Where is Native Advertising Headed in 2019?

On 12/12/2018 by Araceli Almada

The digital landscape has become the most valuable market for advertisers, as digital ad spend surpassed TV ad sales in 2016. Today, it continues to evolve as it keeps pace with changing consumer behavior, making companies eager to create new revenue streams using native ads and focus on the user journey. Native works and works well: it’s more effective for advertisers and their campaigns, more valuable for publishers and their monetization strategy, and more accepted and engaged by audiences. 

What should we expect from native’s versatility looking ahead to 2019? Here, we’ve highlighted 6 key trends that will make native central to any digital strategy

1. Greater Diversification 

We’ve already noticed it, but more and more advertisers and publishers will continue to diversify their formats and platforms when using native ads. This is especially true for native outside social media platforms, as publishers in non-social, editorial environments have become more accommodating to programmatic native buying due to its combination of quality content, reach, efficiency, and brand safety. Brands establishing a community of followers on social networks will grow and diversify their reach to similar target audiences that will incite more action for performance purposes. While social networks seem attractive, they are susceptible to engagement coming from bots and fake accounts, yielding brand interaction predicated on fake results. Using non-social native ads for branding and performance objectives will take priority to obtain the best visibility for brands in an engaging way, with real results. 

2. Brand Safety First

In line with the above-mentioned trend, brand safety is of great concern. Brands will move from advertising alongside user-generated content to more credible content areas and relevant editorial environments. Contextual targeting will become greater emphasized for brand safety reasons, and being that native advertising is a form of contextual advertising, it is a format that will be increasingly used for digital ad spend. GDPR, some of the most restrictive measures ever seen in our digital media landscape, will benefit businesses using ‘true’ native advertising as a result of the format’s transparency and flexibility in working seamlessly with these regulations. Companies using native ads will continue to provide real value to consumers through meaningful interaction. 

3. Short-Form Video 

Video advertising sales have risen alongside digital ad spend, across mobile, social, and web channels. Native is showing off its versatility with the inclusion of video, and we can expect in-stream video ads to take an even bigger back seat to native out-stream in 2019. In fact, native video, which currently accounts for 56% of video ad spend, is expected to double in the next year. Traditional in-stream video will continue to lose ground as users express their frustration to sit through these intrusive types of ads just to get to their desired content. It’s a big reason as to why users have installed ad-blockers, screaming for a positive user experience where shorter is better. And that’s exactly why true native video holds all the cards, delivering a format where short-form stories earn attention in a world full of distraction and endless noise! 

4. Programmatic Dominance

Mobile advertising has driven the most ad spending growth worldwide over recent years, so we know where Internet ad buying is headed. By 2019, mobile ad spend will reach $156 billion and will account for 62.5% of Internet expenditure, according to Publicis Groupe Zenith. With that said, programmatic will continue to be a big trend in the mobile advertising industry, as mobile ads currently make up 53% of global programmatic spend, according to Magna Global. Meanwhile, 67% of all display ads will be programmatic by 2019, reaching an estimated $84.9 billion, according to Zenith. Global programmatic sales are growing 21% annually, and it’s vital for brands to rely on this platform to deliver relevant, effective, and measurable ads - at scale and at the right time. 2019 is the year for programmatic to take that next step in its evolution, where it will become the platform above all platforms. 

5. Personalization with DCO

Advertising is most effective when it is personalized and, therefore, more relevant to its audience. A form of programmatic creative, called dynamic creative optimization (DCO), will bring personalization to the forefront in 2019. DCO is a display ad technology that reinforces personalized ads based on data about the viewer in real-time when ads are being served. Couple with machine learning, it will help brands optimize their campaigns in 3 ways: prioritizing high performing audience segments, matching segments together for better reach, and picking the best creatives to deliver to each individual segment. As DCO becomes stronger, advertisers will produce unique creative variations that are catered to the right buyer at the right time to get the most impact for every impression. It is a dynamic - literally - programmatic technology that will push the gold standard in digital advertising through data optimization.

6. Refocused Efforts for Publisher Monetization

As native advertising becomes more profitable to business, big publishers will want a bigger share of the pie. Publishers who possess the proper resources will refocus their efforts by extending their in-house offer with native technology; thus, eliminating the reliance of third parties that eat into their revenue. As was the case for display and video, native won’t just be a trend, but a mainstay in advertising. Publishers will seek greater control in monetizing programmatic inventory, and develop private marketplaces to sell natively to the most important advertisers. These marketplaces will essentially create deeper relationships between the two parties, running and scaling native campaigns themselves. As a result, ad tech vendors will have to adapt or die, offering the native technology publishers need instead of only promising monetizing and content recommendation solutions. 

Create tailored content that engages readers so that you too are headed in the right direction in 2019. Contact us today to see how we can help you achieve a successful native advertising strategy!