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Native ads are getting a direct-response makeover

Digiday

Native advertising is often used by publishers as a way out of being held to the direct-response metrics that have long been associated with banner ads.

Native was supposed to be a premium ad format that would bolster falling digital CPMs, and it has mainly been viewed as an image-building format. But it was only a matter of time before advertisers would start to demand more than just a lift in awareness or improved reputation and ask for ads that directly drive sales or leads.

Case in point: this ad for The New York Times that’s running on Mashable. The ad has a direct come-on to new digital customers, with a “subscribe” button that’s prominently placed to the right of its branded article. It’s part of a month-long campaign the Times is running on Mashable to drive audience growth.

 Native ads are getting a direct response makeover

The practice is more established among B2B marketers, for whom the format is well suited for white-paper downloads and webinar signups. Lexis Nexis, for example, used this ad on Law.com to drum up business for its MedMal navigator product. But consumer publishers are increasingly hearing requests for native ads to include calls to action.

Continue reading… 

How marketers are getting native advertising wrong

Mobile Marketer

While native advertising and content marketing are beginning to garner budgets and rival standard digital display, brands often misalign native campaigns with marketing objectives, which potentially can backfire and destroy credibility.

Native ad spend is expected to triple from 2013 to 2015, according to a new study on branding and performance by Purch. However, for native advertising to be effective, the messaging should have claim over its environment, speak its own language, and ultimately, belong there.

“Native is most effective when it’s truly native,” said Mike Kisseberth, COO, Purch, Lincoln Ogden, UT.

“That means it’s served within the context of the user experience and follows the natural form and function of the site it’s on.”

While the findings aren’t mobile-specific, 62 percent of advertisers surveyed reported that they will incorporate mobile campaigns in 2014, which speaks to the untapped potential of mobile native, thus far.

Brand lift 
New research commissioned by Purch examined native advertising and programmatic buying, two of the top trends in the advertising and marketing industry, defining their growth and identifying specific objectives and challenges for each.

The study was conducted in Q1 2014 among high level U.S. marketer and agency advertising decision makers, spending $1 million or more on digital advertising. The survey focused on their current use and future plans for native and sponsored content and programmatic digital advertising campaigns.

Though native spend is projected to triple by 2015, critical obstacles remain.

Insufficient reporting and ROI metrics at 46 percent are the biggest challenge to success, followed by misalignment between the campaign and marketing objectives, 38 percent; required time and resource commitment, 26 percent; and native programs being insufficiently turnkey, 24 percent.

Most marketers prefer native programs that live directly in the hosting site’s content well. According to Purch’s findings, 47 percent are extremely likely to execute in-feed sponsored content that is consumed in an editorial-like environment on the hosting site. Only 28 percent are extremely likely to use in-feed campaigns that link to an off-site landing page.

Ostensibly, brands are taking their ads further into someone else’s editorial environment. While this seems practical, it deviates from true nativity as the advertising knows what is not, but also cannot define what it truly is.

Social promotion
Since entering the realm of social networks, brands have struggled on formulating best practices in advertisement with publishers and platforms to create content that fits seamlessly into a social stream, rather than alongside it.

Native advertisement on social media began as a way to promote brand image without essentially saying the content was being paid for and disseminated by a brand. The initial intentions behind this were to camouflage messages with non-branded content to exact trust from consumers.

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Native Advertising Rules of the Road

IDG Global Solutions

Native advertising can be controversial because the sponsored content is made to blend in more with editorial than typical online ads. IDG Communications Chief Content Officer, John Gallant, helped write rules for native within IDG media sites.

Gallant explained to IDG Communications Director Howard Sholkin how native content is produced in IDG and what needs to be done to separate it from editorial….

Why The Mobile App Will Die

AdExchanger

“Data-Driven Thinking” is written by members of the media community and contains fresh ideas on the digital revolution in media.

Today’s column is written by Andrei Dunca, co-founder and chief technology officer at LiveRail.

Just a few years ago, consumers used numerous apps on their desktop computers, such as Winamp for music, Windows Media Player for watching videos and Thunderbird for email.

At the time, consumers interacted with desktop apps largely because browsers weren’t very advanced or powerful, or they lacked robust support for a scripting language and development libraries.

Eventually, as browsers grew stronger and faster, and as the underlying infrastructure for coding a webpage became more robust, apps increasingly moved from their place as native desktop apps to the browser. This shift enabled portability since developers were no longer required to build individual versions for Windows, OSX and every Linux flavor, which sped the time to market.

 Continue reading… 

Webinar: Defining and Mapping the Native Advertising Landscape, with Rebecca Lieb

Altimeter

As a follow-up to her recent Altimeter report, “Defining and Mapping the Native Advertising Landscape,” Rebecca Lieb answered the questions: What is native advertising and, by extension, what is it not?

 

This webinar also addressed product offerings and positioning from the native advertising triumvirate: publishers, technology vendors, and social media platforms. What opportunities are inherent in this nascent form of digital marketing? And what are the inherent risks and pitfalls?

 

View the webinar now

LinkedIn goes wide with media content, native ads

USA Today

SAN FRANCISCO — LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner wants a piece of the media action.

The professional network, generally regarded as a venue for job-seeking and recruiting, has morphed into a daily destination to read, share and comment on news. If it sounds a little like Facebook and Twitter, it is. And so is the advertising approach.

“There is a lot of content. Our job is to package up the most relevant content we can find for members,” Weiner said on stage earlier this month at a tech conference in San Francisco.

And people are checking it out. Pageviews have shot up 69% from a year ago. But LinkedIn executives won’t call the company a media business. That’s because only about a quarter of its revenue comes from ads. Recruiting is still the major revenue source.

But like many other media and tech companies, it is trying to make its mark with native advertising, the hottest trend of the moment for marketers — and publishers. LinkedIn joins an advertising craze embraced by Facebook, Twitter, Google, BuzzFeed and even The New York Times.

What’s at stake is social network ad-spending dollars, expected to rocket from $7.3 billion in 2012 to $14.5 billion by 2015, according to eMarketer.

Continue reading…

Where You Can Go Right, And Wrong, With Native Ads

TechCrunch

There has been a lot of talk in the digital media trade press about native advertising and the opportunities for advertisers. Yet, much less has been written about the opportunities and implications for digital publishers. But, first things first…

WHAT IS “NATIVE ADVERTISING”?

Native advertising is a concept that gained traction in the digital ad industry in 2012. It refers to digital ad formats that integrate more seamlessly (yet transparently) into website aesthetics, user experiences and/or editorial in ways that offer more value to both advertisers and readers. Put simply, native ads follow the format, style and voice of whatever platform they appear on.

Over recent months, the conversation about native advertising has focused largely on the pros and cons of just one facet of the larger movement: publisher-produced sponsored posts on editorial sites. However, native advertising is an umbrella concept that encompasses much more, starting with Google Search Ads and now extending to Promoted Videos on YouTube, Sponsored Stories on Facebook, Promoted Tweets on Twitter, promoted videos on sites like Devour and Viddy, promoted content on apps like Pulse and Flipboard, branded playlists on Spotify, promoted posts on Tumblr, sponsored check-ins on Foursquare, and brand-video content integrations produced by sites like Men’s Journal and Vice. 

What ties these seemingly disparate ad products together is one common theme: The ad’s visual design and user experience are native to the site itself, and these native ad placements are filled with quality brand content of the same atomic unit (videos, posts, images) as is natural to that site. 

Read more…