Trends propelling native advertising in 2019

Vishal Parekh, Director - Sales of Verizon Media says through broader reach and innovation, digital marketers will find fresh success with native advertising in 2019

Vishal Parekh

Native ads have proven that they have staying power, with a killer combination of engagement and performance. Native ads feel organic and because they tap into the user’s interest, blend in seamlessly but effectively. For advertisers, they offer a meaningful way to connect with target audiences. Being non-intrusive, they build trust and deeper engagement with customers. And, they outperform most other digital formats. Studies show the average click-through rates are 4X higher for premium native ads versus non-native display ads on mobile devices. 

In a world of small screens and big expectations, marketers will continue to turn to native ads to drive action, conversions, and brand storytelling. What is fast evolving is the environment or format they will choose for this. A look at key trends that will propel native advertising this year. 

Innovative next-gen native ads
Advertisers will look to innovate with new XR (extended reality) native experiences. These could include virtual reality, augmented reality and 360-degree videos - formats that will fuel disruption in native advertising. Augmented reality revenue is projected to reach a whopping $14 billion in 2021, a far cry from $975 million in 2016. It is estimated almost a third of the world’s consumers will use VR by 2020. As per Accenture’s Technology Vision report, 52 per cent of businesses are developing XR strategies. This is a trend that consumers are driving with their demand for this engaging format. The scope for native advertising in VR is tremendous, and expected to grow exponentially, as advertisers innovate. The potential to be memorable in these environments is huge - brands would have the unique opportunity to create bespoke experiences for consumers.
 
Pottery Barn, for instance, targeted home décor enthusiasts on Yahoo Mail, inviting shoppers to virtually place 3D items of Pottery Barn furniture in their home. Users spent an average of 2.4 minutes engaging with the AR ad unit, calling the experience ‘unique and fascinating’. Given the quality of engagement, expanding capabilities and popularity amongst users, advertisers will find new ways to leverage innovative technologies into their native advertising strategies, to deliver immersive native ads. 
 
Advertisers will push for greater scale and distribution
Advertisers and publishers are going to cast the net wider in 2019, diversifying in terms of formats and platforms. As spends on native advertising increase, advertisers are targeting more eyeballs and better performance at scale. Native video ads are being amplified across social media. They will find their way onto newer platforms and in new environments. The next step is broader distribution for native ad content to ensure greater audience reach and higher ROI. Advertisers can deliver strong performance and ROI by focusing on scale and format diversification.

Mobile-friendly Indians will spur native video ads 
With falling data costs, increasing smartphone penetration and the growth of mobile content consumption, mobile native advertising is set to grow. According to a survey by ComScore, Indians spend 90 per cent of their online time on mobile phones. They love video, and the demand for native video ads will continue to rise, as advertisers supercharge this format to boost campaign results—with improved viewability and verification. With the rise of OTT and all-access apps, the opportunity for mobile video advertising will only continue to grow
 
Native video ads are among the most effective video formats on mobile because of the organic, seamless experience they offer users. They are geared to tell a story, rather than flood the consumer with product information. This makes native video ads instantly more engaging, and shareable. A study by Sharethrough and Nielsen comparing the brand-building effectiveness of native video ads against pre-roll video ad units found that native advertising showed higher brand lift across all the campaigns in the study. 

Combining the precise targeting of programmatic advertising with the creativity of native video will ensure advertisers’ messages appear when and where they want them, with meaningful content tailored to interest. 

As they continue to deliver results. Native ads will remain at the forefront of digital advertising. Through broader reach and innovation, digital marketers will find fresh success with native advertising in 2019.

 

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of exchange4media.com

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