7 Things Mobile Marketers Must Know About Native Mobile Ads

Customers don’t like advertisements. This isn’t particularly news, but what is shaking up the mobile market is that companies like Google and Apple are giving customers what they want: A way to block advertisements. This is terrible news for marketers who relied on pop-ups and flashy banner ads. Others, however, had already realized native mobile ads are the way forward. And it certainly doesn’t hurt that the native ads are more effective – and much less intrusive – than previous forms of mobile marketing.

Here’s how to make the most of mobile native advertising.

native mobile ads 7things_blog

Understand the Difference Between Content Marketing and Native Advertising

While similar, native advertising is not the same as content marketing. Let’s look at the definitions – native advertising is anything that is designed to fit in with the platform or site it’s on. Content marketing is using relevant content to drive conversions, like an article about fruits that is useful on its own, but happens to drive people to buy a certain brand of pineapple. If placed on a site for foodies, that article is both content marketing and native ads. Native ads CAN consist of content marketing, but it isn’t restricted to that style of advertising. 

mobile native ads - venn

Effective mobile native advertising can include videos, images, and editorial content. These ads can be placed in-stream or alongside it. The ads can be found in games, apps, and on major media websites. In short, native mobile advertising can appear in many ways in many places, in many forms, and in many different sizes. The Interactive Advertising Bureau has even created a handbook to outline the different industry types and standards for native advertising. 

Your Old Mobile Ads May Not Cut It Much Longer 

Apple allows customers to block ads. This spells doom for most traditional mobile ads. Too many pop-ups and customers click away. So ditch the traditional ads and go with native ones instead. Native ads are designed to be beneficial to your audience – not just you – and a good native ad can be shared, go viral, and build your brand as well as your sales.

Remember that each native ad is probably at least 50 percent more effective than the old style ads anyhow. It makes sense to update your standard ads along with your mobile ones when you think of those numbers. Not only will you be using a more effective form of marketing, but you will be ahead of the curve as well. If mobile ads are being blocked, how much longer can you rely on traditional advertising on desktops?

Match Your Mobile Native Content to Your Platform and Audience

Different social media platforms offer different forms of native ads. Mobile apps like Facebook offer sponsored news feed posts. Instagram and Pinterest have sponsored photos that link to e-commerce sites. Your goal is to add something to these apps that customers enjoy, share and click through.

native mobile ads buzzfeed ex
Here’s an example of an ad designed to fit in with the other content on its site.

This means a different native mobile advertising campaign for each social media platform, not just each demographic. Your mobile native portfolio may include videos, GIFs, articles, images and editorial pieces – all carefully designed with platform and audience in mind.

Design Your Ads with Your Consumer in Mind

Effective native advertising offers something of value to the consumer, who, in turn, returns that value to the company. This means your ads should be designed carefully to minimize the “ad” feel of the piece and instead focus on what the viewer is getting.

If you can address the wishes and needs of a consumer through your mobile native ads, you’ll be building your consumer’s interest, his loyalty, and your bottom line.

Track Your Native Mobile Ads Campaign

Almost all social media advertising platforms include a means of quantifying your success. For example, Facebook allows you to see a record of “viral sharing” for your mobile native advertising campaign, and you can track the engagement numbers for each ad as well.

LinkedIn offers an even simpler metric with combined shares and clicks in an “engagement” metric. This almost immediate feedback allows you to track your mobile native ads and make decisions accordingly.

Streamline Your Mobile Native Ad Production

Since native advertisements are so rich in content, they aren’t something that can be produced quickly. For this reason, keep scaling and streamlining in the back of your mind as you produce ads. When you’ve found a successful formula, use it as a basis for creating additional advertisements.

Keep churning them out! via GIPHY

This not only cuts down on some of the work (and expense) for the advertising team. It also allows for a bit of split testing and assessment of variables as you fine tune the process. Testing is a necessary part of this streamlining process, of course, and the programmatic aspects of many platforms allow you to see real-time results for each native ad you produce.

Keep Your Native Ads Legal

Because native mobile advertising can look like the editorial or user content that surrounds it, the FTC is already actively perusing mobile native ads, ready to bust marketers who don’t follow the “existing guidelines” for advertisements. In 2015, the FTC announced that not only will companies be responsible for the ads they produce, but publishers will have culpability as well for ads they assist with if those native ads don’t follow guidelines closely.

The FTC Building. Photo by Carol Highsmith / Public Domain
The FTC Building. Photo by Carol Highsmith / Public Domain

There’s no single, universally agreed-upon disclaimer that every native ad needs to use. Label your native mobile ads clearly according to the guidelines for font, size and color set out by the publisher. This might mean a label of “Ads” on one platform and a clear “Sponsored Post” on another. Clearly mark your ads and make sure they’re visible at first glance; if you can do that, your mobile native campaign will be fine.

Using Mobile Native Advertising

Native advertising works. A study performed by Sharethrough and IPG Media Lab found that consumers look at native advertising 53 percent more than they look at traditional ads. 53 percent. It’s easy to see why native advertising is booming. Experts forecast a $21 billion industry by 2018.

The booming industry also means there are many ways to dip an advertising toe into the swirling waters. Start big or start small on your own mobile native advertising campaign, but do make a start. The process of creating an entirely new native ad campaign can be overwhelming, but help is available. You can get your own campaign up and running within an hour on the Native Ads Titan platform. 

Any questions or comments? Be sure to share them with us in the comments section below!

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