This is a formula you’d better get used to quickly because its going to be powering everything you know about the Native Advertising sector for many months to come.
Native advertising is hot right now. More and more advertisers are testing out ways to get their messaging into the social eco-system with companies like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Instagram. Some estimates have these sites composing as high as 25-30% of the total overall page views available on the web so marketers would be remiss in avoiding the topic, however regardless of the volume associated with these impressions they have not been a viable targeting platform for marketers.
For marketers to take advantage of Native they need to be able to integrate their first party data into a platform that powers the delivery of ads into a truly native format. This means integrating audience targeted ads into news feeds, or social search, and even into standard search itself. Native is typically referred to in association with social but it goes for search and any other non-standard ad delivery vehicle that is unique and exclusive to a specified publisher.
Native suffers from the ability to scale directly as a result of what makes it effective: its uniqueness. Too often we’ve witnessed Native ads that are un-targeted, and as a result they are less effective than originally promised. However, native ads integrated with data become significantly more effective and are able to scale because of the ability to tailor the ads to the user who is seeing them. Integrated data coupled with a library of targeted messages can provide a very scalable solution for a marketer in this environment. You can tailor the message or deliver a successive message, even suppressing current customers and delivering retention messages rather than acquisition. This gets very exciting if you can roll all of these into a single platform to enable the promise of scale in Native ads.
Many DSPs have been offering the ability to deliver “targeted” ads into Facebook through FBX and in the last few weeks Twitter opened up its API enabling outside parties to find ways to work with them. The truth is that banner ads on FBX are no different than Google Contextual Ads or ads on other networks, exchanges or DSP. They are all ads separated from content and not truly Native social ads using audience profile information.
Facebook recently announced a partnership with BlueKai for the utilization of 1st party data to power just what we are describing above: the ability for marketers to use 1st party data to power truly Native ads in Facebook. This is likely the first of many such partnerships as we continue to expand our Data Activation offering into all aspects of media, previously including display, websites and mobile. What makes this even more unique is the fact that these ads are becoming prevalent on the mobile social platforms, quickly uniting two of the most innovative areas of the category of digital media.
Facebook speaks directly to this topic on their blog with the following:
“There is a key difference between Ads and Sponsored Stories. Ads can only be shown in the right hand side and are not eligible for News Feed. Sponsored Stories, because they originate from organic content, are eligible to be shown in both the News Feed (desktop and mobile) and right hand side and therefore benefit from significantly higher engagement.”
Native advertising is going to remain a specific line item on the media plans for all marketers as the channel proves to be effective at delivering a targeted message to the consumer. Without data though, it’s nothing more than untargeted, non-standard ad delivery. With data, Native becomes a very important component of your digital media mix.