The power of words: How altruistic are we?

By | Banner - Advertisers, Banner - Content Creation, Banner - True Native, Content Marketing, main blog, Native advertising, Uncategorized

As we navigate an exit from Covid restrictions, how altruistic we are as a nation has been brought into sharp focus. Should you have the vaccine to protect yourself, others, or a combination of both? While vaccine hesitancy is very low in the UK compared with other countries, when trying to persuade the population to get vaccinated, it’s a good idea to understand what motivations will work, what buttons to push. In many ways, it’s no different to advertising any other product – what are the features and benefits?!

Different countries have taken different approaches. From over a hundred million dollars of vaccine lottery prize money in California, to promoting the tantalising prospect of the things that we love reopening in France:

In the UK of course, we have stickers. Everyone loves a sticker, right? Whilst it probably isn’t the number one reason for getting your jab, the language you use to get people there might be. One of the most notable changes in tack came when sending texts to the under 40’s in the UK.

The language had been tweaked from a more formal “You have been invited to book your Covid vaccination” used in older age groups, to an invite using the phrase “You have reached the top of the queue” and words like “priority” – as many noted, the text had been gamified – YOU are the winner!

Why words matter

When promoting a product or service, how altruistic should you assume your target audience are? Here’s two recent briefs I’ve worked on recently that both raised this question. One was for a FMCG product that had new green credentials, and another for some university courses in subjects that would certainly be for the common good. So, here’s the question – when enticing readers via headlines, should your focus be on what the product /service can do for you, or how it can help others?

Test and discover

We will often A/B test around 6 headlines for each True Native article, so there is always an opportunity to be proved wrong, but on the whole headlines which provide a clear benefit to the user will outperform those which don’t list any benefit to the reader. As altruistic as we would like to think we are, a good outcome for the user will usually trump all else.

How to craft content that performs

With this is mind, here’s three ways to ensure you’re producing content that pushes all the right buttons:

1. Think about the benefits to the buyer’s life

How can buying here cut my commute? How can this product help my skin? What experiences can I have on this holiday? Sell the dream!

2. Educate – The value exchange

Provide useful information that the reader will find valuable – the more engaging it is, the longer they’ll spend with your brand and content

3. Use emotive, aspirational adjectives

Words like stylish, amazing, luxury, stunning, dream, perfect – promise something valuable or emotionally stimulating. And in turn, generate high CTRs

 

Online advertising

Headlines that perform: Why your creative matters

By | Banner - Content Creation, Banner - True Native, main blog, Native advertising

There’s a task in The Apprentice where the candidates have to make some adverts – usually TV, but more recently audio and digital OOH. Each year, without fail, Lord Sugar will berate one of the teams for producing an ad which doesn’t clearly portray the product. Here, for example, is a classic of the genre – adverts for two tissue brands…

“I don’t know what your bloody adverts about!” shouts Sir Alan to the producers of the ‘I Love My Tissues’ ad. The rival team, having created ‘Atishu’, win the task with a “…horrible advert, a horrible box” because they sold the product, it’s features, and benefits in the ad.

There is, of course, a place for high-end branding ads which barely mention the product, but in all honestly a new tissue brand probably isn’t it. But it’s not just apprentices that sometimes forget that the end user needs to understand what you’re in the business of selling! You can have all the digital adtech and targeting in the world, but if your creative is unclear, it’s unlikely to perform.

Here’s some anonymised ads (both direct response and sponsored content) headlines I’ve seen recently online:

Headline: Time for change Sponsored by: B2B Brand 

A change in your business, a change in their business, a change in the world? It wasn’t clear who the change was aimed at, what the change was, or who the change benefits. When we create headlines (and select images) for native sponsored content, we always think about the end user – what benefit will they get from spending time with this content? If there isn’t any clear reason to click, it’s destined to underperform even if what it’s clicking to is actually good.

Headline: Save £300 with our early bird pricing Sponsored by: Consumer Brand

I was unaware of the brand, so didn’t know what they sell. The image was of some electrical equipment, but it wasn’t clear what it was for, or what it did!

Outside of the very biggest brands, you should never assume that even your target audience has heard of you. Start with the basics – features and benefits! Features describes what the product does, benefits describe how buying this product can help you. So, how do you cover all of this in a snappy headline with a short character limit? Here’s a headline we recently ran for a water softener company:

Why a water softener is the ultimate beauty hack”

So, in 40 characters we’ve explained what we are selling and how it can benefit you. If you were considering a water softener, you can discover how it may help you look your best, if you weren’t considering a water softener but beauty is a priority in your life, you may well be enticed to see how it could help you achieve better skin. Put simply, it works both ways.

