Marketing Report
Magdalena Flick: 5 reasons why it’s time to give native advertising a leading role in your media mix column

Magdalena Flick: 5 reasons why it’s time to give native advertising a leading role in your media mix

When it comes to digital marketing, brands and agencies are always looking to gain new ways to reach and speak to their audiences. However, at a time when marketers are expected to do more with less, adding another ingredient to a marketing strategy can seem overwhelming.

While it might be easier to stick to the same old tactics, it’s also counterproductive when trying to stay a step ahead of the competition. The most successful brands prioritize advertising channels that return the most on their investments; the smartest agencies innovate and test the latest channels so that they are never heavily reliant on one; and the best marketers are continually curious and always looking to level up their skills.

Native Advertising is a channel that has experienced massive growth in recent years, and chances are you’ve probably used or interacted with some form of it in the past. Despite the growing momentum, many are still unaware of the channel’s full potential and the results it can unlock.

In fact, over 50% of leading brands and agencies we surveyed say their perception of Native Advertising is the primary reason they don’t use it more often. We set the record straight, positioning Native Advertising (and its evolution) at the forefront of digital marketing today.

1 - Native Advertising on the open web is more trusted

While social media has connected audiences in new and impactful ways, brands that advertise there are constantly faced with brand safety and trust concerns. Social has its benefits, but it can work against the top two priorities that our survey respondents say they look for in a channel partner: premium environments and brand suitability.

Native Advertising experiences on the open web resonate with audiences because they connect brands and consumers in a trusted environment. In fact, IAB research shows that 84% of consumers trust the brands they discover in quality environments across leading publishers. As a result, 45% of consumers are more likely to visit the brand’s website upon discovery, 43% would consider buying from the brand, and 39% would recommend the brand to others.

2 - Native Advertising delivers scale and is more cost-efficient

Beyond brand safety and trust, our respondents say they look for channels that provide scale and effective audience targeting at a cost-efficient price. The benefits of platforms like Facebook and Google can’t be denied, but the growing dependency of these platforms plays directly into the hands of the duopoly. The more powerful their influence becomes, the more difficult it is for brands to reap the benefits and maintain control, starting with the cost efficiency of campaigns.

Why not diversify your spend while also reaching a larger target audience on the open web? Native Advertising gives marketers a platform to place content in front of audiences they wouldn’t ordinarily reach with Search and Social. Audience targeting also runs deeper, thanks to publisher partnerships that provide unique data about how audiences consume content on their sites. Ads are then customized to each consumer based on their preferred reaching habits, achieving higher click rates at a lower cost compared to other channels.

3 - Native Advertising is now a full-funnel solution

Roughly half of our respondents say Native Advertising is best for mainly top-of-funnel objectives. However, Native Advertising has evolved from a one-part funnel strategy to a full-funnel solution, moving beyond “bottom-of-page”  and static “image-text” formats to a multimedia, non-intrusive experience that delivers higher click-through rates and purchase intent compared to other channels. From building brand awareness with in-article formats, to furthering engagement with carousel, to driving conversions with app install formats - Native Ads on the open web help marketers achieve any goal in the funnel.

4 - Native Advertising works in a cookieless world

The move away from user-based targeting is an important one, as most cookies have a relatively short lifespan that provide outdated insights about consumers, and therefore makes brands susceptible as they reach consumers with irrelevant ads. How many of us have seen an ad for a product we just bought?

And with the move to kill third-party cookies on the horizon, first-party data is going to become even more important for marketers. In a cookieless world, 67% of our agency respondents say they’d advise their clients to prioritize contextual targeting.

Advanced contextual solutions enable brands to build loyal audiences by reaching them in the right context at the right time. With code-on-page on premium publisher sites, Native Advertising platforms are well positioned to tackle this new advertising reality in a way many channels are not.

5- Native Advertising is a channel in its own right

According to our survey results, brands and agencies see the need to diversify their investments as a top reason to leverage a new channel for a more balanced media mix. Make no mistake, Native Advertising on the open web is its own unique experience just like that of Social, Search, or Display.

It deserves to be, and is to marketers that already leverage it, a perfect complement to these other channels. Not only does it provide access to premium advertising environments with a huge potential for scale, but it also offers the possibility of programmatic campaigns, providing far more effective placements across leading publishers.

In this fast-moving, quickly-evolving digital economy, as evidenced by the events of 2020, smart marketers are those that stay on top of the latest innovations within digital channels. Regardless of your level as a marketer, this academy ensures you understand the value of Native Advertising on the open web so that you can see why it’s an important addition to your media mix.

Magdalena Flick is Managing Director of Outbrain Benelux