Keeping up with major trends in digital advertising can be challenging. The changes in the digital industry are persistent and rapid, which is why some bloggers find it difficult to stay on top of the latest news. For publishers who generate their income from displaying ads on websites, the key trends of 2015 are the skyrocketing popularity of native advertising, the introduction of viewability metric, and the growing value of mobile video.
Chances are you’ve already stumbled across articles that praise native as “the holy grail” of digital. The ads of this type mimic the site’s content in terms of both form and function. The typical examples of native advertisements are branded or sponsored articles that appear in the site’s newsfeed or “related content” section.
Native advertising outstrips other ad types in terms of multiple performance-related criteria. In particular, native ads get more attention from users, and generate higher click-through rates than banner ads. Due to the development of real-time bidding and the introduction of standardized programmatic native formats, it is now possible to deliver such ads at scale.
The option to display native ads programmatically allows bloggers and site owners to access multiple advertisers and control all campaigns via a single ad serving company. This accounts for a more comprehensive approach to choosing an ad serving provider.
For instance, publishers can use high-impact desktop and mobile ad formats from Epom Ad Server or other companies that similarly focus on maximizing the publishers’ fill rates. Companies of this type allow publishers to combine direct and programmatic campaigns with native, display, and other ad formats. Alternatively, publishers can use native-only platforms like CAST or Polar.
With the development of ad performance tracking, advertisers want to know if their ads appear in the visible areas of publisher’s websites and blogs. Viewability is the metric that ensures the ad impression is prominent, and it’s duration is enough for users to notice the advertisement. For bloggers and site owners, this means the need to guaranty ad visibility.
According to current standards, publishers are to make sure that at least 50% of the ad’s pixels are visible for at least 1 second. In case with video ads, the minimum duration is two seconds. The general requirement set forth by the advertising industry regulators is that at least 70% of the blog’s or website’s ad space must be viewable.
To meet the viewability standards, publishers can follow the ad placement recommendations for cost-per-click (CPC) campaigns. The success of the campaigns of this type depends on placing the ads in the prominent areas of a website, which implies high viewability levels by default. In case with some ad serving providers, bloggers and site owners can acquire placement recommendations from their account managers.
As smartphones and tablets are getting as powerful as ever, internet users want to consume more video content on the go. This trend has led many advertisers to invest into mobile video advertising. In fact, mobile video will grow at three times the speed of desktop video in the nearest future. This will result in mobile ad spend reaching the $100 bn point in 2015.
With marketers becoming more willing to invest in mobile video, publishers need to think of new ways to expand their content strategies with video. While embedding YouTube player seems like a popular approach, using other video player modules is also a viable option. This way, you will be able to use mobile ad servers from other ad serving providers and control your monetization campaigns via a single dashboard.
The typical ideas for video content include tutorials, curation of third-party news, and various reviews. A video can act as standalone post, or complement articles, along with infographics and illustrations. An additional benefit of such an approach is sharability: people are more likely to share quality videos on Facebook and other social networks.
Focus on the tendencies outlined above to make your inventory more appealing to advertisers and improve your website’s user experience. While viewability affects the way your ad space is evaluated by potential buyers, subtler ad formats and engaging video content can actually lead to higher levels of user engagement. Obviously, this will have a positive long term impact on both the quality of your traffic and the advertising revenue brought by every displayed impression.