Compliance, Content, and Time are the Keys Great to Native Ads

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Content is selling. Especially when it's FTC compliant, and runs for several months.

Today's companies have much more to sell today than just their core products and services. They want to sell content; high-value, high-quality content. And consumers are open to that content, so it's no surprise that so many marketers have turned to native advertising as a way to break through the cluttered digital advertising space.

We've covered much of the expansion and viability of native advertising at DMN, but there are a couple of trends worth noting right now.

For one, publishers are still struggling to adhere to the FTC's native advertising guidelines, which were introduced in December 2015.

MediaRadar, a sales intelligence company that specializes in digital publishers, released a report earlier this year on the compliance issues that continue to plague marketers in native advertising. The company claimed it examined thousands of native ads from nearly 13,000 brands.

The report found that, while the number of FTC compliant publishers in native ads has increased 119% year over year since late 2015, 37% of publishers remain non-compliant with FTC guidelines. The bulk of these guidelines deal in transparency, and making the distinction clear between paid and regular content.

On the other hand, publishers are flocking to the native ad format at the staggering clip of 610 new advertisers each month, according to MediaRadar. However, these advertisers are running their native campaigns for an average of only two months, which led to campaign renewal rates of around 33% in 2016.

“We're finding that some firms have implemented [native advertising] so well that they're really economically viable… we also find that there are many more [firms] who are not,” says Todd Krizelman, CEO and founder at MediaRader. “Their implementation is not working so well, and we see really low renewal rates and unsatisfied clients as a result.”

Advertisers who are running successful native campaigns aren't doing anything extraordinary or overly complex, according to Krizelman. The major key to an effective native ad today — aside from being FTC complaint — is time.

“We found that the best performance comes with campaigns that run for six months or longer. When you run a six months campaign, you have enough time to course correct,” Krizelman says. “Another thing is just the quality of the paid content. The paid model only works if the content is very high quality and of interest to the audience that goes to that site.”


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