Here’s five essentials for producing crystal clear headlines that work for your audience…

5 ways to create headlines that perform

Be prescriptive. A prescriptive statement is stating what should happen, and in the context of advertising, that something desirable should happen if you follow our instruction. “Looking for promotion? Study at TAN University to boost your prospects”.

Be relevant. Clickbait only annoys the user and will result in poor results when they realise the headline isn’t related to the content.

Be positive. Think about the benefits to the reader’s life. Explain how buying this house will cut their commute in the headline.

Be educational. Think about the value exchange with the reader. Provide useful information they’ll find useful – the more engaging it is, the longer they’ll spend with your brand and content.

Be aspirational. Use emotive, aspirational adjectives. Words like stylish, amazing, luxury, stunning, dream, perfect – promise something valuable or emotionally stimulating, and in turn, generate high CTRs.

 

engaging content student audience

Why engaging with students requires engaging content

By | Banner - Advertisers, Banner - Content Creation, Banner - Native Video, Banner - Reporting, Banner - True Native, Content, Content Marketing, Education, Native advertising

The shifting landscape

Declining application numbers have been a shock to the system across the higher education sector and have led to several major shifts. This year we witnessed a squeeze at the top, with the highest ranked 20 institutions competing for the brightest. Russell Group universities accepted ABB in the summer which had a knock-on effect right down the rankings and led universities to rethink their recruitment strategies.

Students are aware that it’s a buyer’s market, so are now shopping around, visiting multiple campuses to find the perfect university for them. Others are leaving it later to apply and some are waiting until August in the knowledge that even higher ranked institutions will offer places through clearing and confirmation.

Last year St George’s University became the first to offer medicine through clearing. This year, universities that used to mop up their last few places on results day, still had courses available days after to accommodate for late demand. Most institutions now offer a clearing open day to engage with students before they apply.

Making a first impression

The university is a unique institution, in that it’s marketing team must work to a particular cycle, communicating with a largely new audience each year. This presents a great opportunity to fine-tune your brand over time.

As a result, it’s crucial to make a high quality and lasting first impression with each student, each year. It makes such a difference if potential students understand who you are and what you’re all about before they are signposted towards course lists, prospectuses and open days.

student content

The power of your brand

With tightening budgets to work to, most unis are opting for high-intensity campaigns at key periods – January deadline, open days and clearing. This offers maximum impact and ensures that students are given every opportunity to register or apply. A downside of this strategy is that ads that feel transactional are less likely to influence students in making an important decision.

This problem is compounded by the intensity of competition for share of voice, making it hard to be heard above the crowd. Students are likely to see multiple university ads in a day, so how can any one ad stand out above the rest? Will students click on the first one they see? The most colourful? The most relevant? The most impressive stat?

Or will it be a brand that they have engaged with before and feel they recognise and want to explore further?

Education agency, SMRS, recently drew attention to the importance of brand in their HE marketing survey. 97% of respondents pointed to the increased importance of brand, above other recent impacts such as Brexit and the Teaching Excellence Framework.

student content

Being inspirational

When we talk about online brand engagement, we refer to the execution of meaningful, prolonged interactions with university content. Campaigns are often judged on the price of their clicks and the traffic they drive to a site, but this isn’t always the best way to build lasting and impactful brand awareness. Sometimes we should look beyond the click to really understand the results of a piece of activity.

We should consider the potential student’s experience and ask ourselves what students want from their interaction. If the aim is to win hearts and minds, we can’t be pushy, sending students to fill out a form without having something to offer. Universities are great at producing content but not so good at sharing it!

Departments, lecturers and student groups produce fascinating research every day and it’s exactly the kind of stuff that grabs attention and excites young people about getting stuck in and starting their student journey.

Be the one to spark that idea, that conversation, that inspiration, whilst quietly reinforcing your brand identity as an authority on the subject.

Engaging with a digital generation

The last few years have seen the rise of programmatic display ads which have led to campaigns that mine for direct response, opting for quantity over quality. At the same time, a digitally savvy generation has started holding advertisers to a higher standard. To have a chance of generating quality engagement with potential students, interactions have to become less transactional and more inspirational. To get engagement you must be engaging!

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programmatic

Has programmatic become problematic?

