What You Need To Know About The Future of Ad Buying & Native Advertising

Today I have a couple of interesting topics that I would like to discuss concerning other alternative forms of paid digital advertising.  Programmatic Ad Buying, have you heard of it?  It was rather unfamiliar to me, more like, unheard of, but today you might find it is helpful to know more about other alternatives within the paid advertising realm.  Next I am going to discuss a very controversial, hot topic known as Native Advertising! While hopefully answering your questions about the future of advertising along the way.

-PROGRAMMATIC AD BUYING-

So, you are exploring your paid advertising options and you come across something known as programmatic ad buying.  Well Programmatic ad buying is the future of ad purchases.  In short, it is an automated service that uses lots of data to buy specific audiences that shows your ad to the right people at the right time.  Sounds useful, right?  Not to mention, it saves you time by eliminating negotiations and helps make decisions for you.  Forget buying your ads manually, now ad buying decisions are being made with the help of an automated system.  To make things clearer, It’s like buying stocks off of Etrade as opposed to calling up your broker and having them deal take care of it.

Some market research and big data companies are taking transparent programmatic ad buying rather seriously.  Take ComScore, they want to make sure ad buying is transparent for both the buyer and the seller. How are they doing this?  Well they are creating a set of pre-bid advertising metrics that media buyers can look at within programmatic trading platforms.  The combined metrics are then packaged into what ComScore calls “Trust Profiles”.  Trust profiles make the buying process more transparent, adding value by reassuring buyers and sellers that their money and impressions are not being wasted.

So, now that you have the option to eliminate the middleman in ad buying, let’s look at another form of paid advertising known as Native Advertising.

-NATIVE ADVERTISING-

Native advertising is controversial because it blends the gap between editorial content and advertising.  Many times it is hard to tell the two apart.  Ever read Buzzfeed?  Well click on a post and almost 90% of the time you will run in to a native ad.

How do you know you are looking at a native ad?

 Anything with the label “Sponsored Post” or “Promoted By” is technically native advertising, sneaky huh?  It’s great for the brand, since they almost seamlessly blend the advertising and editorial world together.  Native ads are even surpassing the advertorial ads from the past, engaging with consumers visually and functionally.

Whats the big buzz over native advertising? 

Well, traditionally ads were only placed alongside articles that contained relevant content.  Now, thanks to native ads, brands can integrate their core message into content that looks and feels like an editorial piece.  Brands like Shell are now getting 8-page spreads in The New York Times, something The NYT would have never agreed to before November 2014.  The main point here, is trusted sources are now adopting this new form of advertising that is essentially blurring the lines for readers, making it very attractive for advertising spends.  However, it can be deceitful for consumers.

Native ads are also starting to be aired on media vehicles such as, podcasts.  Sponsored content on podcasts seems like a story within a story.  Here’s an article I read about a podcast called Startup that incorporates paid content into their shows.  He talks about how the ads are executed and certain elements of the ads that still make his show as transparent as possible with his listeners.

What’s the future of Native Advertising?

Well for now, Native advertising has some setbacks.  For one, it’s difficult to measure your ROI.  For example, Shell may have had an increase in awareness sometime after their 8-page spread in the NYT, but it’s too difficult to tell if their native ad had anything to do with that spike.  So far, no one has yet to supply accurate metrics that showcase the impact of native ads.  In addition, awareness does not always come from the native ad itself, PR hype is just as much, if not more of a contributor to spikes in awareness.

For now, native advertising has yet to prove itself as an effective ad spend.  However, as accessible metrics are developed through trackable analytics, a shift towards this niche advertising is sure to occur.

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