Native advertising has become a popular phrase in marketing and media, with many viewing these content-filled ads as a welcome change from intrusive, pointless pop-ups and some even declaring it a rebirth of online advertising. In fact, this new model is a very different approach to online marketing in the way it integrates valuable content into the user experience to engage, instead of disrupt, the user. Native advertising is perfect for mobile, where users can get annoyed by distracting ads and publishers are striving to find means of monetization. Despite its widespread acclaim, the relative novelty of native for mobile means there is little advice on the best ways to use it. Fortunately, Forbes.com offered a closer look at mobile native ad offerings to help marketers determine the quality content and proper placement for maximum mobile impact.
1. Twitter’s Promoted Tweets – Twitter is an organic platform for native ads because users are more likely to follow brands, so they expect to see promotional content. The 140-character limit of Promoted Tweets also naturally fits into the user experience. Most importantly, Twitter has figured out how to properly target Promoted Tweets to users based on their social cues, the brands they follow, and their prior re-tweets. This has helped Twitter’s native ads perform well, according to early data.
2. Branded and Sponsored Content – This is the content created by the brand and placed next to the publisher’s editorial. Essentially an online advertorial, this content needs to be relevant and valuable to the audience while maintaining the publisher’s editorial values. These native ads are only offered for mobile by a few publishers, but they’re achieving great results with them. Their revenue is driven by sponsored content, which allows marketers to supplement the quality editorial with complementary content. Such native advertising is already a major part of the mobile app Pulse, which amasses news headlines from major publishers.
3. Promoted Updates – Foursquare’s Promoted Updates let marketers target users searching for local businesses on their mobile devices. These native ads have done extremely well because they deliver timely information to people in active search mode in Foursquare’s Explore tab. As a result, the ads rank very high in placement and content.
4. Sponsored Content Recommendations – These paid links direct users to suggested content on third-party mobile-optimized sites. Since they’re targeted to individuals who are actively looking to consume content, these recommendations attain high placement. Their minimal space requirements below the fold makes sponsored content ideal for mobile’s smaller screens. Still, it’s important to only use these for content that’s relevant and valuable to the user or they’ll be overlooked as spam.
Native advertising is truly redefining online marketing and offers profitable potential for mobile publishers. Now, the industry just has to focus on maintaining its quality and value in order to bring native ads into the mainstream for mobile.
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