In 2018, the US saw a 31% growth in native ad spend, hitting a cool $32.9 billion for native display ads alone. That’s certainly a strong indicator in itself that there’s no slowing down for the format, yet what makes it relevant for advertisers and their audience today?
A recap on native advertising
The term ‘native advertising’ was formerly coined by Fred Wilson back in 2011, but really the style of native reflects the development of paid advertising, taking many guises since the 19th-century advertorials to become the digital marketing formats that we know today.
Native advertising is a type of paid media where ads take the form and image of the content they appear in, with the help of publisher production. More commonly, we know these as (arguably) search ads, sponsored articles in our news and magazine apps, the fine-tuned Buzzfeed ‘produced’ content and the more engaging in-feed native video slots. Native fits silently amongst site content, doesn’t interfere with user experience, and yet is highly targeted in order to stand out in front of the right audience.
The success of native is that it can extend the reach and audience base for your organic activity. Through Facebook and Twitter, advertisers can boost their organic content, whereas programmatic can utilise blog content to educate and entertain new audiences on their brand. Tying what can often be considered as polar strategies into one that can deliver some of the strongest results.
What’s new for native?
The ever-changing state of native advertising is not slowing down. With TikTok recently announcing their partnership with We-Q to deliver native video ads, the format is clearly one that’s continuously developing to meet market and user trends, without having to shout too loud, or be too obvious to gauge user interest.
The rise of in-game advertising is another perfect example of this. A fast-growing medium for directly incorporating ads into a game industry estimated this year to be worth $152.1 billion is not something to ignore. Those such as Bidstack have built their offering on this; with direct access to Football Manager, advertisers are able to utilise their coverage to get in front of a brand new audience.
And it’s a fine line of what is and isn’t native. Sponsored and influencer content has clear differences in terms of set up, yet the final result mimics much of what publishers are doing programmatically. Social media influencers are the publishers of their accounts, whilst podcasters are using their content style to promote brands. It’s not quite programmatic yet but could we be looking at green screens and voice intelligence to allow for audience-driven ad buys?
It’s as vital as vitamins
You probably won’t fail if native advertising isn’t part of your day-to-day, however, it can be pivotal in improving performance.
The format of native advertising depicts the evolution of advertising which better meets customer demands and social trends. Organically, audience reach and data-driven targeting cannot be achieved alone, therefore, native advertising is there to support and in some well-executed cases, will unify organic content with paid strategies.
Whilst advertisers need to be seen and heard in their ever-competitive industries, in order to ensure your methods are successful, it’s important to include an element of native advertising that is relevant to the audience group.
To find out more about our programmatic services or about Croud, get in touch.