Over the past few years, the use of Native Advertising has exploded in the industry with a 35% annual growth rate. The term is frequently thrown around in the programmatic industry, but what exactly do we mean by ‘Native Advertising’?
Native ads are a form of advertising that resembles the look, feel and function of the medium in which they appear. This includes the publisher’s website layout, font and colour scheme. The ad is paid for by the advertiser and is intended to promote the advertiser’s product. Native Ads differ from other traditional forms of online advertising in that they are included within the editorial content, whereas Banner Ads are often located at the top or side of the page. There are three main types of Native Ads:
- Social Ads, such as sponsored posts on Instagram, suggested posts on Facebook and promoted tweets on Twitter.
- Sponsored Content which is when brands work directly with online publishers to create custom content that is hosted directly onto the site. There are many forms of sponsored content, such as video ads and articles.
- Native Display, also known as In-feed Ads, are an ad format where by ads are placed within your feed. Ads are less intrusive and do not break the user’s flow, as they use technology to format brand content to match the format of the web content.
With In-feed Ads, the creative is rendered through dynamic templating and computer vision to fit the unique feel of the context in which it is placed. In-feed Ads are used in Native Programmatic Advertising as they offer a better user experience, more opportunities for ad monetisation and are ideal for mobile display.
Why are more and more publishers and advertisers turning to Native Advertising?
Many website publishers and advertisers around the world are now favouring Native Ads over traditional display ads. According to DoubleClick, users are twice as likely to click on a Native Ads than traditional banner ads, suggesting a higher conversion rate. With Native Advertising, users are exposed to ads that look like they are part of the content and are therefore less likely to be aware that they are consuming a paid advertisement. This promise of a better user experience is primarily what motivates publishers and advertisers to show this type of ad format. Native Ads are also more relevant to the content in which they are shown, which also results in a better performance.
In addition to this, in the last 10 years, there has been a colossal growth in the number of consumers using mobile. Native Ads are extremely adaptable meaning that they perform particularly well on mobile devices.
What is Programmatic Native Advertising?
Programmatic Native Ads are the same as Native Ads, however, the digital ad space is purchased automatically through the use of computers and data. Programmatic Native Ads are powerful because the ads are customized according to user preferences and are then placed in the appropriate locations. The ads are sold by publishers using a supply side platform (SSP) to advertisers, who purchase impressions through a demand side platform (DSP). The SSP and DSP are synchronised to trade in real time.
Native Ads give publishers flexibility as to how an ad appears as they’re built from components, such as a headline, an image and a link, which are provided by the advertiser. The layout of the ad is then styled by the publisher to best fit the look and feel of the webpage. The layout of the ad is dependent on many factors, such as the device on which the ad appears, the ad space available and where the ad appears on the page. Because of this customised and adaptable approach, the ad tends to perform very well for advertisers, yielding greater revenue for publishers.
Are Content-Recommendation Ads the same as Native Ads?
Content-Recommendation Ads (CRAs) are an ad type which is displayed in the form of a widget shown at the bottom of a web page. CRAs link to paid recommended content. These ads are sometimes classed as a form of Native Advertising, however, CRAs differ from Native Ads in that they do not mimic the look and feel of the website layout. Additionally, less publishers use CRAs as they are often low quality, irrelevant and can be somewhat spammy.
If you would like to learn how to create native ads in Google Ad Manager, we have written a handy guide here.
Dolly joined the OKO team in early 2019 and certified to Google Certified Publishing Partner status. Dolly manages publisher communication and learning at OKO.