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IAB Archives - Tan Media

Dissecting 2017’s full year IAB UK Adspend results

By | Ad Spend, Banner - Advertisers, Banner - Content Creation, Banner - Native Video, Banner - Publishers, Banner - Reporting, Banner - True Native, Native advertising, Uncategorized

So, the headline news at the IAB yesterday was that the UK’s digital advertising market is up 14.3% YOY and was worth a staggering £11.55bn last year. The numbers have finally been crunched and there’s some interesting nuggets in the report which we, along with all the key players from publishing groups and adtech companies, submit to twice a year. The key takeaways are:

  • Smartphones are driving the bulk of the growth – an increase of 37% YOY
  • 45% of all digital advertising is delivered on smartphones
  • Online video is now the largest display format – accounting for 39%

Separating native and sponsored content

From a native perspective, one of the interesting changes to themethodology is separating sponsored content from native. As native advertising becomes a catch-all, encompassing click-out formats and promoted social media posts, it’s become important to work out exactly what is stay on site brand content and what may have simply shifted from traditional display budgets. For the record, Native (which includes Facebook and Twitter) is now worth over £1 billion, with sponsored content making up £124 million.

Growth chart

Video formats shift

Pre-post roll has lost its crown as the largest video format, having been overtaken by outstream in 2017. With budgets shifting from television to online, this could be because of limited pre-roll availability and the need to find audiences online at scale.

The growth of the private market place (PMP)

With 4/5 of display budgets being traded programmatically, it’s clear that programmatic has been a huge success. What’s more interesting is the shift to programmatic direct – up 10% YOY and now making up 63% of trading. Mary Healy from Accenture is Chair of IAB UK’s Display & Data Steering Group. She said:

”Programmatic direct and PMPs will continue to take the lion’s share of the spend as brands realise that context is just as important as it is in other media. 2017 certainly highlighted a number of concerns across the digital media ecosystem, which has forced the industry to re- evaluate many of the practices we had followed in the past”

With GDPR looming, it could be that these deals – essentaillty selling named inventory rather than just finding the audience regardless of the environment, will grow further during 2018. A lack of reliable data combined with brand safety fears could well mean that buyers are increasingly looking for high quality, contextually relevant publisher environments rather than open RTB.

Digital is the big winner

Finally, gazing into the crystal ball, GroupM predict that digital will outperform the UK ad market again in 2018 – a 10% increase versus 4.8% generally. One thing is clear – as we continue to look downwards on our smartphones, spend on digital continues to head upwards.

native

5 trends for native advertising in 2017

By | Content Marketing, Marketing, Native advertising, Technology, Videos

Having firmly established its place on media plans over the past year, content & native in-feed advertising accounted for an impressive 29% of display in 2016. So, what does the new year hold for native? Here’s 5 trends we’ll be keeping a close eye on:

Measurement, Measurement, Measurement

When someone as gigantic as Facebook struggles with metrics, the spotlight really falls on if a 3 second video view really is engagement, or simply someone scrolling past to consume more of the thing they were actually there for in the first place? There’s also been plenty of talk about moving away from obsessing over clicks, so perhaps 2017 will be the year when quality of engagement trumps sheer quantity.

Viewability remains a red hot topic

I’m sitting in a coffee shop writing this, having just purchased an Americano. Unsurprisingly it filled the cup. Had it only have been 70% full, I’d have asked why and certainly wouldn’t have paid full price. Remarkably, media agencies are still asking ‘how viewable’ our inventory is so they can price this in. We’ve always delivered native on a vCPM (a 100% viewable CPM) – others are moving towards a CPV or CPE (costs per view or engagement) – one thing is for sure though, the days of charging for unseen impressions must finally be coming to an end.

Trust becomes ever more important

In the new era of ‘fake news’ the credibility of brand content becomes increasingly important. Spammy headlines that lead to unrelated content are bad news for both the sites they appear on and the companies using them. Expect to see big brands becoming more cautious about placements and being seen alongside other campaigns with less credible clickbait creative.

