Native Advertising 101: What are Native Ads?
week, we announced the launch of our Native Ads Platform. While
native advertising is the latest buzzword in the industry, critics
are holding their verdict on whether they are here to stay. If you
are a part of the booming mobile internet industry and your
livelihood depends on the popularity of your mobile business (app or
website), you are most probably on the other side of the fence and
are thankful for the innovations focused on enhancing the user
experience and monetization opportunity.
far, mobile developers have had to rely on traditional ad formats for
monetizing their non-paying user base. Native ads are definitely an
improvement over existing solutions and are intended to offer an
in-context experience to the user by allowing publishers to adapt the
ads to the form, function, and content of their property. This means
that the native ad matches the visual appeal and interactive elements
of the property. If the native look of the property is a tiled
format, the ad will also be in a tile. If the native behavior of the
property is flipping tiles (think Flipboard), the native ad tile will
also flip. Native ads are so deeply integrated into the mobile
property that as you scroll the screen up or down, the native ad also
moves along with the rest of the content. In other words, it becomes
pseudo content. This is completely different from traditional ad
formats like banners, which take over a specified place of the mobile
screen and are unaffected by what is happening on the rest of the
screen. Or interstitials, which take control of the entire screen. A
native ad is an ad that looks like it belongs in your property.
so many players offering varying degrees of native ad solutions, how
do you evaluate the effectiveness of the different offerings?
Borrowing from the IAB native advertising playbook, we have come up
with a simple framework to help you analyze your options:
Visual & Contextual Fit
the ad become a part of the content screen that the user generally
takes notice of, or will it be a part of his blind spot?
the ad unit have content that resembles the rest of the content on
the page or does it stand out like an eyesore?
the ad unit match the functionality of the rest of the content or
elements of the property in which it is displayed? The ad unit
should adapt to any USP that has been built into the publisher’s
property like swipe, flip, scroll, links, and so on.
Scale & Targeting
the solution scalable as per your needs? If you are a publisher and
it requires you to source the advertisers yourself, you will be
limited to the strength of your Sales team. Similarly, if you are an
advertiser and have to design individual creative assets for each
publisher that you partner with, you will hit a wall soon.
the solution offer the right mix of mobile developers - be it
advertisers or publishers - to maximize the value of your effort?
Are different genres like games, entertainment, news, brands,
commerce, utilities, and so on, part of the deal?
that the ad unit is now going to blend seamlessly with the content,
the importance of ad relevance has never been greater in order to
ensure you do not end up annoying the user. Is the ad targeted to
the user and takes into account his engagement and usage patterns?
This will depend a lot on the targeting capabilities of the solution
provider and the amount of user data that can be used for analyzing
there a means to disclose to the user that this is an ad unit and
not a piece of content?
Effort & Measurement
is no hiding the fact that if you want a deeply integrated ad in
your property, there will be effort involved. What matters is how
much of your focus and effort will have to be diverted from the core
kind of performance metrics are available for the publisher and
advertiser to measure the effectiveness of the ad unit? The basic
parameters - impressions, click-through rates, fill rates,
conversion rates, and/or advanced parameters like engagement
metrics, shopping cart fills, and so on.
Next week, we will dive into
what kind of ad units would make most sense for news apps.