In Feed Native Advertising: Best Practice for Publishers

In Feed native advertising is the best known native ad format. They are ads inserted into the newsfeeds and timelines (in feed social), product listings (in feed commerce) or content boards (in feed content) of prominent apps. Crucially, they fit the form and function, whilst benefitting from large audiences of app users.

But which platforms offer in feed mobile native adverts? And as a publisher, how can you develop your apps to maximise in feed opportunities? We examine the flag bearers running in feed adverts to highlight best practice.

 

Facebook In Feed Native Advertising

Facebook in feed adverts are the best known within the mobile advertising business. These native ads populate the Facebook feed and generate multi billion dollar revenues. Being versatile and effective, they are suitable for a variety of purposes ranging from acquisition to retargeting.

The key to Facebook’s success with these adverts is the quality of the targeting. Advertisers are able to leverage the enormous amount of data provided by Facebook’s billion strong user base, allowing them to target users precisely by demographic information, geographical data, interests, device type and more.

Combined with the myriad of formats available to developers, including single images, carousels of images and autoplay video, Facebook’s in feed adverts are currently best-in-class and essential to advertisers looking for in feed solutions.

Top Tip: The more data you collect, the better the targeting options you can provide for advertisers. With greater targeting potential, advertisers are able to benefit from increased segmentation, and accordingly, this space can be sold for a higher premium.

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Instagram In Feed Native Advertising

The arrival of adverts on Instagram have come as an offshoot of Facebook’s efforts. Opening up in the middle of last year to selected advertisers, and rolled out globally to advertisers in Fall 2015, the platform benefits greatly from the close connection to its parent company.

Boasting the same targeting options as Facebook and similar formatting options, anyone using Instagram’s tools will feel at home if they’ve run just a handful of Facebook ad campaigns.

The differences between the platforms come in audience and creative. Instagram’s audience is smaller, at over 400m users. The high standard of image posts on the site and the creative ingenuity of its users mean that advertisers have to raise their game to ensure their adverts are perceived well. Despite the lower number of users, it’s a promising platform and certainly worth investigating.

Top Tip: Consider users when designing the type of advertising inventory in your app. In the case of Instagram, users expect strong graphical content, so the rule should be to match the UI of the ad space to user expectations.

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Twitter In Feed Native Advertising

Twitter offers a different proposition compared to Facebook and Instagram. Though the card based creative approach seen in the Twitter feed is similar to that of its rivals, the nature of the platform means that advertising copy and behaviour need to adapt accordingly.

The obvious requirement for creative adaptation is the 140 character limit, which essentially drops to 117 characters limit when a link is added. Copy should to be punchy, to the point and contain relevant hashtags to maximise the potential social reach of the native ads.

It’s also important to adapt to the real time nature of the platform. Twitter usage is all about the here and now; it’s about users engaging with it at a certain moment within a certain context. Therefore, you need to market for the moment – rather than the product alone. Plus, with Twitter ads now including images and video, you can also utilise these elements in your in feed advertising.

Top Tip: Consider the timing of when users will interact with the advertising inventory in your app. If the interaction is short, the sizing of your ad space should reflect this.

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Pinterest In Feed Native Advertising

The smallest of the platforms in this list, with 100m monthly users, Pinterest’s platform also boasts one thing that none of the other in feed platforms have: Apple approval.

Promoted pins, an offshoot of the platform’s Rich Pins options, allow advertisers to create adverts featuring supplementary information (such as an app store link or a map) and promote them to a wider audience.

One big positive for mobile marketers is the low cost potential of Pinterest. Companies with large Pinterest followings can simply use Rich Pins for free and reach out to consumers without paying. And considering the “App Pin” programme on the site only came into existence after Apple partnership in 2015, Pinterest is one of the few platforms to boast the Cupertino seal of approval.

The biggest problem when it comes to Pinterest advertising is its pricing plans. Only offering CPC or CPM advertising, it lacks the precision and security offered by its CPI toting rivals. Furthermore, its targeting options feel limited, creating the necessity for a fit between your product or app and the platform’s majority female audience.

Top Tip: Consider integration with other platforms when designing your ad space. Pinterest’s integration with supplementary platforms, like maps, can improve the advertising experience and ultimately the UX of your app.

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