Picture-perfect! The increasing use of visual formats

Video distribution has been one of the fastest growing areas of online advertising so it’s easy to forget the power of great photography. We’ve already worked with some great photo essays for brands. There’s also plenty of hype around 360 VR – our team has been experimenting with this on mobile and it looks fantastic – expect to see more.

Rejection of interruptive formats

Ad blocking continued to be the hot topic during the past year. It was hard to find anyone to disagree with the fact that the industry had brought this upon themselves by annoying the hell out of people – obscuring the content that audiences were there to consume. Many publishers are turning their backs on these formats realising that it creates massive UX issues.

Stay-on-site True Native is just one way to create a non-interruptive user experience whist maintaining revenues. If 2016 was the year of interruption, 2017 is definitely shaping up to be the year of usability and engagement. The two really do go hand in hand.

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Native advertising Smartphone

How we helped visualise the native landscape

By | Company News, Native advertising, Uncategorized

I recently wrote a piece entitled ‘Help! Which type of native advertising should I choose?’. Its purpose? To cut through some of the jargon bandied around in the industry when it comes to describing different forms of native.

Given the growing importance of native within the digital ad landscape, it’s no surprise that it’s also something the IAB have been wrestling with. As members of the IAB’s Content & Native Council, we’ve been helping the industry define the various executions of native in the UK.

It all started with a framework back in May. Here you’ll find the three types of native the council decided to define based on how content-based media spends are invested:

Native distribution ad formats:

These are ad units that mirror a publisher’s overall style and layout. This encompasses in-feed click-out and content recommendation units. These are usually a click-out from the headline unit to the brand’s site or landing page. Sometimes called programmatic native display.

Publisher hosted and / or made:

This is for on-site editorial-based content and falls into three categories:

1. Publisher controlled content. Essentially content that the advertiser has no control over. Often this content won’t be directly related to the brand. They are simply sponsoring its production.

2. Publisher hosted and / or made. This is where advertisers partner with publishers or networks such as TAN Media to provide or support editorial-based content. Content sign-off is from the brand.

3. Joint publisher/advertiser controlled commercial content. This is defined as ‘made by publisher and/or brand, enabled by brand but may have been produced even without brand funding’. It’s publisher controlled but with brand input.

Brand-owned:

This defined as ‘any form of content which is conceived, owned and managed by an advertiser.’ This can include social media channels or brand websites for example – essentially anything that’s not on a publisher’s website.

You can find the exact definitions on the IAB Website here. And whilst frameworks and charts are all very helpful as a starting point, actually seeing the various executions in situ is what really brings this project to life.

With that in mind, the IAB tasked suppliers with helping create a Content and Native Gallery. The 50-page PDF is now available for download on the IAB site.

You’ll find our contribution (including case studies) in section 2 – Advertiser-controlled commercial content, following the Guardian and Telegraph, so please take a look.

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The rules of native engagement

By | Uncategorized

It’s always a sign of acceptance and maturity in any activity when someone comes up with a rule book; and that’s just as true for the phenomenon of native advertising.

In this case, the guardian of all that is good is the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), who have been watching the growth of native for some time. Perhaps waiting in case it just fizzled out like another fad or was destined to be a long-term part of the marketing and publishing landscape. In any case, they have now published the first native ads guidelines.

The latest UK numbers are, according to IAB and professional services consultants PwC, that native accounted for a spend of £216 million in the first two quarters of 2014; that’s over 20% of the total display ad spend – hardly fizzling out! In fact, a number of players on both sides of the advertiser/publisher border have dropped display ads altogether and have thrown their hats very decisively into the native ring – even one of the internet’s opinion-formers, BuzzFeed.

Given that extraordinary level of growth and market share, it was inevitable that native sponsored content would attract the attention of the authorities. The good news for the industry is that the rules in this first part of the guidelines are actually based on customer research and effective good practice.

The danger with native content has always been that if a reader doesn’t know that the content they’re reading is commercially targeted, there is the danger of resentment against the publication and against the advertiser for a perceived deception. So guideline number one is unequivocal: publishers must “Provide prominently visual clues to show that pieces are native ads and not editorial”. They suggest a mix of logos and typographical design tools, such as fonts and shading, to differentiate between editorial and native content.

