 2020, and programmatic is a big part of that growth! However, whether traded programmatically or not, the true growth of Native is driven by the results it delivers for marketers. Banner blindness is a real phenomenon, and native as an alternative is extremely powerful because it captures the user’s attention, by fitting within the content of the page, without interrupting the user experience. With nearly 20-60% higher interaction rates than display, native is the most effective ad format for engaging users.
Furthermore, Native ads by nature are non-intrusive. A 2018 Outbrain study in the UK found that 95% of consumers – a vast majority – are more likely to have a negative attitude towards a brand that interrupts or disrupts their online activity. Allowing consumers the choice to decide whether or not to engage with an ad is instrumental in providing a positive experience rather than an intrusive one.
Native advertising is a huge opportunity for brand marketers to influence and create affinity, throughout the customer journey. It’s basically the only online channel that gets high attention and engagement from the audience, without interrupting the users.
Native is the future of Display, not the same as Display!
Native and Display advertising are completely different in both their approach and in their form. In the simplest terms, you can describe it as pull vs push marketing.
To succeed in native advertising, marketers must think about the actual value they provide the reader, measuring engagement as opposed to viewability, reach, and frequency. They are no longer simply pushing messages onto the user, instead they are pulling the user in with content will drive them to click and engage with their brand. This type of thinking goes beyond simple conversions, and also considers what messaging will build trust and nurture a new or existing relationship.
Unfortunately, lots of marketers and agencies still make the mistake of thinking native is just another placement and will simply repurpose a display campaign’s assets to fit into native placements. These kinds of campaigns will usually lead to poor engagement.
Are Native and Programmatic friends or foes?
Absolutely they can be friends – if approached correctly!
It’s important to note, though, the majority of Demand Side Platforms (DSPs) that exist today are, first and foremost built for display. As I noted earlier, however, display and native are very different, both in terms of approach and results.
Winning results come from the balance of being able to optimize for things like reach and frequency, whilst also optimizing for actual engagement, actions and conversions. Doing native programmatically just means more scale and efficiencies without losing any of the data and targeting. Unlike display, native advertising is far more focused on delivering clicks, i.e traffic as well as conversions, therefore, a successful DSP would be geared toward delivering clicks, and performance after the first click.
Ultimately, Programmatic opens up a huge opportunity to put native advertising on the same scale as a display.
What does the future hold for Native?
I believe that eventually, all advertising will be native, or non-interruptive, advertising. Marketers need to adapt fast to a world where consumers have the means to circumvent any form of interruption (e.g video on demand, installing ad blockers, etc). Engaging, quality and relevant storytelling is going to be key for brands success.
Advertisers must respect and appeal to audiences without disrupting their online experience – understanding audience turn-offs is essential. Relevant advertising, combined with giving the consumer the choice to engage or not; to pull them in, as opposed to pushing at them, is what creates a positive interaction for the audience. This, combined with opting for quality inventory as well as non-intrusive formats and authentic storytelling is what will help create meaningful brand experiences in the year to come.
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