Native advertising, or advertising content in the context of the user's experience, is all the rage.
A substantial amount of publishers are jumping on the bandwagon, as are brands, and studies show consumers are more receptive to, and more inclined to share, native advertising content. Look no further than the popular publisher BuzzFeed, where banner ads aren't an option. The reason? Seventy-five percent of the 23.7 million people who visit the Web site do so to find content to share.
But this focus on native ads goes beyond just Buzzfeed. Many brand executives also are convinced that native is where advertising is headed. Some have even gone as far as to say the banner ad is dead. Is native truly where the industry is headed? CMO.com explored--and here's what we found.
1. Nearly three-quarters of polled U.S. publishers said that they already offered native advertising on their site, and another 17 percent said they were considering offering it this year. Only 10 percent didn't have any native ad plans.
2. Fifty-seven percent of publishers are using the metrics of content, namely engagement and time spent, as key barometers for native ads. Traffic came in next, with 43 percent of participants naming it as most important. Social media sharing ranked third with 33 percent, brand lift attracted 24 percent, and engagement with content reflected in comments 19 percent. Ten percent chose more traditional digital ad metrics: cost per view and cost per click.
3. Thirty-two percent of CMOs say they have bought or are planning to buy native video advertising in the next six months.
4. U.S. native ad spending on social sites will reach $2.36 billion, or 38.9 percent of total U.S. paid social ad expenditures. By 2017, social native ad spend will grow to $4.57 billion, and its share of social spending will inch up a few percentage points to 41.7 percent.
5. Eighty-one percent of marketers are looking to increase audience engagement and promote brand visibility through native ads.
7. Consumers are 25 percent more likely to look at a native ad than at a banner, and they look at them 53 perent more frequently. They check native ads out 4.1 times per session on average, versus 2.7 times for banners.
8. Consumers are considerably more likely to share a native ad with others (32 percent versus 19 percent) and showed 18 percent more purchase intent after viewing them.
9. A majority of online adults find advertising that appears as content (so-called “native ads”) to be misleading. They feel most deceived by sponsored video ads, with 86 percent reporting they find those ads misleading. Fifty-seven percent feel similarly about Facebook Sponsored Stories, and 45 percent about Twitter Promoted Tweets.
10. 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 percent--more than three times higher--and video completion rates are nearly twice as high as those in standard rich-media ads.
11. A native ad play by car maker Mini Cooper on Buzzfeed resulted in a 33 percent brand lift.
12. Seventy-nine percent of brands understand that native ads must clearly be labeled as ad content.
13. Eighty-five percent of consumers have never heard of native ads.
14. While the volume of content is going up, the ability to force attention for video advertising is going down.
15. Seventy-one percent of consumers who had previously bought a product from the advertiser said the brand was one they “personally identify with,” versus just 50 percent for banner ads.