Evidence For Mobile Native Advertising & What it Means For Your Campaign

Native advertising is becoming increasingly utilized on mobile, but one common criticism still remains: publishers and advertisers have a tough time measuring its success, but the evidence for mobile native advertising exists. Approximately 22% of brands, agencies, and publishers are not implementing native due to difficulty in knowing whether or not it’s working, and this is currently limiting the ad channel’s potential. But since studies show native as being generally more effective than traditional formats across the board, what’s really holding everyone back? As it turns out, measuring the effectiveness of mobile native advertising is probably much easier than you’ve been led to believe.

Defining Campaign Goals

As native budgets rise and publishers still remain confused about metrics, it’s important to outline the effectiveness of native according to individual campaign goals. No single metric has been labeled “key” for measuring native’s effectiveness; in fact, it all depends on what publishers and brands are looking to achieve with their ad campaigns.

Before you begin tracking and analyzing, make sure to determine your desired outcome and choose the associated metric to fit with your overall plan. Going for more brand lift? How about more engagement? As you’ll notice below, advertisements that fit seamlessly into user experiences are more effective across the board – regardless of your desired metric.

Evidence for Native Advertising Effectiveness

Once you have determined a clear purpose for your native advertising strategy, you can begin to look at the evidence that points to native being the best option for your cause. Below we’ve outlined some key findings for several of the most common marketing objectives. These studies provide hard evidence for mobile native advertising, with the conclusion being that native is more effective across multiple use cases when compared to traditional display ads.

effectiveness of mobile native advertising

Social engagement and click-through rates

70% of marketers measure success based on social sharing, so it’s comforting to know that mobile native ads outperform traditional banner ads for advertisers across all industries with engagement goals. In our recent study measuring engagement on mobile gaming and non-gaming apps, we found that the click-through rate for native increased to 3-4x that of banner ads. Sharethrough also highlighted native’s major impact on mobile specifically, confirming a 375% lift in engagement rate with native on mobile when compared to desktop. Not only does mobile native outperform display ads, but mobile native outperforms desktop native.

A note on click-through rates: Although CTR alone remains an important metric for marketers (for example, with optimizing headlines), it’s generally now being combined with engagement metrics to offer a more comprehensive view of success. “We try to get our advertisers not to look exclusively at CTR,” says Rich Antoniello, CEO of Complex Media. “It sets a very dangerous precedent wherein branded content reads like clickbait.”

Brand Lift

Mobile native advertising has some huge implications for brand lift. In a study of 1,000 in-market travel consumers, Yahoo found that native advertising brought a 114% lift in top of mind awareness when compared to a control group. Further still, when in-stream mobile native ads were combined with paid mobile search campaigns, brands saw a 279% lift.

Another example of effectiveness in this category comes from Waze, a driving maps app. The company found that in-app native advertisements produced 104% more brand recall among users than did traditional ads. They discovered this metric by conducting over 51 research studies around the globe asking users to identify the brands advertised on the app. Not surprisingly, users recalled brands advertised in native significantly more often.

Purchase intent and action

Mobile native ads have been found to produce an increase in purchase intent in addition to brand lift. Sponsored native content on Pinterest, for example, has been shown to drive daily in-store purchases from active pinners by 53%, as pinners pull up the content while they shop.

Waze also serves as an example in this category, as they keep users in the loop about local businesses – such as Dunkin’ Donuts and Exxon – through native ads that double as pinpointed locations on a map. This led to a 53% average increase in navigations to these businesses, as well as new engagement on social media thanking Waze for the convenience.

These are just a few cases highlighting the major impact native can have on various types of marketing campaigns. Next time you’re looking to implement native in your strategy and don’t know where to begin, remember to first be clear about your goals. Once you have those in place, you will know how to begin crafting a native-focused campaign and how to track progress once it’s up and running. Otherwise, you’ll lose your way in a sea of numbers.

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