Five Native Advertising Trends to Watch For in 2018
March 7, 2018
Native advertising is evolving both quickly and constantly because of new technological developments and social trends. Both the tech available to the advertising market and the market’s consumers will change drastically by 2020, and 2018’s trends indicate the onset of those changes. Here are some trends advertisers may want to consider in 2018:
- Increased shift toward native advertising: The digital landscape has become a valuable market for advertisers, even more so than the television market. In 2017, digital ad spending accounted for 41 percent of the advertising market ($209 billion worldwide), while TV advertising made up only 35 percent ($178 billion).
According to a study published by Business Insider, native advertising will drive nearly three-quarters of ad revenue by 2021. In the study, Business Insider also predicted that spending on native advertising will reach $21 billion in 2018, up from just over $17 billion in 2017.
In surveys, 86 percent of users favor native advertising. One major reason for this is because it’s contextually relevant to the content that users are already consuming. In addition to engagement based on interest, native ads also help advertisers avoid visibility issues caused by banner blindness and ad blockers.
- Personalized marketing strategies: Generation Z makes up 25 percent of the U.S. population, making this group an even larger generation than Baby Boomers or Millennials. Gen Z’s buying power—a whopping $44 billion—is already impacting digital advertising. A study by the National Retail Federation and IBM’s Institute for Business Value showed that Gen Z favors brands who engage with their audience.
Gen Z will make up 40 percent of the world’s consumers by 2020, and their buying power will only continue to grow. As this happens, we can expect advertisers to adopt personalized advertising strategies to appeal to this massive market. This is only becoming easier with developments in artificial intelligence (AI) technology.Videos personalized using AI can drastically improve campaign performance. In one case study, click-through rate improved three times. In another, conversion rate using personalized videos increased by 50 percent.
- Shifting ads to mobile: Mobile platforms and native advertising go hand-in-hand. Both Millennials and Gen Z are digital generations, and the rise of smartphones means consumers are spending more time online. Mobile accounted for 59.9 percent of all internet traffic in 2017, a number that is only expected to increase in 2018. Mobile also dominates in social media, and Facebook’s 1.74 billion monthly active mobile users alone make up a huge advertising market.
A societal shift to mobile is creating demand for ads that fit primarily with a mobile format. Native advertising is the leader in terms of mobile marketing because it adapts well (think promoted social media posts). Since social media consumption happens largely on mobile, it’s no surprise that native ads are experiencing significant growth.
- Increasing brand trust with social influencers: Social influencers can cause problems for advertisers if they don’t properly disclose sponsored content and posts, but they can also be a source of great native ad reach.
Consumers are more likely to trust online reviews for product information than anything else. Influencers are a great way to facilitate that trust, but only if brands find the right one. As many as 78 percent of brands can’t prove returns on influencer marketing, which is a lot of potentially wasted time and budget for advertisers.
The most successful influencer collaborations develop when brands build relationships with influencers. An influencer who feels like a part of a company’s brand because they believe in the product seems more authentic. When influencer relationships are built on a genuine foundation they are more likely to yield returns for the brand.
- Industry standardization: Native ads are still relatively new. As with any new idea or product, institutional regulation is lagging behind the technology. The FTC has yet to develop industry standards in regards to how native ads are procured.
Though the FTC has created guidelines meant to ensure ethical ad display, as many as 37 percent of advertisers were ignoring these guidelines in 2016. In addition to harsher guideline enforcement, 2018 could see more demand from purchasers and publishers to standardize native ad formats.