The hottest topic in online media and marketing these days is “sponsored content” or “native advertising”: basically, a paid advertisement that looks like an article or video and matches the form and function of the platform on which it appears. What makes native advertising so much more compelling than banners ads—once the hallmark of digital advertising? It’s simple. They perform better. Banner ads can be intrusive, and people just don’t click on them as frequently as they used to. Ad blockers are in heavy use, and can affect banner ad visibility. In fact, the average click-through rate for banner ads in the United States has decreased from 0.9% to 0.08% over the past 15 years.
The numbers for native advertising are hard to argue with.
- People view native ads 53% more frequently than traditional ads.
- Native advertising can increase brand lift by as much as 82%.
- Purchase intent is 53% higher when consumers click on native ads instead of traditional ads.
- Native ads containing rich media can boost conversion by as much as 60%.
- The native advertising industry will reach $4.6 billion in revenue by 2017.
If you’re not taking advantage of native advertising, you can be sure your competition is. With its unobtrusive characteristics, higher viewer rate, scalability, mobile-friendliness and flexibility for innovation, it’s an excellent way to engage viewers and increase customer baseline.
We’ve incorporated native advertising into our digital strategy for quite a few A&W clients. For example, our native campaign for PM Pediatrics provides relevant informative (rather than self-promotional) content—e.g., how do I know if my child needs stitches?—to further position of the urgent care center as a strong resource to parents. For Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union, our native strategy provides consumers with tips for financial planning and wellness—a far more engaging approach than straight product information alone.
How are you incorporating native advertising into your digital campaign—or are you? Share your thoughts here.