Cevahir Ejder, managing director at Seeding Alliance GmbH, has a keen eye on the emergence of native advertising formats. As a marketer of native ads, he knows which problems, risks and opportunities await marketing and where there is still a lot of potential.
What is native advertising?
There is not yet a unified definition of native advertising. At the Native Ads Camp last March in Cologne, it became clear that every provider defines Native Advertising a bit differently.
Native advertising does not consist of familiar ad formats like banners or pop-ups. These advertising formats are now almost completely ignored by users and sometimes even blocked using ad blockers.
The advertising industry is in need of new authentic advertising formats. And this is precisely where native advertising comes in. For a native advertising campaign, editorial content is written specifically for the campaign. This is then indicated as advertising and embedded in the medium as naturally as possible without having it perceived by users as disruptive advertising.
Instead of individually and manually entering advertorials in the content management system of the respective publication, the content can be published to many different media outlets at the same time. Therefore, advertisers can publish their content in a fully automated and scaled way. It is now also possible to publish entire sections of content, which is perfect for those advertisers who want to cover the content of entire subject areas.
What has to be taken into consideration when it comes to native advertising?
Focus is placed on content that adds value and appeals to the user. Storytelling is an especially useful tool in this regard. The reader is drawn into a story that they think is worth reading and then user engagement is increased via social shares, long times spent with the content, click-outs from the content, etc.
These high-quality ads therefore differ greatly from conventional banner ads. Advertisers can provide much more information in content. But is important that this content doesn’t include too much blatant advertising. As soon as readers have the feeling that content is just being used as a sales tool, the effect is tarnished.
What do you see as the major distinction from other forms of advertising?
With native advertising, we can design ads so that the user will remain on the same website when they click on the ad instead of being taken to another site. The article opens within the medium and is therefore more comfortable for the user.
An important advantage over other forms of advertising is that native ads get very different placements. Premium placements are made in in-feed sections (topic overviews) right in the editorial area of the media. Thus native ads do not compete with banner ads.
Where do you see opportunities, but also costs and risks?
This is a great opportunity for publishers, because content is essential for native ads. These ads have to add value via informative content. And publishers have the most to gain from this. After all, they can not only use this to achieve more revenue (eCPM), but they are also experiencing a renaissance in content relevance. They are no longer relegated to providing ad space for display formats, because native advertising relies on the content offering. Another advantage for publishers consists of the fact that the new form of advertising does not compete with existing advertising formats. Native advertising is included in areas where no other digital advertising formats could be placed to date.
Several conventional text and image marketers are using the top placements for native advertising campaigns. Users are disturbed while reading, because they are “kidnapped” to an external landing page when they click on an ad. For native advertising marketing companies like Seeding Alliance GmbH, these marketers pose a threat because this could result in lower click rates over time.
What is the future of native advertising?
Content is king! An increasing amount of value is being attached to content, which in turn creates a lot of potential for content marketing companies and PR agencies. In addition to many technical advancements, advertisers will increasingly use native advertising as part of their digital strategies.
According to research conducted by Yahoo, native advertising will account for more than half of the published digital advertising in the year 2020. Accordingly, spending for native advertising will grow by a factor of 2.6 in Europe over the next five years from 5.2 billion euro in 2015 to 13.2 billion euro in 2020.
This research confirms our experience and feedback from media agencies.
Interview with Cevahir Ejder, Managing Director of Seeding Alliance GmbH