By Sue Brady
The idea of native advertising is to deliver content to the viewer in the context in which they are already viewing something. Advertisers like this technique because consumers view their message while they are actively looking at a page, feed, or article. The advertiser wants to make the native advertising seamless so that the consumer sees the ad as a part of what they are viewing, but not in a deceptive way. The key really is relevancy. With the continued decline in banner click-thru rates, native advertising is proving to be a solid alternative.
It’s not a new concept in the offline world where newspapers and magazines have run native ads for years. But it’s all the rage in the online world. Native advertising on social sites is expected to grow to $4.6 billion by 2017, according to the BIA/Kelsey Social Local Media Forecast, March 2013. And it’s because advertisers are seeing results. According to an IPG Media Lab and Sharethrough study using eye tracking and surveys, native ads showed an 18% lift over banners for purchase intent and consumers looked at native ads 52% more frequently than they looked at banner ads.
Mobile especially seems to be turning to native advertising. The mobile ad network Airpush, rated as the best mobile ad network in 2012, recently acquired Hubbl, a leader in mobile native advertising. The tiny ads delivered to mobile devices just aren’t impactful for advertisers, but a highly integrated native ad could be hugely effective.
Online native advertising is so new that there really are no standard rates yet. According to Digiday here’s how prices look for a few well-known publishers:
Buzzfeed: $100,000 buys 4 – 5 posts written by Buzzfeed writers
Forbes: $50,000 – $75,000 per month buys you an unlimited amount of content (3 month commitment required)
Gawker: $12,000 per individual post
Business Insider: $5,000 per post
Huffington Post: $40,000 per posted article
Social networks are also getting into the act with promoted and sponsored opportunities that are native-ish. They generally are offering cost per click or CPM arrangements. Tweets are marked as ‘promoted’ or a LinkedIn post will be marked as sponsored. Facebook has a wide variety of options for sponsored advertising that has a native feel. For instance, you can create a sponsored story when someone shares something you’ve posted, and that story will appear on the walls of that person’s followers. You can do the same when someone ‘likes’ a particular page or posts something to a wall. This explains all of their sponsored options. Pinterest has said they will start testing sponsored pins soon. This is clearly the new advertising darling.