Magazine article Marketing


Magazine article Marketing


Article excerpt

The future of display advertising is native, writes Mel Exon.

A wise person recently told me that, statistically, a person is more likely to die in an aeroplane crash than click on a banner ad. As I'm writing this month's column on a long-haul flight to San Francisco, this is something I'm hoping not to be true.

It is the case that display ads are woefully ineffective - just witness the average CTR of a banner ad: 0.2% in 2012 (down from 9% in 2000) Indeed, the death of display advertising has been declared so many times, it's astonishing it still has a pulse.

Yet it's true that when anyone declares the death of anything, that thing often shape-shifts and resurfaces, alive and well, in a different form. In the case of display, witness the inexorable rise of native advertising.

I hate jargon, but native advertising is a term I increasingly like for a couple of reasons:

1. It evokes belonging and integrity; an opportunity for a brand to show an understanding of natural platform behaviours and a concern with user experience that isn't associated enough with traditional display advertising.

2. It is one way for publishers and media-owners to monetise their online platforms effectively, without sacrificing user experience. The user, the brand and the media-owner all stand to win. It's that combination which makes native advertising worth paying attention to.

What is native advertising?

It is relevant, paid-for content that appears within the editorial stream of a publisher's site or on a social network. Current examples include: promoted tweets on Twitter; promoted ads on search engines; sponsored stories on Facebook; Tumblr Spotlight; promoted videos on YouTube; and paid-for editorial content. …

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