The significance of mobile native advertising

In 2017, Netflix and Spotify partnered up to make an original native ad campaign that received widespread attention. After Netflix’s “Stranger Things” series premiered, Spotify users found, on logging into their accounts, that they may enter into “Stranger Things” mode on the Spotify platform. They were assigned a Spotify playlist that supported a personality from the show based on their listening habits.

Similarly, you could see that certain food delivery apps transformed their delivery agent icons to dragons around the time of the release of HBO’s “House of the Dragons”. These are some stellar examples of native advertising.

Native advertising defined

Native advertising is a sort of sponsored content that seamlessly integrates internet advertising into the design and feel of the source (page or platform) on which it appears.

For example, Pepsi sponsored a blog post on BuzzFeed, an American Internet media, news and entertainment company, which was titled “13 A-Listers You Forgot Were Once The GRAMMYs Best New Artist”. This was Pepsi’s effort to align the reader's perception of Pepsi with pop culture.

Native ads can serve on desktop websites as well as mobile phones. However, with the steady rise in the number of smartphone users over the past few years and the increase of mobile app purchases, two-thirds of marketing professionals are focusing their promotion efforts on adapting to smaller devices. Therefore, mobile native advertising has become a major digital marketing strategy and an up-and-coming advertising trend that's anticipated to continue growing.

Native mobile ad styles

Since mobile phones have unique device capabilities, businesses can experiment with various native ad formats specifically designed for the mobile marketing channel to create their brands and maintain their competitiveness. Some popular formats are:

In-feed product litanies

They frequently show up on e-commerce websites and applications. The merchandise listing — with its image, short description, price, and reviews — is meant to appear organic and perform like other product listings on the application or webpage, suggesting that customers can select from them to buy, add to their Wishlist, or buy them just like other products.

In-feed content

In-feed ads are typically placed within people’s feeds, streaming services, and general blog feeds. Visitors to your posts encounter them as they read your content. The feed can be editorial (news feed or articles) or listings (list of products, services, etc). The content is non-intrusive and has the font, and visual elements matching the aesthetics of the web page or app, with all the features of the source retained.

In-map content

These advertisements are found in mobile navigation apps such as Apple Maps and Google Maps. In a Google Maps search for "Electronics Stores", you would find stores listed with their distance, hours of operation, reviews, phone numbers, and directions, indicating that the stores have advertised themselves on the platform.

In-game advertisements

The popularity of mobile games and the impact they have on consumers make the in-game advertising format — be it pre-roll videos or reward-earning videos. These can be highly effective. Here, video advertisements are placed within games, either to appear before the start of the game, or as means for players to earn game reward points (such as game-specific currency, game tips, etc).

Recommendation widgets

Advertisements for recommended content typically feature the headings "Recommended for you" or "You might like". The fabric features a clickable button that enables users to look at the whole article on the advertiser's website, with the image and script being just like the look of the article.

Custom native ads

This type of native ad format created by individual brands, includes content that's complicated in design, targeted to a selected audience, and includes full-screen advertisements, commentaries, and videos.

Paid search

A search engine presents this as advertising content. The language the ad publisher uses must clearly and plainly state that a search result is an advertisement. Customers should be able to clearly distinguish the ad from the search engine's default natural results.

Advantages of mobile native ads

Mobile native ads are clearly demonstrating their ability to engage and be interactive. Nearly 47 % of marketers are certain of its efficacy and are responsive to the various advantages it provides, a few of which include:

High Click-Through-Rate (CTR)

The high CTR is due to the fact that customers click on advertisements without often realising it, since the ads blend in with the first content so well that they mistakenly believe they belong there.

High purchase intent

Mobile native ads have a reputation for being placed within an app without being overbearing and for adding value for the user. In addition to stimulating customer interest in the product or service they advertise, they also encourage repeat purchases.

Battle ad fatigue

Mobile native ads with relevant and interesting content, and with design and performance matching the app, keep the audience engaged. Consumers aren't tired or annoyed of them like they're of unsolicited ads that pop up.

To wrap it up

According to Statista, more than 6 billion people use smartphones worldwide today — equivalent to more than 81 per cent of the world’s population — with a forecast that the number will steadily increase over the next few years. Also, on average, people spend more than 3 hours on their phones each day, which is a significant portion of one’s day.

Given the smartphone penetration rate, investing in mobile native advertising may be the right move for businesses. In 2021, 64.2% of the $118.72 billion spent on display advertising was dedicated to native advertising, of which 88.3 per cent was spent in mobile native advertising.

Though businesses are already heavily into this form of advertising, the story has only just begun, and there is much to do. Advertisers and media partners must strive to continuously optimise their campaigns to ensure that their mobile native ads are executed successfully.

Native advertising is omnipresent. Businesses are already using it to increase their brand awareness and sales. As with other digital marketing channels, the efficacy of mobile native advertising can also be measured by tracking pertinent data points such as click-thru rates (CTRs), impressions and so on. Ideal target audiences for mobile native advertising are repeat customers and those who are familiar with a product or brand. With this strategy, businesses are proving quite adept at bringing relevant content to receptive consumers. It remains to be seen whether content consumption habits of consumers follow the intended path and also whether such consumption translates to sales.

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