What Native Advertising Trends Are Shaping 2018?
May 7, 2018
The Interactive Advertising Bureau first recognized native advertising in 2014. Since then, the industry has both grown and changed considerably. As it continues to develop alongside ad technology and artificial intelligence, here are some of the trends we can expect to see.
New ways to incorporate influencer advertising
Brands paying influencers a form of native advertising. Rather than targeting an extremely specific audience, influencer marketing places the focus on an influential person. These individuals influence their own audience, and their brand helps orient marketing activities.
Influencer marketing has grown considerably over the past few years. The Global Instagram influencer market size grew reached $1.07 billion in 2017, and is projected to double to $2.38 billion in 2019.
Some of the factors contributing to the rise of influencer marketing are the growing role of social media and changes in consumer behavior and expectations. Younger consumers prefer more personal brand experiences and advertisements that don’t feel like advertisements — such as influencer marketing content — fit these characteristics.
More innovative native ad formats
As younger generations grow more hostile toward advertisements, brands must find ways to make their ads engaging.
Native social ads are engaging because they’re much less disruptive than traditional ad formats. It’s also incredibly easy for advertisers to tailor native content to specific networks. For example, Instagram videos work better in short formats (30 seconds), where Facebook videos should be about 1 minute and YouTube videos should be about 2 minutes.
Audiences tend to prefer shorter, more easily digestible video content. This will likely foster innovation as brands figure out how to cater to audiences’ consumption habits.
Concerns for brand safety
Brand safety has always been a concern for advertisers. Because native is such a new ad format, many advertisers are still finding their footing in the industry.
Unexpected ad placement is still one of advertisers’ biggest headaches. This is one of the major issues with programmatic ad buying, which can cause ads to show up on sites that aren’t in line with a company’s goals or values.
As artificial intelligence and other technology like Humatic media buying develop, though, brand safety becomes more and more secure. AI will help marketers analyze more than text. With new developments in technology, AI will analyze video content and adjacent images to ensure the site an ad is being placed on is both safe and contextually relevant.
Native advertising’s relative newness means it isn’t as strictly regulated as other types of advertising. As with any new technology, regulation hasn’t quite caught up to the progression of technology.
However, regulation is inevitable. The FTC set guidelines for native ads in 2017 after retailer Lord & Taylor launched a native social campaign but failed to disclose that the posts were paid for.
Additionally, more people are realizing concerns about user data privacy in the wake of Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal. The GDPR, which goes into effect at the end of May, could also affect how advertisers handle user data. Both lawmakers and consumers are becoming more stringent in terms of scrutinizing ads.
AI and machine learning has already influenced the development of advertising technology, and the two are likely only going to grow more entwined as time goes on.
AI has the potential to help native advertising become more efficient. It can also help marketers collect better data and leverage that data to inform better marketing strategies. This includes audience data as well as what ads to show and when and where to show them.