Ollie Clamp
Ollie Clamp 6 August 2015
Categories Advertising

Top Tips For Going Native For Apps And Mobile Ads

Native ads now account for billions of dollars of ad spend, and the trend toward them is set to continue.

Although native ads are not plug-and-play in the same way as banner, interstitial, and video ads, the added complexity is offset by the context-aware nature of how native advertising is presented in a way that is consistent, relevant, and appealing to users.

Native ads now account for billions of dollars of ad spend, and the trend toward them is set to continue because of the greater response rates they stimulate. However, there are a series of challenges associated with native ads, and few rules or formulas can be applied to their introduction because of individualism of each native ad opportunity.

Inevitably, developers need to do at least some form of customisation to ensure the style, content and presentation of a native ad appears to flow naturally and presents a unified customer experience. The vast range of native ad deployment scenarios means such customisation can’t be replicated from one project to another because of the differences involved in each.

This isn’t an area in which there is a one size fits all answer but there are some key points to consider that are common regardless of the nature of the native ad opportunity. These include:

1. Get Your Timing Right
A vital point is that timing is critical. In common with other ad units, timing the placement of ads at appropriate moments in content is essential. No one wants the action to be interrupted by placing an ad mid-flow and excessive interruptions in the content are also unacceptable. Work with your monetization partner to ensure the placement feels appropriate and that the ads are not repeated too often. Nothing turns off users more than seeing the same native ad too frequently. They may even delete your app if the repetition becomes too irritating. Conversely, presenting a variety of relevant ads can actually increase engagement.

2. Consider Your Audience, And Match Appropriate Native Ad Content
It’s no secret that context and placement are crucial for engagement. This is particularly true in mobile where screens are more personal to a user. Ask yourself how the ad fits within the overall page design. Is it in the viewer’s activity stream? Avoid placing ads where they will disrupt the user’s flow. Ensure ads function like the other elements on the page and deliver the same type of content experience. For example, a video ad would make sense on a page displaying other videos, while a sponsored story would make more sense when placed with other stories.

3 Build Native Seamlessly Into Your Existing Content
Your users are used to navigating through your app or game in a certain way, so when including native ads, frame them within your existing design and content. Ads should mesh naturally with the rest of the app, providing a fluid visual experience with matching fonts, spacing, and colours. You’ll need to disclose where you’ve included promoted content, but the disclosure should be the main tip off that a native ad is present.

4 Work With A Monetization Partner To Help Scale
Gaining scale with native advertising can be difficult if you lack your own sales team and creating specialised placements for big brands is not an option for you. The way around this is to work with a monetization partner who has access to an exchange. Advertisers are then able to plan their own native campaigns and upload text and images, note their demographics, and specify what locations and device types they want to advertise on. Developers are also able to set their own criteria and they are matched in a real time bidding environment. By using this method to scale native ads, developers use their resources efficiently and gain greater access to a higher revenue stream.

All of these come together in one overarching theme: focusing on the user experience. It’s no good hosting great ad content if you place it inappropriately, excessively repetitively or intrusively. Effective native ads mean placing yourself in the mind of the user and developing ads that fit contextually into the content of an app or website. Doing so means the user experience doesn’t become disjointed and the placement of ads is not a jarring inconvenience. Advertisers will be pleased because users that trust you not to present them with overly intrusive or irrelevant ads will engage with the content they see.

To this end, Millennial Media, the Application Developers Alliance, and other industry experts crafted a new whitepaper, A Guide to Native Advertising: How Scaling Native Ad Campaigns Can Increase Revenue. In it, we discuss the challenges and opportunities developers face in scaling native ad campaigns. To learn more, download the white paper here.

In short, native ads are all about providing the best experience for the user. Focusing on that takes care of advertisers’ needs for engagement because happy users are active users.


Find out more on the future of Content Marketing at our DLUK - Trends briefing on the 24th September 2015

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