Virtually every aspect of digital marketing is going mobile.
Everyone is spending less time on their desktop computers and more time on their smartphones. If a business’s website isn’t optimized for mobile consumption, the company is likely to see a considerable drop in traffic, regardless of how compelling the content is.
One of the best ways to market with compelling content is through native advertising, but you still need to optimize for mobile. Despite some controversy around native advertising, it continues to be an effective and engaging digital marketing channel, so businesses are going to keep doing it. If you want your mobile native advertising to be effective in 2019, be sure to consider these a few trends driving the industry.
Native Mobile Advertising Basics
You probably already know the essentials of native advertising, but reviewing them can help one understand just how mobile optimization has changed the process. Native advertising can take many forms, from articles to videos to infographics, but it’s always paid content pushed by an advertiser. The most important aspect, however, is that the content takes the editorial style of wherever it’s published, mimicking what that publication’s audience would expect.
There’s a lot of controversy surrounding this form of advertising, because many consider it to be trickery. Good native advertising blends in with organic content incredibly well, and there are no universal standards for marking the content as a paid advertisement. Transparency is a serious concern for virtually all consumers, and the nature of native advertising is an explicit intent to hide ads among organic content.
The controversy around native advertising is so large that the Federal Trade Commission is considering adding more regulations to the practice for the benefit of the consumers. The way things stand now, though, advertisers stand to benefit greatly from native advertising, as they have much higher click-through rates than other kinds of ads, and a good amount of consumers aren’t even aware of what native advertising is.
Publishers still have to be wary when it comes to native advertising, despite the clear advantages. For example, suppose a news organization were to publish a native advertising article about a particular brand of car. Consumers who are skeptical about native advertising are unlikely to pay much attention to the article itself. They will, however, remember that the news source published paid content from a certain car brand. Should that same brand appear in a news story, the reader may ignore it just as they did the native ad, thus decreasing overall readership.
Effective Mobile Native Advertising Examples
In order to optimize mobile native advertising campaigns, it helps to see an example of what effective native advertising looks like. All of the following campaigns were successful in accomplishing their set goals, whether it was simply spreading brand awareness or quantifiably boosting conversions.
One of the best examples comes from the satirical news website, The Onion. They published an article titled Woman Going to Take Quick Break After Filling Out Name, Address On Tax Forms. This article was native advertising for tax preparation company H&R Block. It featured The Onion’s famous biting wit and satirical take that their readers expect, but it was still just an ad for tax preparation services at the end of it all. While the article itself didn’t mention the company’s name, they purchased numerous banner ads displayed around the article, so the reader would have H&R Block in mind while reading through.
UPS pushed an effective piece of native advertising on Fast Company’s website. Fast Company is widely known for their use of infographics and focus on business innovation, so when UPS innovated their supply chain management operations, they took advantage. They posted an infographic about their supply chain changes that even implemented their signature brown and yellow color scheme. Fast Company also happens to mark native advertising with the word “advertisement” in grey font. The advertisement tag got placed on top of the infographic with a brown background, so it was easy to miss.
For an example of genuinely interesting sponsored content, look no further than Hennessy’s article on Vanity Fair. The magazine is widely known for their trendy lifestyle articles, and Hennessy’s article was able to blend in with that flawlessly. The article details the adventures of Malcolm Campbell, a world-famous race car driver, and draws a comparison to the “Wild Rabbit” campaign Hennessey had going on at the time. The comparison is genuinely striking and makes the reader feel as if the top-shelf liquor Hennessey can help with their adventurous ambition.
Trend #1: Advertising Efforts Will Focus on Mobile First
Over half of all internet traffic comes through mobile devices. In fact, 52.2 percent of all web traffic is generated through mobile phones. Failing to account for mobile users, therefore, could instantly alienate over half of your traffic. This is especially true for Facebook advertising, in which 56.5 percent of users log on exclusively from their mobile devices.
With the growth of other social media platforms, like Instagram, more and more people will be consuming content through mobile devices. The tides have already turned in favor of mobile and will only keep flowing in that direction. Native advertising needs to undergo optimization for mobile in order to be worth the effort.
Trend #2: Most Native Advertising Will Occur Through Social Media
While publishers benefited from native advertising in the past, social media is becoming a much more profitable platform for advertisers. With hundreds of millions of people accessing social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram every day, native advertising through publishers is going to eventually decrease down to virtually zero, with social media platforms having complete control. After all, no publisher even comes close to competing with the sheer audience size that Facebook has.
Trend #3: User-Generated Content Will Become More Commonplace
Why bother creating content yourself when you can get your users to do it for you? No matter what industry you’re in, your customers are going to value authenticity, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find content more authentic than when it’s created by the users themselves. Implementing user reviews and posting polls and surveys are great ways to get content for your native advertising.
Trend #4: Influencers Will Push More Sponsored Content
Social media influencers are becoming more and more important for advertisers. By paying people with a lot of followers to implement native advertising into their posts, brands could stand to profit quite a bit by reaching an audience already loyal to the influencer. Keep in mind that influencers are generally more than happy to monetize their content, as it increases their web presence. This mutually beneficial arrangement will only become more common, but increased rules and regulations could be on the horizon if audiences can’t tell the difference between organic content and native advertising.
Trend #5: Mobile Native Advertising Has to Be Catered for Each Individual Platform
Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube are incredibly popular platforms, but your advertising on each has to be drastically different. Posting the same video across all three can have significantly different results since the audiences on each have different expectations. The average Facebook user, for example, tends to watch videos without sound, so it’s probably a good idea to add subtitles to your Facebook video content. YouTube users, on the other hand, almost always watch videos with sound, so subtitles aren’t necessary.
Length also plays a major role in native video advertising. The shift to mobile has brought the overall length of videos down universally, but the optimal length still varies from platform to platform. Instagram users tend to prefer videos that are less than a minute long, while Facebook users generally work with videos right at a minute in length. Being a video platform, YouTube users are typically fine with videos that are around two minutes long.
Trend #6: Video Ads Will Become Central to Your Campaigns
The reason you need to consider the different video preferences across various platforms is because video ads will become more important as time goes on. Written native ads still perform better today, but their performance isn’t increasing at a rate anywhere near that of video ads. The popularity of video is what allowed Snapchat to surpass Twitter when it comes to the number of active users each day, and that growth isn’t expected to stop anytime soon.
Optimize Your Mobile Native Advertising With Symphonic Digital
If you want to keep up with all the latest mobile native advertising trends, Symphonic Digital is happy to help. Our team of experts know what’s working for all the major platforms, and they can put that knowledge to work for you. We use data-driven results to craft and monitor digital marketing campaigns that work. Contact us today to get started optimizing your mobile strategy.