Well, not just the native content, but all online content. Now that online activity on mobiles has overtaken that on laptops and desktops, it makes no sense that the mobile user should have a worse experience when viewing content.
This is a great example of an industry that is driving its own standards up and not waiting to be told it must improve. The actual required standard for ‘viewability’, set by the Media Ratings Council, is 50% of the ad’s pixels to be visible on screen for one second; in other words, if that standard is met, the ad is deemed to satisfy the contract terms.
Seeing is believing
But the industry says that’s just not good enough, nothing less than 100% is acceptable. And that is exactly what is happening with several of the leading players, such as Nativo and inPowered, giving the guarantee that if anything less than 100% of the ad is visible, the client pays nothing.
To add credibility to the promise, Nativo have tapped online intelligence and analytics specialists Moat to provide the essential third party verification.
So that sets the bar for the technical side of ad design, but what about the content quality?
Once again, the leading lights of the industry are setting the pace with inPowered offering guarantees on viewer engagement too, defined as the proportion of viewers staying for at least 15 seconds or sharing. Hold your breath and count to 15 slowly and you realise that it is quite a long time in surfing terms and really does mean that content standards will have to be pretty sharp to honour the pledge. Once again, no engagement, no pay.
Reading is engaging
All content providers will have to learn what native advertisers have been mastering for some years: engagement created by good writing and graphics matched to the tone and category of the publication. A good headline and a rewarding first paragraph soon takes the reader to the point of no return where they want to read to the end.
That is going to be a challenge for those producing display ads that have long been designed on the basis of making the most of a two second or less engagement with the viewer. In the new world that means you’ve got another 13 seconds to fill if you want to get paid and, let’s face it, there are only so many videos of dogs on skateboards and cute kiddies falling asleep in their food that the world can take.
So, new standards have been set for both technical viewability and content engagement backed by hard cash guarantees. This is digital marketing’s version of ‘it does what it says on the tin’ – a promise of effectiveness.
Of course, that has always been a part of native folklore handed down through the generations; entertain, inform and show respect and 15 seconds stretches to become a long-term customer relationship.