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Native Ads are increasingly 'the thing'

     
9:54 pm on Jun 7, 2019 (gmt 0)

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In numerous studies:
1. 80-90% of users/visitors prefer native to typical third party network ad types. Why?
* done well it is contextually similar/relevant to surrounding content aka what brought them to the site.
Note: done badly native ads are as bland and conspicuous as stock photos.

* it doesn't interrupt the visitor's cognitive information flow; it blends and extends it.
Note: this is especially critical/important to mobile visitors.

2. Advertisers prefer native. Why?
* it avoids both the long running issue of ad blindness and the more recent uptake in ad blockers.

* 20% greater purchase intent than traditional display ads. 100% better CTR.

* advertisers' brands blend into the content and leverage works both directions from the content and the site. At it's simplest it is brand placement however it can get quite complex.
Note: that advertisers are behind native is shown by (US only) total native spend (USD) steeply increasing:
* 2016: $17 billion.
* 2017: $22 billion.
* 2018: $33 billion.
* 2019: >$40 billion.

3. Publishers prefer native. Why?
* can charge significantly higher CPM and/or CTR. Yes, one can bill (subject to agreement) for both a 'view' and an 'action' with native ads. Two billings from a single visit!
Note: on order of 6-20 times (that's 700% - 2100% more than) third party ad network payout depending on site and niche.

* advertiser (or advertiser in conjunction with site) creates content within contracted agreement. Think better/best content marketing.
Note: poor/fair/good content marketing is as bland and conspicuous as stock photos. And as worthless.

I know that many/most here at WebmasterWorld, as at most webdev/SEO fora I wander by, are primarily or solely Google AdSense for revenue, Google search for traffic, and Google Analytics for analytics. All three are simple convenient defaults that can be leveraged by the more expert. However, as AdSense decreases in quality, as it has since 2014, and publisher value, those with the traffic may want to investigate native advertising as it is what has been eating away at third party ad networks.

For those in Europe or able to visit I suggest considering:
* DMEXCO [dmexco.com] (D-M-EXCO aka Digital Marketing Expo & Conference).
An annual trade fair for digital marketing and advertising (largest in EU).
Wednesday - Thursday, 11-12 September, 2019; Cologne.

* Native Advertising Days [nativeaddays.com] 2019
Monday - Wednesday, 11-13 November 2019; Berlin.

The type of events webdevs/SEOs typically attend, i.e. PubCon, brightonSEO, MozCon, Search Marketing Summit, Search Marketing Expos, are NOT for those looking to get outside the third party ad network box. To do that one has to go where the advertisers and ad agencies happen to be open to speaking to and with publishers. Where native advertising is 'the' hot topic. It requires a whole other networking effort.

And then once you get up to yesterday on both content and native ads... here comes XR.

XR (Extended Reality) includes AR (augmented reality), AV (augmented virtuality) aka MR (mixed reality) aka PP (polyplexity), VR (virtual reality), 3D formats, 360-degree imagery/video... it is basically Paul Milgram's virtuality continuum. And it is already weirdly wonderfully 'real', to varying degree and mix, in both site and ad contexts.

Most webdevs are so far behind they think they are ahead. The web, and web advertising, is no longer 2003 nor even 2013. Really.
11:59 pm on June 7, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Hard truths, hard work, hard returns can be had. Kudos for spreading the word!
3:54 pm on June 8, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Without forgetting that this is the ultimate way to camouflage ads and let visitors believe its part of the navigation ...
4:59 pm on June 8, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@Dimitri: yes, many take what I call the scrape and paste MFA obfuscation way; however as with stock images and pond scum they tend to be rather easy to identify.

I've been selling my native ad space since 2005 and it has always been it's own separate content, similar to a print supplement, and blocked from both direct and SE access. Then earlier this year for solid business as well as visitor and proactive legal reasons have gone full opt-in explicit as described in Something different: opt-in to ads [webmasterworld.com].

To be successful in business requires trust with advertisers/suppliers and visitors/customers; trust is a stool of three legs: honesty, fidelity, and respect. As is often the case it is not so much what one does as how one does it. One should be proud of one's site and proud of one's relationship with advertisers and merchants. If not, well...
8:36 pm on June 8, 2019 (gmt 0)

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My uptake on direct native started around 2008. There's no way I'm going back to agency style advertising. Whew!