In today's day and age of everything digital, where smartphone users are bombarded with information, it is easy for your marketing message to get lost in the information deluge. Or, you could ride this information wave with an ad experience that seamlessly becomes a part of this information flow and yet take your marketing message to your consumers in an engaging manner.
We're talking about native ads of course. By design, native mobile ads blend in seamlessly with the app, enough to stand out with contextual ad content but not so much that they interfere with the user experience. Since they reduce the contrast between the ad content and the app, consumers are generally more receptive to native ads. Back this up with the power of highly contextual location-based advertising and native ads can help you deliver highly personalized and engaging mobile marketing experiences.
Now that you know that native ads are the way to go to engage your consumers on smartphones, here are 7 tips to help take the native mobile ads approach the right way:
- Relevance: The first and foremost thing to remember about native ads is that the ad should be in context with the content feed or the app that it will be pushed to. The target audience for an ad would be available across a variety of apps and the look and content of the ad should be customized to be as much as native to the app that it will be a part of.
- Headline: The headline defines the value of the content that the native ad will be promoting. As much as possible, use headlines that feature words that are also in context with the app content, for maximum effect. Furthermore, headlines with numbers tend to get 41% higher CTR compared to headlines without numbers.In addition, a native advertising research by Polar points out that headlines between 60-80 characters in length performed best. Using metaphorical headlines that are emotionally engaging and persuasive will help.
- Fonts: Another very interesting fact is that native ads which use fonts that are similar to those in the publisher content are found to perform 68% better than those that don't. A subtle label font color performs better than a strong color. Even when it comes to design, native ads with lightly shaded background perform better than ads with high-contrast backgrounds.
- Number of Creatives and Type: Thumbnails are processed 15 times faster than the time taken to read the first word of a headline. Native ad campaigns with around 3 to 4 creatives seem to deliver almost twice the CTR when compared to those with just two creatives. Furthermore, a collection of native ads were found to deliver 54% higher CTR than a single native ad unit. Also, when choosing an image for the native ad, it is important to remember to choose the one that best mimics the behavior the brand is looking to portray. For instance, a native ad for a cola brand could have an image of someone drinking from a glass.
- Buttons: The native ad should have clear Call To Action (CTA) buttons at the bottom of the creative. This not only prompts the consumer to the intended action but also creates value for everyone.
- Logo placement: The native ad creative should clearly and distinctly display the marketer's brand logo. This not just helps establish instant brand recall, but also creates a trust factor for the consumer. While following this approach is known to deliver almost 15% higher CTRs, exhibiting such transparency in your native ad is known to push brand awareness up by almost 84%. Purchase intent is estimated to increase up to 75%.
- Full disclosure: The native ad should clearly indicate that it is sponsored content, to avoid unwanted clicks. This not just safeguards the publisher's reputation but also the marketer's. IAB suggests that all native ads should be clearly labeled as 'Advertisement' or 'Promoted' or 'Sponsored or 'Ad' or 'Sponsored Content' depending on what the native ad is for.
Get these above steps right, and your native ad campaigns will start to deliver greater results. However, what's the right way to measure the success of your native ad campaigns. Native ads are known to deliver on both direct response metrics (like CTR, CVR, Views, etc.) as well as indirect and inferred metrics (such as brand awareness, purchase intent, etc.). However, identify the metrics that your campaign's success will be measured on and this will be critical to aligning your native ads strategy with your campaign objective. Below is a table that shows how the success of native ads can be measured: