For years, we've talked about the combination of paid, owned and earned media. But the game has now changed. There is a new multichannel marketing world with content marketing in the center. Furthermore, content strategies that leverage owned and earned channels to fuel paid media will be the epitome of successful marketing. And nowhere is this coordination better suited than with using owned and earned to fuel your native advertising plans. With eMarketer projecting $4.3 billion in U.S. native spending for 2015, there's never been a more auspicious time.
It may still be early days for the native industry, with many of the leading technology players being startups and most publishers being in the industry for less than a year. But with such promising results - for advertisers, publishers and consumers alike - it's only a matter of time until native becomes mainstream. For this to occur, we'll need to see the following five things happen.
The adoption of native advertising has continued to increase rapidly. Based on our tracking of this segment from June 2014 on, we found a big increase in the number of brands placing native ads. More importantly, each month an average of 638 brands have placed native ads for the very first time! This is enormous growth. However, despite native advertising's ascent, there is unequal penetration in the marketplace. Here are more key findings for the second half of 2014:
When the initial wave of native advertising began just a few years ago, the advertisers were predominantly publishers, not advertisers in the traditional sense. They used tools like Outbrain and Taboola's content recommendation widgets as a cost-effective way to drive traffic back to their sites, where they could sell their own advertising at a premium. Now it's brand marketers' turn to go all in on native, as advertisers large and small are rushing to launch true native ad campaigns. As they do, they know that to effectively succeed, their own content needs to take center stage. Content creation coupled with …