Taboola Kantar Research

Study shows native ads are most effective channel for brand favorability



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January 26, 2023 | 5 min read

According to a new study, native ads are also proven to have a significant impact on mid-funnel KPIs like consideration and brand favorability—bringing advertisers closer to their performance goals

According to a new study, native ads are also proven to have a significant impact on mid-funnel KPIs like consideration and brand favorability—bringing advertisers closer to their performance goals.

Kantar, the world's leading data, insights, and consulting company, and Taboola conducted a meta-analysis of the brand lift studies it has done over the past two years for companies spanning 11 verticals, including personal finance, tech, travel, fashion, entertainment and B2B.

In each study, Kantar compared brand lift metrics among two groups: an exposed group, who saw native ads (run through the Taboola platform) for the company being studied, and a control group who didn't see them. All participants completed a survey through Kantar's platform during the campaign, answering questions such as:

  • what their overall opinion of the brand was
  • how likely they were to consider the brand
  • whether they were able to associate the brand with the messaging in its ad

Kantar then compared the results from the two groups, and used these to calculate the impact that the campaign had on each of these measures.

For this meta-analysis, Taboola aggregated the results from all these studies and compared them to Kantar's industry benchmarks to determine how native stacks up against other forms of digital advertising.

The results?

Brands that used native advertising consistently met and often exceeded critical KPIs across the board—significantly outperforming industry benchmarks. Among native advertising campaigns:

  • Brand favorability lift was 15%, 4x higher than the industry average
  • Consideration lift was 7%, 1.5x higher than the industry average
  • Message association lift was 87%, 8x higher than the industry average
  • Awareness lift was 10%, in line with the industry average

Now, let's take a closer look at what the study revealed —and how native ad campaigns can help brands reach those mid-funnel KPIs.

Brand favorability: 15% lift, 4x higher than industry average

Native ads delivered through Taboola's recommendation engine drove an average brand favorability lift of 15%— four times greater than Kantar's average lift of 4.2% for digital campaigns. In fact, out of all the brand lift studies in the analysis, 82% reported an above average jump in brand favorability.

Source: Kantar and Taboola, 2022

Consideration: 7% lift, 1.5x higher than industry average

To gauge consideration, Kantar and Taboola asked participants: "Next time you're looking for [this type of product or service], how likely are you to consider the following brand?". The average consideration lift for native ads was 6.7% , compared to Kantar's average lift of 4.6% for digital campaigns.

Source: Kantar and Taboola, 2022

Message association: 87% lift, 8x higher than industry average

Message association gauges how well consumers correlate certain ads with specific brands. Often overshadowed by consideration and awareness, this is a powerful metric because it demonstrates the impact your ads can have on your audiences.

Message association lift for native ad campaigns came in at an impressive 87%—more than 8x Kantar's average lift for digital campaigns, which sits at 10.1%.

Source: Kantar and Taboola, 2022

So how can brands use native advertising to boost mid-funnel metrics?

Case study: How Ancestry increased video engagement with native advertising

The team at Ancestry, the world's largest for-profit genealogy company, had a goal of boosting brand familiarity and mid-funnel metrics. They decided to test native video and conduct a brand lift study in partnership with Taboola's Creative Shop and Kantar to demonstrate the campaign's results.

Ancestry worked with the Creative Shop team to optimize video ad creatives for awareness and reach target audiences with their marketplace data.

The campaign performed exceptionally well, exceeding expectations across nearly all KPIs. Ancestry's native video campaigns saw a completion rate uplift of 32% and a viewability uplift of 10%. Native ads achieved the strongest results compared to Ancestry's other digital advertising channels, yielding the most assisted conversions by a significant margin.

Native advertising: A vital part of today's marketing mix

In a world where digital ad spaces are increasingly saturated and customers expect seamless, personalized experiences, native advertising will play a pivotal role.

Especially as brands continue to optimize their strategies in response to reduced budgets, they'll be looking for channels that deliver results and drive performance. This research demonstrates that native ad campaigns are a strong tool for delivering against mid-funnel KPIs, boosting metrics by up to 8x compared to other digital channels.

So, if brands are eager to move customers through the funnel and diversify their marketing mix with scalable channels, they'd be wise to harness the power of native advertising.

Taboola Kantar Research


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