By | Brand Safety, Content Marketing, Marketing, Native advertising

The rise of programmatic advertising has been nothing short of spectacular, with the IAB predicting that programmatic will account for 80-90% of display ad sales by 2019.

Its rapid growth is unsurprising given the problems it has solved, namely audience targeting and unsold inventory. By introducing real-time bidding (RTB) on every ad impression, advertisers can bid for the eyeballs of each individual user based on their browsing history and other data sources. Want to reach a 47 year old female, earning a fair whack who likes sports cars? No problem…

Brand safety becomes the hot topic

Except there was a problem. In March, The Times ran the headline: Big brands fund terror through online adverts. Their investigation focused on sites including YouTube where programmatic ads for major global brands were found to be alongside extremist content.

The fallout grew greater each day as more and more media agencies pulled their ads from Google’s ad exchange. As we noted on this blog when ads were pulled from alleged ‘fake news’ sites:

“Finding audience at the expense of losing control of the environment, suddenly doesn’t seem quite as smart.”

But it’s not just user-generated content sites like YouTube, Facebook, Tumblr or Instagram that represent a potential danger for brands. There’s also been an exodus from editorial sites like Breitbart – the controversial Alt-right news organisation – and copyright-infringing sites such as those streaming live sport without owning the rights. Ads have also been found on pornographic sites.

I don’t suppose brand safety concerns were top of the agenda for most programmatic buyers; performance by way of finding the target audience trumped everything, but one thing’s for sure – it’s now their number one priority.

Good news for traditional publishers? 

Ironically, one of the campaigns which first sparked this controversy was for a publisher. The Guardian pulled ads for its membership scheme from Google’s Adx ad exchange when they were discovered next to extremist content.

Ironic, because it’s traditional publishers which stand to benefit the most from the fallout. News UK’s chief executive, Robert Thompson didn’t hold back with his take on the tech giant:

“It is risible, no, beyond risible, that Google/YouTube, which has earned, literally, hundreds of billions of dollars from other peoples’ content, should now be lamenting that it can’t possibly be held responsible for monitoring that content – monetizing yes, monitoring no.” Press Gazette

1XL, which represents local newspaper publisher’s Johnston Press, Newsquest, Archant and DC Thompson issued a statement suggesting that agencies place ads with them rather than:

“blind programmatic ad buying which is placing household brands next to extremist content and fake news”.

What next for advertisers?

Over the past few weeks I’ve had many calls and emails from media agencies asking us to confirm where their client’s ads are running.

As we operate our own network with direct publisher integration, I can easily list every site down to individual sections and placements – in short, we can offer complete transparency and brand safety. I suspect others in the digital space have probably not had such an easy ride.

What many advertisers don’t realise is quite how many exchanges their ads are passing through before being spat out at the other end. Knowing where your ad is being served when bids and ad calls are being made in a fraction of a second on millions of websites is nigh on impossible.

So perhaps it’s time to take another look at the walled garden traditional publishers can offer, after all, could it be that the environment your ad is served in is as important as the targeting?

Essential for native

Thus far, the programmatic problem has only affected display advertising, but

with some display being tweaked to look more like native, it seems obvious that native advertising should be leading by example. After all, when sites are associated with your content, they should be completely brand safe.

As a final thought, I’ll leave you with three things I’d be asking any native provider:

  1. Can you provide me with a full site list?
  2. Can I blacklist any sites I don’t consider right for the brand?
  3. Can you pause campaigns down to individual placements by next impression?

If they can’t answer all three, I’d be looking elsewhere.

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fake news

Why ‘fake news’ is good news for real publishers

By | Native advertising, Uncategorized

Probably already a frontrunner for phrase of the year, ‘fake news’ is the phenomenon everyone from politicians to publishers; tech companies to the man on the street, is talking about.

Whilst the blame for fake news has been laid squarely at the door of Facebook, indeed it’s forced the world’s biggest social media platform to fact check some of the content on its site, it has caused publishers to take stock and consider the quality of third party content on their own websites.

That content is invariably ad tech, from standard display units, to native advertising, video providers, and content recommendation. Are the ads being run trustworthy? This is particularly important in the programmatic age where they could have been served through a myriad of exchanges.

If not knowing where an advert has come from is a problem for publishers, the reverse is now true for advertisers – not knowing where your ad will actually be served has become a real issue. A recent Times investigation led to some of the world’s biggest brands pausing all programmatic advertising as their ads were found on websites apparently funding extremist groups.

Finding audience at the expense of losing control of the environment, suddenly doesn’t seem quite as smart.

