by Benjamin Potter | Creative Director, CLICKON Media
As the advertising industry attempts to weather the ad blocking storm, brands, publishers and ad agencies seem to be pointing the finger at each other.
“Ad agencies are to blame for terrible creative.”
“Consumers don’t get how content stays free.”
“Publishers need to chill the heck out and stop loading so many tags.”
And so it goes. The one channel of advertising that seems to have avoided the dreaded ad blocking phenomenon is native advertising, commonly defined as “an ad that matches the look and feel of the host site.” Good native ads blend seamlessly into the UX of the website or application, making consumers sometimes unaware that they are actually reading an advert versus an editorial piece. Genius, right?
Native advertising has become one of the best tools for mobile publishers to generate revenue, as the fallout from display advertising has shaken their traditional business models. The CPM’s attached to native advertising are often much higher than traditional banners, bless their hearts. Perhaps more significantly is the CTR of native ads over banner ads, coming in at 2-5 times higher.
As publishers have re-structured their businesses to bring in native formats, media budgets are responding accordingly. Over the next two years, we will witness a cataclysmic shift from traditional 320×50 banner ads and leaderboards towards native ads.
Do They Really Avoid Ad-Blockers?
According to Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo, “native ads have the potential to make the web more inviting for consumers.” The straight answer to whether they avoid ad-blockers is sometimes. On sites like BuzzFeed where editors physically write content and place it across the site, it is often impossible to distinguish from editorial.
But the big catch for publishers using native advertising comes when ad-technology is used to deliver native ads to multiple sites. When ads are served rather than published, they become vulnerable to ad-blocking.
With that said, they are becoming the solution for publishers whose revenue is being eaten up by ad-blockers. As they continue to re-structure their businesses to bring in native formats, media budgets are responding accordingly. Over the next two years, we will witness a cataclysmic shift from traditional 320×50 banner ads and leaderboards towards native ads.
May the force be with you (for brands publishers looking to shake things up in 2016 with native advertising).