MarCom New Media gets to work with some interesting clients and some of them have a complex story that they need us to help simplify. Lately, we’ve been onboarding a new client called MGID, a leading native performance advertising network, that is a big global player in native advertising, the sponsored content that has sprouted up at the bottom of many of the web pages you visit.
There are still many business people and marketers out there faced with learning about new online marketing and advertising strategies who don’t understand the differences between “native advertising,” “content marketing” and “performance marketing.” All are part of a major battle for your eyeballs or, at least, a slice of your attention.
Native advertising exists to favor the reader’s interests first, unlike advertorials which put the advertiser’s interests first. Native ads must offer truthful content and are designed to offer helpful tips, useful news, or just fun entertainment.
Online native advertising, which has been around since 1994, is a form of paid media where the advertisement mimics the form, function and user experience in which it appears.
Two of the other best-known native advertising players are Taboola and Outbrain. (Now you know what I’m talking about, right?) Well, there is still some confusion surrounding the native advertising industry, so here’s what we have learned.
Native ads can appear as ads that link to other content, be they advertisements on a website, or articles or videos produced by an advertiser. The native ad usually matches the form and style of the publication on which it appears. Thus the word “native” refers to this coherence of the content with the platform’s other media. In other words, the ads look like they belong on the page, even if served from someplace else.
According to BI Intelligence, spending on native ads will grow to $21 billion in 2018, rising from just $4.7 billion in 2013.
Here are some related ad technologies that you may have heard of:
• Content marketing – designed to attract, convert and retain targeted customers. It involves creating and sharing, or publishing relevant content, within the host website, in blogs, press release wire services or social media. Native advertising is a form of content marketing.
• Performance marketing – refers to online marketing/advertising programs that enable the advertiser to be paid when a specific action such as a click, lead or sale is completed. Google is the best-known example of this, but Facebook does the same thing. Likewise, MGID and the other ad networks only get paid if the reader clicks on the native ad.
• Behavioral retargeting marketing – the ads that follow users around online after they visit a site, perhaps looking for a pair of shoes and then find themselves seeing shoe ads on every site visited for the next week or more. This method tags online users via a pixel embedded within a webpage or email, which sets a tracking cookie in your web browser so the advertiser can show display ads to that user elsewhere on the internet via an ad exchange.
There are also other ad tech plays at work including various different types of ads:
• In feed units – look like they are part of a news feed
• Content recommendation widgets – thumbnail ads (What MGID does.)
• Paid search units – ads show up in searches like Google Pay-Per-Click (PPC)
• Promoted listings – Sponsored products on sites like Amazon
• In ads – look like standard ads but has contextual relevance to the publisher’s content
• Custom or “can’t be contained” ads – everything else that cannot be categorized
Here’s the thing: native advertising is rapidly changing, and its important for marketers to understand how it works. This is achieved by placing the right ad (relevancy) in the right place (on-page placement) in the right manner (aesthetic) to best engage the consumer (campaign goal). When it is done correctly, native advertising looks like it belongs and takes the consumer where they expect to go when they click. It also offers relevant content suggestions they otherwise may not have seen.
Every day MGID tweaks the campaign to provide a more engaging experience for the consumer, which in turn benefits both publishers and advertisers.
As we begin our campaign to educate the U.S. marketplace about MGID, we hope you’ll stay tuned and let us know if you are interested in speaking to one of their expert account managers. Or just email Kristin@marcomnewmedia.com and we will hook you up.