To bystanders or those that are just entering the field of advertising the above claim might seem a bit too strong. What about all those other forms of advertising and abundance of ‘regular’ videos? Still, the numbers about native ads in general and native video advertising speak for themselves.
According to a 2019 report by eMarketer, they predicted that in that year there will be an $8.66 billion rise in spending on native ads to total $44 billion. According to the same forecast, in 2020 advertisers will spend 38.7 percent of their digital video advertising budgets on native video.
Looking at a broader digital display picture, “native has grown to a much larger share of ad spend at a faster rate… Between 2017 and 2020, the native display will capture an additional 10.6-point share of the display ad market.” Why is this the case? And after all, what is native advertising in the first place?
According to Outbrain, “native advertising is the use of paid ads that match the look, feel, and function of the media format in which they appear.”
“Native ads are often found in social media feeds, or as recommended content on a web page. Unlike display ads or banner ads, native ads don’t really look like ads. They look like part of the editorial flow of the page. The key to native advertising is that it is non-disruptive – it exposes the reader to advertising content without sticking out like a sore thumb.”
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What are the characteristics of native video advertising?
As for the native video ads themselves, StackAdapt explains that they are “typically longer than 30 seconds and can entertain and educate at the same time.” This is “in contrast to traditional television commercials, which are product-centric examples of push marketing. Why? Because they “push” the content in front of the viewer and try to force them to watch it. Television viewers, especially those with DVRs, have become far too adept at fast-forwarding through commercials or simply taking a break until they are over.”
Native video ads are often also called out-stream ads, differing from in-stream ads. In-stream video ads involve “standard pre-roll, mid-roll, or post-roll ad placements within your favorite videos.” (BridTv) “Outstream denotes video that appears in non-video environments, like social feeds, text-based editorial content, etc. It’s very simple – the video appears when the user scrolls, thus the content opens up and triggers the video.” (above)
Outstream “has a tremendous advantage which is that your ads can appear anywhere and everywhere. In other words, there are no limits to placements within existing video content. It is also considerably easier to obtain relevant audiences based on surrounding content.”
Essentially, the key is in the fact that “unlike display ads or banner ads, native ads don’t really look like ads. They look like part of the editorial flow of the page. The key to native advertising is that it is non-disruptive – it exposes the reader to advertising content without sticking out like a sore thumb.” (Outbrain)
The key effect of these ads was explained by a study done by Stanford University. According to this study, consumers are well aware that they are viewing a form of advertising. However, native ads still have a significant effect on purchase behavior.
Why are native video ads so effective?
According to Taboola, the effectiveness of native video ads relies on a number of factors. First of all, “native video advertising is the seamless integration of branded messages into existing content. It usually consists of in-feed video ads uploaded directly to different platforms that are finely targeted to your desired audience.”
Like native advertising in general, native video content is informative and entertaining, two of the characteristics that most appeal to online video viewers. (above)
“These ads offer a way to share information with social media users without disrupting their browsing experience.” They then entice them to click through. Many in-feed video ads play automatically without sound or are click-to-play. “Native videos, on the other hand, present the option to simply keep on scrolling, without any disruption or barrier to the desired user experience.”
For its part Affiliaxe as one of the reasons native video advertising is now so successful cites that it calls ‘banner blindness’. “Consumers have stopped reacting to ads being displayed on websites. People started ignoring banner-like information and slowly became blinded to the idea. Studies have shown that users are usually searching the web for specific information and focus only on relevant parts of a website. Large, colorful, and even animated banners were simply looked over.”
Videos deliver information and entertainment quickly and satisfy people’s needs a lot faster.(above) This is confirmed by Nielsen’s analysis which states that 44% of people between ages 18-49 spend most of their time watching videos on YouTube.
According to the same source, the main advantage of native video ads over regular video ads (pre-roll ads) is that native videos are clicked-to-play. This means that the user gets to decide whether or not they want to watch it or not.
Social media and native video advertising go hand in hand
Through the above discussion, it is becoming obvious that native video ads seem to be a tailor-made element for social media. Of course, these days, Facebook, Twitter Instagram, TikTok, and other social media dominate online public engagement. Having a successful video ad campaign on any or all of these seems like a certain profit generator for the creators of these campaigns.
At the same time, sharing and short attention span seem to be two of the main characteristics of social media. StackAdapt (above) states that “when done correctly, native ads are shared by viewers, have the potential of going viral, and get millions of views.” Also, they note that “people have an attention span of roughly eight seconds.” If an advertiser can entertain and educate the audience quickly they will not lose it. That is also a good guarantee that the audience will share their ad as if it is ‘regular’ content.
Taboola (above) notes that native video ads “offer a way to share information with social media users without disrupting their browsing experience, and then entice them to click through. In fact, many in-feed video ads play automatically without sound, or are click-to-play.” Native videos are also so successful because they resent the option to simply keep on scrolling, without any disruption or barrier to the desired user experience.
AffiliAxe also points to another connection between native video advertising and social media. That factor is engagement. “Native videos are engaging, and social media platforms encourage users to engage.”
It is also a very important fact that social media practically dominate mobile devices. So it is quite important that all such ads will be “mobile responsive as the CTR (click-through rate) is proven higher on mobile than on any other device.”
Creating native ads strategies
There are quite a number of concepts floating around as to what strategy to use when creating native video ads. AffiliAxe tries to keep it to just three points:
- Know your audience and research it in detail! “Integrating native videos in the right channels will intrigue the right consumers as you may know already, so make sure you pick the platforms where you know your target audience is expected to be. All in all, you’ll be creating an authentic relationship that will benefit you, the advertiser and the network.
- Native videos have to be engaging and interesting. “Educate your audience by teaching them about your product and its benefits. People would like to get something in return for they’re attention. Nobody likes to listen to a sales pitch, but rather listen to a great story.” They also note that “ it’s important to create enticing and attractive ads, even a bit shocking, as the idea is to get people to click on them.”
- Keep it honest! “There’s a negative notion that native ads seek to trick people. Give them a reason to think otherwise. Nowadays, People can spot a fishy add from miles away, and they are always hungry for authenticity. Produce honest content that will simultaneously tap an interest, and they’ll appreciate you by taking an action.”
On its surface, this advice might seem self-evident and simple. But, in essence, it involves detailed research into each social media or another online medium where a potential client wants to place native video ads.
This involves research not only into the audience of any given medium but its specifics, the way it operates, and reasons why it attracts a certain part of the public.
More numbers that speak for themselves
To some people, native video advertising might seem like a tricky (and expensive) affair. Presenting more research numbers might help them have a clearer idea of its effects.
According to a SumAll study, the approximate value of a single business Tweet is $25.62, and a retweet is worth $20.37. If a native video is successful it turns into quite a good value.
In its analysis of native video advertising, Instapage gave some quite interesting statistics:
- Native ads yield 308x more attention than banner ads;
- Brand recall with native ads is 2x more than with banner ads;
- Engagement with native ads is 53% more likely than with banner ads.
According to the same source, by 2019 “online videos were expected to generate 15.4 billion in spending. They will also hog 80% of all internet traffic.”
Essentially, these numbers are quite compelling. More can be listed. All of them confirm that currently native vide advertising leads the field. And it will do so for quite some time.