Posted on Jun 06, 2017

Platform161 Product Champions are the experts in a particular field, for example for ‘video’ or ‘mobile’. Every now and then we ask them about latest developments in their field of expertise and how Platform161 is responding to these new opportunities (or threats). Today we hear from Roderick Weener what’s going on in…native advertising.

Why don’t we offer native advertising yet on our platform?

The reason for this is that Platform161 has not yet updated to the latest OpenRTB 2.3 protocol in Bidswitch. However, its implementation is on our roadmap and expected to be offered by Platform161 somewhere in the second half of this year.

Native ads fit the contents of the website, how does this work from an automated perspective?

The automation principles of programmatic might seem at odds with native advertising while, in fact, they are fundamentally different:

While Programmatic marketing stands for automation and standardizing the process of ad buying, Native advertising, in its origins, is all about richness of content and customizing an ad to resemble regular content in style and substance on any given platform.

So why even try to make a link between programmatic and native advertising? The answer is scale. Just as how advertisers buy display banners programmatic, they could buy native advertising programmatic. Basically, the key word is ‘could’. The entire idea of programmatic applying to native advertising depends whether or not you believe that one identical sponsored article is useful on several different platforms. At the same time, you have to be creative and productive in designing such an ad: the best native ads are portable. Original content and great execution are what makes programmatic native advertising successful. If you understand the insights of programmatic technology, you should be able to understand how to solve these customization issues.

From a more technical point of view, the difference between RTB standardization for native ads and display ads come down to one word: Metadata. With banners, all that was needed was a single file. With native, the ad unit itself is composed of multiple elements that must transfer – and the headline, thumbnail image, brand name, brand logo, and description must all be considered by both publisher and advertiser. Not every publication will require every piece of metadata, nor will every advertiser have every element in a native ad.

What is the percentage of native ads, over the rest (display, video etc.)?

In 2015, we saw that traditional display banners still were most dominant. However, for 2016, it is expected that video and native will be the big winners as more advertisers choose these innovative and interactive ad forms. This argument is strengthened by trends in the digital market, like ad blocking. Customer experience has become a keyword, and there is more focus now on creating ads that are less interruptive and instead focused on engagement. Both video and native (programmatic content) are ways to engage customers in a more meaningful manner, instead of just plopping ads in front of them.

Do native ads have better results (conversions, click rate) in comparison to standard display ads? And why, can you give a practical example?

Several studies (using eye tracking technology and surveys) have been conducted investigating behavior and perceptions towards native ads. When comparing native ads with traditional banner ads, the following interesting results were observed:

  • Consumers looked at native ads 52% more frequently than banner ads.
  • Native ads drive higher brand lift (brand affinity 9% & purchase intent 18%) than traditional banner ads.
  • More people who view native ads after previously buying a product from an advertiser said they ‘personally identify with’ the brand.

Here are some further interesting conclusions:

  • 70% of individuals want to learn about products through content rather than through traditional advertising.
  • Beeby Clark+Meyler led a native advertising campaign for GE which reached 5.1 million people and resulted in 416,000 clickthroughs — an astronomical >8% CTR.
  • Compare that to traditional display ad CTRs, which have dropped from 9% in 2000 to 0.2% in 2012.
  • 32% of consumers said they would share a native ad with friends and family, compared to just 19% for banner ads.
  • Viewers spend nearly the same amount of time reading editorial content and native ads – 1.2 seconds and 1 second, respectively.
  • Native ads that include rich media boost conversion rates by up to 60%.

So, yes native ads definitely seem to show better results since they enhance the customer experience in a more positive way than standard display ads.