Native advertising has gotten a bad rap — and perhaps for good reason. First, people complained it wasn’t labeled well enough on publishers’ sites and looked quite like editorial content. That’s a no-no.
Then there was the issue of measuring the ROI on native. What are the KPIs? Each marketer/publisher seems to have different ones.
But I can think of some advantages. First, native content in whatever form — video, text, infographics, games, etc. — is often excellent. It’s a good read, an entertaining experience.
It’s not as annoying as other forms of advertising, right? The content is often quite relevant -- compelling and contextually relevant.
Native advertising, sponsored content or brand journalism — or whatever you want to call it — is often interesting and more acceptable to consumers who are thoroughly annoyed by having to "x" out of all the pop-ups and takeovers. When a so-called premium publisher produces the native content, it’s often read.
Native ads can be easier to track and monitor. You can readily see consumer engagement. The cost for native advertising can be a bit lower than other forms of digital inventory, though campaigns have become quite elaborate and video production can be expensive.
In terms of media buying, programmatic native, especially video/mobile, is on the rise. I'm waiting to see how that shakes out. Are marketers buying native programmatically? Let me know who's doing that.
Native ad campaigns can help brand marketers create emotional bonds and connections with consumers and raise brand profile on specific issues. The campaigns can offer helpful tips, inspiring ideas and jumping-off points — news you can use. The content might get you thinking. And for marketers, native is another tool in the marketing arsenal.
In short, native advertising has a lot of great uses. Now, I’d like to see more marketers and publishers come forward to talk about the specific ROI for their campaigns.
And one thing I’m betting on: That word “native” will be retired within six months to a year.