With different types of content and online advertising floating about in cyberspace today, it has become crucial for marketers to produce content and online advertising that successfully targets its audience. To more effectively achieve these ends, many marketers are turning to native advertising.
Native advertising, an advertising method in which marketers provide content in the context of the users’ experience, is gradually increasing in popularity. “Native advertising has been one of the hottest and most controversial terms of the past year,” revealed a report from the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) in their 2015 survey report. They explained:
Native ad formats match both the form and function of the user experience in which they are placed. The advertiser’s intent is to make the paid advertising feel less intrusive and increase the likelihood users will engage with it.
Because of native advertising’s appeal to both advertisers and the market, ANA’s survey found that more and more advertisers are planning to increase their native advertising budgets in 2015. About two-thirds, or 63%, of the respondents said they will be increasing their budget for native ads.
The popularity of native ads is unstoppable; ANA’s report noted that as much as 55% of last year’s respondents invested more on native ads. Additionally, an eMarketer report predicted that native ad spending will hit $4.3 billion in 2015—up 34% over 2014.
But although the support rate is very high for native advertising, results show that it still represents a small percentage of overall advertising budgets— around 5% or less for 68% of respondents. This can be attributed to some of native ad’s most notable features, such as its “unclear” disposition as an advertisement, and its lack of successful metric measurement.
Two thirds of respondents believe that native advertising needs “clear disclosure that it is indeed advertising,” while only 13% disagreed. Bob Liodice, President and CEO of the ANA, emphasized that such disclosure is mandatory for both publishers and advertisers. He said, “Marketers have a responsibility to be transparent to maintain trust, and they must play a lead role in working with publishers to ensure proper disclosure.”
Measuring the success of native advertising also proves to be a challenge for advertisers, as there is no specific metric that can be used to determine its impact on potential customers.
Conducted in the fourth quarter of 2014, over 127 client-side marketers participated in ANA’s survey. Fifty-seven percent of those were “senior marketers” (director level and above), while 43% were made up of “junior marketers” (manager level and below).
Are you planning to increase your native advertising budget this year?
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