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Native advertising making gains despite skepticism

Native advertising making gains despite skepticism 

A recent Cxense survey of more than 260 publishing executives reveals escalating interest in native ads, which is advertising in print or online that is made to look like original content. The survey also shows the native advertising market remains largely untapped, with just 20 per cent of respondents running native ads today.

The survey, sent out in conjunction with Editor & Publisher magazine, revealed that just 20 per cent of publishers run native ads on their sites today, but around 25 per cent plan to introduce them over the next 12 months. Those growing numbers also mean more native ads within sites already running them: for example, the Huffington Post saw an increase of native advertising revenue of 347 per cent from Q2 2013 to Q2 2014, according to a September article in AdExchanger.

One key to native ad success, survey respondents agreed, is targeting. Two in three survey participants say ensuring the user is interested in the content being promoted is important, and 26 per cent note targeting is actually more important for native ads than other types of ads.

“When done correctly, native ad content can be a boon to publishers. It lets them do a better job of targeting paid, relevant content to readers – keeping them engaged and on sites longer,” said Raman Bhatnagar, CEO of Cxense. “Getting to the point of offering meaningful native ad content, however, means using an ad server that can serve native ads in the format that matches the site, truly understanding the interests and context of each user and then delivering to them the content they desire.”

The survey also illuminates confusion in the market around native advertising. An astounding 40 per cent of respondents admitted that they are still not totally sure they understand the concept of native ads. In addition, 24 per cent believe traditional ad servers can be used effectively for native ads, while nearly two in three respondents confessed that they simply didn’t know. Cxense is helping to eliminate the confusion by launching a “Native Ads for Dummies” page and a white paper on native advertising.

Because native ads are paid placements that mimic the form and function of the site on which they appea, they look more like content than advertisements. Publishers remain somewhat divided on their thoughts around native ads. The survey shows that 45 per cent of publishers now believe native ads offer “great value to publishers, advertisers and consumers,” while 30 per cent say native ads “cheapen journalism by blurring the lines between advertising and editorial.”

This article originally appeared on Click here to view the original.


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