Native: One size fits all?

Native advertising as a term encompasses everything that ‘mirrors the form and function’ of the property it sits on – from a promoted Facebook post or tweet to a sponsored article within the editorial feed, right through to content recommendation.

Because of this execution, trust has never been more important. And there lies the problem – how can a user uploaded misleading ‘get rich quick’ headline, clicking out to a dubious website be lumped into the same category as the lauded New York Times content for Netflix’s Orange is New Black?

Time to grasp the opportunity     

So where does this leave native advertising? There’s no denying how important it’s become for publishers – The Atlantic makes 75% of its ad revenue from sponsored content, Condé Nast Britain, over half of its digital earnings. But this is from high quality, clearly labelled articles – a world away from some of the clickbait washing around the web.

BI Intelligence estimates that Native ads will drive 74% of all ad revenue by 2021. Whilst this will be led by the dominant social platforms, one interesting nugget is that:

“Sponsored content, which is categorised separately from native-display due to the direct relationship between publishers and brands in creating the format, will be the fastest-growing native format over the next five years.”

The renaissance of traditional publishers    

Traditional publishers have a challenge to adapt to the digital world, but the one good thing to come out of the past few months is that, in the words of Luis Hernandez, ‘…fake news is making real publishers look good’. Sites with paywalls like the NYT have seen a surge in subscriptions and UK national newspaper sites a 16% year-on-year uplift to 31.5m daily uniques (Dec 2016).

Why premium sites need premium ad tech     

So here’s the question for publishers: You’ve worked hard to build the trust of your audience. Why would you do anything to diminish that by running poor quality ads, clicking out to some questionable places?

The real value for premium publishers is in running high quality, clearly labelled, stay-on-site sponsored content which maintains trust and delivers value to both the reader and the media owner.

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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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Confused man

Help! Which type of native advertising should I choose?

By | Content Marketing, Native advertising

Some time ago when meeting with media agencies, I stopped going through a PowerPoint deck to explain what our execution, True Native, is. Far easier just to show a media buyer a live campaign and click on the headline unit. Bingo! The brand content appears on the publisher’s article page, no matter what site we’re on.

The reason I changed tack wasn’t because some agencies don’t understand adtech (of course they do) but more that there are so many executions of what we now call Native Advertising that it’s easy for those, even in the profession, to get confused.

Indeed, the Content and Native Council at the IAB have recently been wrestling with dozens of formats and how they can be compared and measured effectively. The Measurement Green Paper is great piece of work which tackles some of the big questions in the industry, but certainly isn’t for the uninitiated, which is why I thought I’d go back to the start in this piece.

I’m not going to say one execution is better than another – they all have their place. It’s just that some formats lend themselves to different goals. Broadly, they fall in to three groups (excluding pure video distribution), so here goes!

Content Recommendation

Look: Typically appear in blocks of 6 units – headline and image
Placement: Mostly hosted on article pages, beneath the article
Execution: All units click-out to the advertiser’s site / landing page
Optimisation: Headline / Image variations / Geo targeting on some networks
Brand Safety: Usually blind network
How do you buy: Self-service
Charging mechanism: CPC / CPL (Cost per click / Cost per lead)
Mostly used for: Direct response / lead generation activity
Typical bounce rate: Usually over 50%

Probably the format most people are aware of as we are about a decade into seeing blocks of “You might also be interested in….” under articles on newspaper and magazine websites. Typically used for lead generation (and by publishers to gain additional traffic), it’s usually a lead generation channel. It suffers a high bounce rate as it’s an interruptive format, opening another browser window.

Pros
To put it bluntly, it will either work or it won’t. If your CPA (cost per acquisition) / CPL (cost per lead) / CPE (cost per engagement) stacks up, then grand – you’re in business.

Cons
Usually a blind network with some choice picks. As it’s self-service solution, the quality of the campaigns you surround can vary massively – from brand to somewhat dubious clickbait.

Programmatic Native Display

Look: Just like the surrounding editorial headline units, but marked as ‘Sponsored’
Placement: Usually in the editorial feed or inserted at points within an article
Execution: Units usually click-out to the advertiser’s site / landing page
Optimisation: Headline / Image variations / Geo targeting
Brand Safety: Mixture of named and blind placements
How do you buy: DSPs / Ad exchanges / Account managed
Charging mechanism: CPC (Cost per click)
Mostly used for: Direct response / lead generation / content distribution
Typical bounce rate: Varies but often 50% +

Far more prominent than content recommendation, the headline units are usually solo placements within the editorial feed. Mostly used for a mixture of direct response, traffic driving and content distribution, the typical execution is again click-out from the publisher site.

