Location-aware native advertising creates opportunities for more contextual dialogue between brands and consumers
Native advertising has seriously grown up over the past year.
Advertisers went beyond asking “Is this a fad?” and tried to understand how to measure the success of sponsored posts and native ads. And they most likely did so because of the numbers: Spending on native advertising is expected to reach $53.4 billion by 2020, according to IHS Inc.
Form + function
Native advertising is a form of paid media where the ad experience follows the natural form and function of the user experience in which it is placed. Native ads match the visual design of the experience they live within, and look and feel like natural content. Native ads must behave consistently with the native user experience, and function just like natural content.
2015 saw huge progress in creating the conditions required for native ads to scale to a point few would have thought possible. Early in 2015, the IAB published the OpenRTB 2.3 protocol which established native as a separate ad object, opening up the ad format to the entire real-time bidding ecosystem. This new IAB spec created an industry-wide standard for the demand and supply sides to come together. OpenRTB 2.4 builds on this progress.
The OpenRTB 2.4 protocol set out a new standard that allowed native advertising to be bought and sold in real time. The protocol broke down the deliverable metadata for an in-feed ad: headline, content URL, content description, thumbnail, brand logo and brand name. And it provided clear guidance for the entire industry on how native ads can be broken down into the right components and configured automatically to any unique site layout or in-app experience.
Adding location to native
As the popularity of native ads grows, Blis is expanding its market-leading location technology to capture this new market demand. With the addition of these new features, the company can now extend these advanced targeting capabilities to native advertising as well.
By adding location data, this further enriches the ad experience by taking users’ physical context into audience targeting. Because the ads complement the in-app experience and their physical location, people are more likely to read, click and engage with the content.
The new ad format not only broadens Blis’ reach in to native media inventory, it also enables advertisers to dynamically develop and select creative variants for native ads through the Blis Platform.
Why go native?
There are many advantages to advertising natively on a platform, namely that it’s harder for users to ignore your content.
In fact, they’re more likely to actively engage with it. Unlike traditional display ads, native advertising doesn’t stand out from its surroundings, making it harder for users to subconsciously blank out.
This also means that native ads may benefit from the kudos of the publication they are hosted by, helping a brand to establish an affinity with users even if they weren’t previously aware of it.
Beat the adblockers
The majority of native advertising is immune to ad-blocking software. Between 2014 and 2015, global use of ad blockers increased by 41%, bringing the total number of active monthly ad-blocker users to 198 million. Usually this kind of software is designed to bypass native ads, meaning that they will reach their intended audience without interruption.
To add to this, native ads are often a lot more suitable to be viewed on mobile devices than banner ads or pop-ups. Promoted tweets or Facebook posts for example, sit comfortably in newsfeeds on smaller screens or can be delivered to users safely in an official platform app.
Mobile is eating the internet
As the number of individuals using smartphones to browse the web continues to increase, optimising ads for mobile has become an essential part of any high-achieving advertising campaign.
Over the past year, more and more big-name publishers and digital-only outlets have started to offer brands the opportunity to place sponsored content on their platforms.
In fact, the native ad industry is predicted to quadruple in size between 2013 and 2018 – a sign that the way ads are consumed is set to change pretty quickly over the coming years.
Ultimately, the best native ads are based on the creation of successful content. To really make use of this advertising opportunity, brands must ensure that their message is relevant to the consumers they are trying to target, and that it reaches them at the correct time and location.
As we get further into 2016, native content must be factually accurate, as well as compelling enough to engage audiences. It must also be clearly labelled.
After all, native campaigns are about the ability to start an engaging conversation with a consumer in an area that they are already comfortable in.
Now there’s an opportunity for a grown-up conversation!
If you would like to explore how location-powered native advertising can work for you, please get in touch with your local Blis offices via the website or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be contact.
Tags: Blis, Native Advertising, Paid Media, User Experience