Step Aside Banner Ads, There’s a New Kid on the Block (Sort Of)

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Photo courtesy of Yahoo Pressebilder, from Flickr

There is a new type of advertising that is taking digital media by storm and producing consistent and effective results for advertisers. You most likely already know what native advertising is even if you do not know what it is called. Native ads are simply display ads that live nestled in the text of articles and within our news feeds on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Not only are these ads relatively fresh to the eyes of a prospective audience/demographic, but the also perform better.

Overall Performance

According to statistics from Sharethrough, native advertising is a powerhouse performer compared to older, outdated models of digital advertising. This is huge in the world of advertising when most consumers are becoming numb to the tired worn out display and banner ads they are used to seeing. Native advertising has produced some staggering results that can’t be ignored.

  • 25% more consumers looked at native ads within feeds opposed to banner ads.
  • 32% of consumers reported that they would share a native ad with family or friends compared to 19% for display ads
  • Native ads present an 18% brand lift with intent to purchase

Resistant to Ad Blockers

Native advertising also offers a way around ad blockers. Most ad blockers at this point only target display ads simply because the only thing that differentiates native ads from editorial or social media posts are design elements. Ad blockers cannot detect native ads and therefore are unable to block them. This is great news for advertisers because now they can rest assured knowing that their marketing dollars are actually at work!

Unique to Platform

Many people within the marketing industry prefer native advertising not just because it is more effective, but also because it is unique to the platform it is on. Often times it is exclusive to that platform as well, so advertisers can hone in on specific demographics. If you want to sponsor a tweet, twitter is the only place you can do that. This is an unique advantage is designed to make the advertising not seem so forced and out of place. Consumers also appreciate this more because they have the option to look at it and then continue on if they decide to.

You CAN Teach an Old Dog New Tricks

Although native advertising may sound like a hot, new type of advertising, it most certainly is not. “Native advertising” at its core, has been around for a long time. It has not been around for long in a digital sense, but it IS essentially advertorial. Companies have been paying for sponsored content and advertorial for years now, but it has been given a sleek new name for its digital implication.

With advertising becoming more and more aggressive as time goes by, marketing experts need to come up with more potent types of advertising, even if that means teaching an old dog new tricks.

The Fight Over Ad Blockers

mobile-698624_1920Technology has provided the advertising industry the means for reaching a global audience. But in today’s culture of constant and disposable digital content, advertisers must fight for their clicks. The clash of advertisers, tech companies, and ad blockers created palpable tension at a panel discussion about ad-blocking at Mobile World Congress. Whether you are a consumer, or a large brand, your experience with ad blockers will inform the future of digital ads.

The panel included executives from Google, Shine, Nestlé, AOL and Yahoo who spoke to marketers about consumer behavior and their use of mobile ad blockers. The conversation lead to recommendations pertaining to the quality of online ads, but the main focus of the discussion was Shine, a mobile ad blocker. Shine is actively working with carriers like the Three Group, a European carrier, and Digicel, a Caribbean telecompany. Customers can opt to use their ad blocking technology, which does not “whitelist” a fixed roll of publishers. This means their technology can block all mobile ads.

Shine’s technology is the cause of much debate in the realm of digital marketing. Roi McCarthy, CMO of Shine, is quick to defend the products and it’s importance to the average consumer. As a member of the panel he stated, “Every individual using a mobile handset, smartphone or desktop is being abused by ad-tech—that’s not selective, that is 100 percent. We’re talking about military-grade tracking, targeting and profiling. Consumers do not have the ability to protect themselves.” While both sides of the debate are ready with a defense, there are tech giants like Google, AOL, and Yahoo caught in the middle. These web portals are the platforms for millions of digital ads, and publishers rely on them heavily for revenue. These publishers are not at liberty to provide their content for free, or without the fair trade of ads.

While the tension may feel uncomfortable, this could create a positive change in the world of digital ads. Companies will have to find solutions informed by consumer opinion and sentiment. Additionally, companies will have to establish transparency with consumers, in order avoid any feelings of encroachment. The problem may not be ad blocking software, but the way ads are placed and presented. Reframing the challenge could lead to innovative solutions that will benefit consumers, brands and publishers. For about the fight over ad blockers, continue reading at AdWeek.