Two different takes on native advertising trends; plus, Harvard Business Review’s surge in registered users and Facebook’s decline in referrals
Does it seem like there’s been more news about native advertising trends lately? Well, that’s because there has been. Sponsored content has skyrocketed in popularity, and the execution of these ads has gotten stronger and stronger. What’s more, publishers and marketers prefer them because they’re less disruptive to reader experience, which is a big part of why ad blocking programs aren’t nearly as successful deterring them as they are with traditional banners and other types of ads.
Still, there’s a long way to go when it comes refining branded content, and as digital magazines and advertisers push the envelop to maximize their revenue potential, they also have to keep ethics – and the law – when it comes to native advertising rules and regulations.
Two recent articles in Digiday cover native advertising trends, but we also take a look today at some good news for those looking to create a subscription website and some bad news for big publishers relying on Facebook for referrals.
AskMen Is Experimenting With Native Advertising Trends
Not satisfied with simply running native ads within and alongside articles, AskMen – with studio BrandFusion – is now featuring Asics content in newsletters, video, and even IRL (“in real life”) events, Digiday reports.
“We’ve sat here and looked at new internal native advertising agencies that other places, like Thrillist, put in place years ago, and thought, ‘native advertising is the only way we can make this business work’,” BrandFusion’s Armando Gomez told Shareen Pathak. “But, we’ve also moved away from just consuming ads. We launched now native video and native offline events that works along with native content.”
Readers’ Dwell Time on News UK’s Native Ads Is Impressive
With its branded content studio Method, News UK titles The Sun, The Times, and The Sunday Times are seeing 9 minutes spent on native ads, as much as editorial content, Digiday reports.
“The first half of the year was mired in working out how we were going to communicate to the industry where the commercial and editorial wall was,” Method Creative Content Director Tiffanie Darke told Lucinda Southern.
“Internally we’re very clear that commercial content is produced independently from editorial, but we share the same values as editorial. … For Vodafone, we noticed we were seeing good engagement on tablet for The Times and Sunday Times, so we optimized by shifting more digital attention onto tablet.”
Harvard Business Review’s Registered Users Jump 20%
F0r Mequoda Members and others interested in subscription strategies, this news from the Harvard Business Review is heartening: Registered users are up 20% and traffic in September included 2.4 million uniques after a redesign that focuses on social media and repurposed content, Digiday reports.
“You can come to us through social once or twice by accident and not know where you landed, but if you come three times, we know you did it on purpose,” HBR.org Editor Katherine Bell told Ricardo Bilton. “We’re thinking all the time about how everything we do affects both subscribers and the whole audience. … We’re thinking about both sides at the same time.”
Facebook Publishers’ Traffic Down Significantly
Whether it’s hardball over Facebook Instant Articles, another algorithmic whim, or coincidence, Digiday reports that referral traffic from Facebook to top publishing companies has decreased 32% since January.
“The way many companies and marketers look at traditional metrics is becoming somewhat anachronistic because they measure one slice of the equation,” Huffington Post CEO Jared Grusd told Lucia Moses.
“The tools haven’t caught up to where the behavior is. But even though there’s uncertainty, if we can deliver on our editorial pillars, the rest will take care of itself. We can possibly build an even bigger audience, and data sets will follow, and so will monetization. Publishers won’t accept an ecosystem where those things don’t exist and all the platforms know that.”
Which native advertising trends are you keeping tabs on? Let us know in the comments!
To read more about native advertising trends in the news, visit Digiday.