Pros
A step up from content recommendation, the solo units are a more premium option for brands. Available programmatically though exchanges or directly via networks.

Cons
Bounce rates are again an issue, as with content recommendation, due to the interruptive format of clicking out to a landing page.

True Native

Look: Just like the surrounding editorial headline units but marked as ‘Sponsored’.
Placement: On homepages, section fronts and within the editorial feed
Execution: The user clicks directly through to an article page hosted on the publisher’s site
Optimisation: Headline / Image variations / Geo targeting
Brand Safety: Only named sites – full media transparency
How do you buy: Account managed, full service only
Charging mechanism: vCPM (Guaranteed viewable headline units)
Mostly used for: Brand content
Typical bounce rate: 5-10% (Adjusted bounce rate)

Like Programmatic Native Display, the units are prominent and solo within in the editorial feed. In addition, content is contextually aligned. The major difference to other executions is that the user will click through to the brand content on a standard article page, creating a completely non-interruptive user experience.

Used almost exclusively for the distribution of branded content, our execution is the only stay on site solution where the look and feel of the publication is maintained.

Pros
True Native is just that. To the user it feels like any other article on the site, just with sponsored brand content. Because of this, engagement rates are exceptionally high – on average 90 seconds per view.

Cons
As a branding channel, it tends to be most suited to top of the funnel campaigns rather than direct response actions.

Conclusion:
As the latest IAB ad spend report confirms, content and native now accounts for a quarter of all display advertising – so it’s certainly here to stay. Which of these executions you choose to use will depend entirely upon your goals. Looking for DR? Head for click-out formats. Looking for brand engagement – head for stay on site True Native.

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How native advertising is set to dominate digital media

By | Native advertising, Technology, Uncategorized

Native advertising is predicted to make up over 50% the display media bought across Europe by 2020.

We may only be a few months in to 2016 but it’s already shaping up to be a breakthrough year for native advertising. A new report forecasts a massive €13.2 billion native ad spend around Europe by 2020 – spectacular growth of 156% compared to the €5.2 billion companies spent on native ads in 2015.

In Britain alone, the market was worth £1.2 billion last year. That figure is set to more than double to £2.8 billion by 2020, according to the study, carried out by Yahoo and Enders Analysis and unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

The move to mobile

That’s sweet music to the ears of online publishers who are currently struggling against a number of advertising headwinds, most notably the marked trend among consumers away from the larger screens of laptops and PCs to the much smaller screens of mobile devices.

Display advertising is challenged on smaller screens, so native in-feed advertising makes far more sense from both viewabilty and user experience perspectives.

Opt-in advertising

Additionally, surveys are finding that consumers actually appreciate native as adding value, compared to blaring and brash display ads they’re not overly fond of – one reason fewer people are clicking them.

A true native execution is the ultimate ‘opt-in’ advertising and a world away from the intrusive splurges which shield entire homepages or launch a video that’s impossible to switch off. If the reader choses to engage with on-site, clearly labelled sponsored content, that’s exactly what they get.

The future is native

The new study found that native advertising will amount to 52% of all display advertising in European markets by 2020, and – reflecting the swing to mobile – native ads for mobile will soar from €1.5 billion last year to €8.8 billion in less than four years’ time.

So, it’s increasingly looking like publishers and advertisers are embracing a native future together, with everyone benefiting – even consumers!

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true native brand awareness

Why native is the perfect brand awareness channel

By | Native advertising

The Content Marketing Institute have just released a compelling new white paper ‘Is Native Advertising The New Black’. Despite its monochrome title, the report is anything but, with plenty of interesting trends from the US.

Written content remained the most popular form of native, with articles and blog content leading the way. The main motivation for marketers using native as a channel (41%) is the ability to target and retarget customers and buyers in the sales funnel.

This makes perfect sense as native is the ideal top to middle of the funnel activity. It’s hard to sell something with no brand awareness and long form content is a great way to educate your audience about your product / offering. Indeed, the report reveals that main goal for content marketers using native advertising was to create brand awareness (63%).

Another reason marketers chose native as a channel (32%) was to “break through the clutter of banner advertising.” Banner blindness has been a challenge for display buyers for many years now, so putting content within content makes sense. Our execution of native (True Native) does just this, ensuring that your content gets maximum exposure within editorial.

The full report is available for download on the CMI’s website.

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