Key trends in native advertising will be an influence on all aspects of digital in the next 12-18 months. It is predicted that the digital advertising market is set to grow from $15bn in 2019 to $85bn by 2020, with Native advertising at the forefront. Here, Dale Lovell of Adyoulike examines the top 10 trends that will influence the industry.
1. In Feed growth
Attention congregates on the feed - whether in search, social or open web - across any device. The feed is where we spend our time - it’s where your customers hang out - ALL the time. It’s the water-cooler at work, the newspaper on your commute and the TV at-home all rolled into one of 21st century life. Advertisers crave to engage your attention on the feed - publishers knows the feed is where they can monetise more and more of their available impressions. Creative native ad formats that are feed based will continue to develop.
2. Mobile will grow (still)
Analysis we carried out at Adyoulike shows that the average mobile user scrolls 178 metres through the feed on a daily basis, increasing to 277 metres for a power user. Collectively 400 people will scroll the circumference of the Earth in a year. Native advertising is the only format that works on mobile feeds. And there’s a lot of opportunities on the feed to advertise - provided you can engage with ‘thumb-stopping content’.
3. Content will be (even more) important
Native advertising works best when promoting good content. Content blindness is now a thing - there is more content than ever in circulation, but a lot of it is ignored. Bad content in the right place is still bad. It’s damaging. The need to invest in better content, not more content is only going to grow in 2019. Be better.
4. Context will grow
Social media pioneered the feed but advertisers are recognising the importance of context & premium publisher environments. Research published by AOP & NewsWorks shows that while social media brings high levels of immediate attention, long term brand value and engagement reach is questionable. The opposite is true of premium publisher environments. Social media is associated with high levels of immediate attention. Ads perform better in a premium editorial environment. It has been research that engagement is 50% higher on premium editorial sites than during general free browsing. Better contextual targeting of native advertising is likely to be increasingly driven by advertisers in 2019.
5. Brand safety is still important
The drive for better contextual targeting is driven by GDPR, but also brand safety. There are millions of editorial messages and campaigns out there fighting for attention across the feed, however, not all environments are right for your brand. Brand safety considerations in 2019 will drive major digital advertising trends. Expect accreditation such as the IAB Gold standard to grow in stature throughout 2019.
6. Diversification will grow
Advertisers and publishers are diversifying their formats, platforms and partnerships - and they will continue to do so in 2019. This benefits business and the overall digital ecosystem. It keeps competition alive. As the medium has developed, advertisers and publishers are recognising that there are differences between the types of native advertising out there - and they will continue to diversify in their approach. More and more clarity will be given to the 3 main types of non-search or social forms of native advertising: branded content, infeed native display and content recommendation.
Native Video is expected to double and take marketing share from pre-roll budgets. ADYOULIKE data contradicts perceived wisdom that mobile viewers have no attention span for video beyond 6 seconds or less in length. The optimum length for native videos was found to be 15-22 seconds on mobile/tablet.
Advertising will become increasing personalised in 2019 through the use of dynamic creative optimisation (DCO) and personalised marketing strategies. 50% of U.S. consumers said they “really or somewhat” liked receiving personalised marketing messages and 91% are more likely to shop with brands who send personalised offers. DCO provides technology to massively simplify the process of tailoring content experiences for consumers in real-time. With this capability, advertisers can reach target audiences with unique creative variations that cater to the specific user being served the ad. The ability to use DCO in native advertising campaigns brings a powerful tactic, enabling brands to tailor each component of the native ad and get the most impact for every impression.
9. Data & programmatic
67% of display ads will be programmatic by 2019, reaching an estimated $84.9 billion, according to estimates by Publicis Groupe Zenith. Global programmatic ad sales are growing 21% annually and the US is driving much of this growth. It’s vital for brands to make wise trading and technology choices when selecting Native Programmatic partners with robust safety measures - such as strict publisher inventory analysis to keep ads away from fraudulent and inappropriate sites. As data availability increases and uniformity of measurement analysis grow, there will be greater emphasis on real-time adjustments to native campaign headlines and descriptions - driving engagement levels higher.
Native advertising has nurtured a new relationship between publisher and advertiser, in which the publisher wants the advertiser to succeed, in order to monetise from native ads and to provide readers more quality content that would help increase web traffic. Publishers and agencies would argue that different clients and different campaign objectives call for different metrics. According to ANA’s survey, brand lift is considered by publishers as one of the most effective metrics for measuring native ads.
Dale Lovell is co-founder of Adyoulike