Bond. James Bond.
Speeding away through the ice space in his silver Aston Martin V12 Vanquish. Ford paid $35 million for that placement. It’s the most expensive native ad in the history of advertising, and it's arguably also one of the best illustrations of the native advertising concept. Always present, but—when well done—unnoticed.
Amid the discussions and debates regarding the definition and scalability of native advertising, it seems that the industry has—as is now a norm in the digital age—forgotten about the content. It seems as though we all agree mobile is the ideal platform for native ads, and social media giants are leading the way, but are simple text ads—mere "posts"—really all that native advertising has to offer?
Many studies report elevated click-through rates and interaction rates in native mobile ads, so it would be a shame not to leverage the willingness of consumers to interact with them and make them truly engaging and enriched.
Scalability is a problem that can and should be solved quickly.
Reach and convenience are the biggest barriers to adoption of native ads. It's difficult to reach a broad, targeted audience given a small set of publishers where native formats are available. It’s also very inconvenient, and costly, to create a separate ad for each such publisher. Although it may sound counterintuitive, we need a standard design and delivery template for native ads across the mobile ecosystem.
Because different mobile apps (and, to a lesser extent, websites) each present a unique user experience, shouldn’t native ads look and function differently as well? Not necessarily. A large majority of apps share some common interface elements and user experience patterns.
Superior performance is proving the value of native advertising.
Native ads fit organically and seamlessly into the environment where they are served. They are less disruptive and generally more user friendly and therefore more successful in achieving increased user engagement. A recent Celtra study shows that expansion rates on native expandable ads are twice the rates of standard expandable ads.
Native advertisers reap the real reward following initial user interaction. When designed and built as rich media ads, native ads consistently outperform standard ads across all engagement metrics. Ad engagement rates, for example, are 39.1%—more than three times higher—and video completion rates are nearly twice as high as those in standard rich-media ads.
Make them really rich to unlock their true potential.
Going beyond the simple "post" format and click-to-site concept also provides additional opportunity to optimize the creative of native ads for better performance.
A Celtra study shows that animating the banner creative, for example, results in increased expansion rates; on average from 0.62% to a whopping 1.81%, compared to standard rich-media ads, where expansion rates increase by only 0.12%.
In the digital age, the advertising industry has gradually transitioned to a trafficking industry. Focusing almost exclusively on ad delivery and scalability has made mobile ads increasingly dull and disengaging. When considering brands and making a purchase decision, consumers largely act emotionally. Making ads richer, more glamorous, and more engaging helps brands win over consumers. After all, who wants to watch a James Bond movie in which 007 drives a Toyota Camry?
—Matevz Klanjsek is cofounder and CPO of Celtra, a platform for creation, ad trafficking, tracking, and optimization of rich-media mobile advertising.