Where Does Native Advertising Stand in 2019?

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The ad analysis experts at MediaRadar proclaim there’s one ad format that has always been tailored to the user’s experience: native advertising.

They added that Google is trying to improve advertising at large to interact with users the way native ads do. The reasons Google loves native advertising, according to MediaRadar, are that it’s:

  1. Well-integrated with content. Native ads sit within content making them less noticeable and less disruptive.
  2. Beneficial. Native advertising can benefit publishers, advertisers and consumers. Content consumers enjoy a better flow of content. Advertisers get higher engagement rates. Publishers can see higher CPMs and revenues.  
  3. Useful everywhere. Native advertising has always fit comfortably into the mix of mobile, video, and social media advertising. Social media channels present opportunities for brands to be more personal, helping their message gain a bit of value.
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A recently published report, An In-depth Look into the Current State of Native Advertising, from MediaRadar, shows a prominent rise of more than 2X in 2016, and a continous rise in both 2017 and 2018.

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Spend numbers from 2018 indicate the use of native advertising varies widely. Media and entertainment saw the largest spend, by far. The tech sector and finance/real estate placed second and third, followed by professional services and retail.

Native works: four compelling benefits of native advertising

Consumers have become more cautious, cynical and selective about the content they consume and share. 

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The Wall Street Journal put this infographic together based on a report form Deloitte which says more than three-quarters of North Americans engage in at least one form of regular ad blocking.

Reuters claims consumers are less tolerant of intrusive advertising and reports 45% of global consumers use an ad blocker every month.

Now back to the MediaRadar report which states the four top benefits of native advertising are:

  • More trustworthy— According to a Time Inc. study, two of three Generation X and Z consumers trust branded content more than traditional advertising.
  • More engaging—The Reuters report cited above reveals 75% of consumers say if content is relevant to them and piques their interest they will engage with it—branded or not.
  • Greater sales—Advertisers investing in engaging native ad formats—like sponsored posts—are seeing results. A 2017 survey from Collective Bias reports one-third of millennials have purchased from a brand after seeing a sponsored post.
  • High click-through rates—Brace yourself for this one: native display ads produce a CTR 8.8X compared to typical display ads.
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This data comes from eMarketer but was visualized by AppNexus in their 2018 Digital Advertising Stats You Need report.The data shows native ads deliver impressive CTRs with pets, food and drink, and family and parenting brand categories leading the way with numbers of 1% and better.

Where’s native advertising going?

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Here’s data from eMarketer again indicating a major majority of native spend goes into social media advertising.

Their study claims native advertising on the open Internet accounted for $3.5 billion in spend in 2017. It also predicted a 27.8% increase in from 2017 to 2018.