Native advertising trends that marketers cannot ignore: Neena Dasgupta
While native advertising is still at a nascent stage in India, if it’s granted the required market conditions to grow, it has the potential to become a benchmark in digital advertising for brands wanting to improve the consumer experience, writes Neena Dasgupta, CEO & Director, Zirca Digital Solutions Ltd.
Native advertising has gradually evolved into a powerful marketing technique for distributing informative, data-led content in a consistent manner to acquire a new audience and drive profitable consumer behaviour. A 2016 study conducted by BBC Advertising and Voxpopme revealed that over 80 per cent of affluent millennial internet users in India said they want branded content, as compared to 73 per cent worldwide.
While native advertising is still at a nascent stage in India, if it’s granted the required market conditions to grow, it has the potential to become a benchmark in digital advertising for brands wanting to improve the consumer experience.
It solves a problem for both publishers and advertisers by providing consumers with content that does not disrupt their online experience and that is more likely to be consumed by them. Native advertising is certain to grow and will likely drive 74 per cent of all ad revenue by 2021 (as per Business Insider).
So, which native advertising trends should content marketers and business leaders, be paying attention to in 2018?
Here are five significant trends that will likely dominate in 2018:
- Influencer Advertising Is Growing In Importance: Influencer advertising is a form of native advertising. In fact, the difference between influencer advertising and influencer marketing is the same as the difference between paid media and earned media. If a brand is paying influencers, they’re doing a form of native advertising, whereas if they are finding them and collaborating with them on projects with no tangible transactions, then that’s influencer marketing. Given social media’s expanding presence and evolving consumer expectations and behaviours, the role an influencer plays in reaching a brand’s consumers has surged in importance. Consumers today are not looking for a product or service; they’re looking for solutions. This is why native content has to be relevant to their pain points; it can’t be a disruptive ad that’s not relevant to their needs. Working with influencers, thus, can enable brands to get in front of new audiences in a more authentic manner.
- Concerns For Brand Safety Change Everything: Brand safety has always been a concern, but now it has become more important than ever. Using the power of AI, marketers can go beyond analysing text to analysing even video content; thus ensuring safe, contextual placements.
- Innovation In Native Ad Formats: Today, brands are increasingly looking for ways to make their content more engaging. These native video ads can be tailor-made for social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, or video platforms such as YouTube. HubSpot reveals Instagram videos should be kept brief and should be about 30 seconds long to better engage your audience. Additionally, a Facebook video should be about 1 minute long and a video on YouTube should be two minutes. Video ad formats are growing in popularity as people’s attention spans diminish and their preference for snackable content formats grows. Therefore, one can expect more creativity in native ad formats in 2018.
- Native Will Become ‘Smart’: AI and machine learning will enable ‘smarter’ native ads. In fact, the plethora of data marketers have at their disposal today will better inform their marketing tactics. Going forward, AI could help native become more efficient and effective.
- Stricter Norms: Social media has made the whole world a smaller place to live in. People are increasingly using social media platforms to voice their opinions and influence others. Ad scrutiny is becoming more stringent. Advertisers, too, now need to consider regional, religious, and cultural sensitivities while making decisions about their native content.
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