Well, there’s no argument with that, nor the requirement that publishers must add labels to indicate the commercial relationship, along the lines of “Brought to you by…” or “Paid promotion”. Research carried out for the IAB shows that trust increases with the transparency of the origin of the content and, as trust and engagement are the goals of native advertising, these guidelines really are just good practice.

Those who have been carrying the native advertising torch for many years know that when native content is good, i.e. of value to the reader, labelling and transparency of origin are not bureaucratic annoyances but signs of respect.

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Native ads – it’s the way you tell ‘em

By | Native advertising

In a major study into what makes native ads work so well, the IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau – comprised of over 600 of the US leading digital marketers, representing 86% of online selling) and Edelman Bernard, global market insights and analytics specialists, have confirmed what the instinctive native evangelists have always known – it’s the match of content to consumer that is the key to successful engagement.

This was a significant piece of work; phase 1 involved focus groups taken from consumers visiting business, entertainment and/or general news sites several times a week. That informed phase 2, the larger online study of some 5,000 consumers with similar online histories.

The mechanics introduced were native feeds embedded with normal unsponsored content; respondents were asked both to identify ads and to evaluate the content generally.

The study should help all native novices to learn from those who have gone before, because their findings identify the key drivers of quality with great clarity. Experienced natives can learn a lot by looking at the detail.

For over 90% of the respondents ‘relevance’ was the most important factor in attracting them to content and then ensuring engagement with it.

For 81% brand awareness and trust was a driving factor, with 82% citing subject matter expertise as critical to engagement.

As this was a statistically relevant survey those big numbers are not to be ignored and there are lessons that can be driven from them.

Firstly the big one; relevance. This is not a quick trip to Wikipedia to find out more on a topic. This is presenting the consumer with content that is at the right depth and detail comparable with the unsponsored content, but also that gives some fresh insight or perspective.

Next, subject matter expertise. Again, Wikipedia (wonderful though it is) doesn’t cut it as research at this level of engagement. Marketers only have to look at how the language and jargon of digital marketing has become impenetrable to the outside world to understand how expertise presents itself.

Perhaps of most importance with expertise is that it is a moving tableaux; the expertise must be current and topical.

Brand awareness and trust is a slightly more difficult; in essence relevant and authoritative will not con an audience who are exposed to contradictory feeds that challenges a brand’s credentials. Just look at what the phone-hacking scandals did for the integrity of some areas of journalisms’ self-righteous exposés of others’ activities.

One of the most telling insights, for the producers of content, emerging from the study is that 60% of consumers are drawn to content that tells them a story rather than trying to sell of just expose a brand, and implicit in that is the level of engagement that would exist between content and consumer. Does this suggest possibilities of serial or series content that has the confidence to build the relationship slowly over time? The possibilities in that case are endless for expanding the native philosophy through complementary media.

According to the study 86% of consumers now accept that advertising is necessary to give them the free content that they want, so native storytellers let’s invite them in and give them relevant, well founded, current and entertaining tales – that way they’ll come back for more.

Native advertising – your Time (Inc) has come

By | Marketing, Native advertising

It’s incredibly satisfying when the big movers and shakers in the media world start showing that they believe what you have believed, and shouted about, for at least this millennium; the raw power of native advertising.

Only a few days ago the mighty Time Inc. announced the formation of a new eight-person team whose mission is to build their profile in developing native ads. This is no ‘toe-in-the-water’ venture either; CEO Joe Ripp has put two of his top people in charge; chief content officer Norm Pearlstine and executive vice president Mark Ford.

Pearlstine and Ford were not slow to get started, quickly grabbing Chris Hercik, previously creative director of the Sports Illustrated Group, as vice president for the native commitment and both Hercik and Ford have already joined the front line to deal with the native detractors.

‘We’re not trying to trick people. We’re just trying to create great content’, Ford reassured those who are still coming to terms with the spirit of native content. Hercik too disputes any suggestion that it is underhand, “Creativity is agnostic, as long as it is mutually beneficial to the brand and the advertiser”. Read More