What’s the future of native advertising?
While native advertising has “been a broad and somewhat murky category—encompassing everything from advertorials to bespoke, custom units to content recommendation widgets and rewarded video ads that typically run inside mobile games” — the new year is destined to separate all those variations into two specific categories: programmatic and non-programmatic.
One thing is certain: native has a fan base.
“A number of factors have driven interest in native, despite lingering confusion around the term,” explained eMarketer analyst Lauren Fisher. “The successes of in-feed platforms like Facebook, concerns about ad blocking, and the growing acknowledgement that desktop-driven formats like banners just don’t cut it on mobile.”
But now there’s a new wrinkle: many publishers and programmatic platforms have now updated their protocols to allow for the transacting of native ads, As a result, advertiser demand has grown, according to Fisher in the new eMarketer report, “U.S. Display Advertising Trends 2017.”
In fact, a May, 2016 poll conducted by Advertiser Perceptions found that 47 percent of U.S. marketers and agencies that used native advertising utilized programmatic, and allocated 19 percent of their native ad budget to it. Survey respondents also indicated they dedicated an additional 39 percent to social native, much of which could also be classified as programmatic advertising.
”While banners with native elements and in-feed ads tend to dominate the programmatic native category, I think it’s likely that banners give way to in-feed ads as more publishers look to redesign their sites to better cater to growing mobile viewership numbers,” Fisher said in an eMarketer post.
As for native in general, even premium, non-programmatic native ads — including advertorials or branded content and bespoke units on properties such as Snapchat and Flipboard — should blossom as well.
“With these formats, brands are trying to drive greater engagement and brand lift without alienating or frustrating consumers via interstitials or takeovers,” Fisher said.