For the seventh installment of our Native Insights interview series, we spoke to StackAdapt about all things native.
Can you introduce StackAdapt and what you do?
StackAdapt is the world’s largest demand-side native advertising platform. What we do is help brands reach hyper-relevant audiences and drive more meaningful interactions with their branded content.
Can you explain how your platform works?
As a programmatic native platform, we serve native ad units on an impression-by-impression basis, leveraging real-time data and decision-making to ensure that the most relevant ad is placed on each site, thereby creating a unique user-experience.
As a step-by-step process, advertisers begin by inputting the criteria for their native ad into our platform—typically this includes budget, target audience and bidding strategy.
Once a campaign is launched, the in-feed native ad is served across over 45,000 publishers worldwide to attract the interest of target audiences and drive them to content. When an ad is “triggered” (this could impression, click, or page view), our platform identifies the audience attributes of the engaged user and automatically optimize the campaign to deliver more.
Through our platform, advertisers get access to insights, real-time analytics, data visualizations, and reporting to manage their native ad campaigns and drive greater reach and user engagement.
How much of your work is on mobile?
Approximately 60 percent of our inventory is on mobile and 40 percent on desktop—although this varies by publisher.
What do you see as being the design-led positives of native ads?
Unlike traditional display ads, native ads are cohesive with page content and design, and consistent with user experience. As a result, they receive high levels of reader engagement.
Moreover, because metadata is sent with a bid response in native advertising, native ads have greater flexibility in terms of ad design, positioning and style.
What can brands gain from using StackAdapt?
By using StackAdapt for paid content distribution, brands can find, reach and engage their target audiences at scale, all from a single platform.
What do you see as the upcoming challenges in native advertising?
One of the bigger challenges in native advertising will be moving brands away from old metrics, such as clicks and impressions, in favor of new metrics like engagement. However, we’re confident that this will occur soon.
In native advertising, the success of any given campaign ultimately boils down to the cost of getting targeted users to engage with branded content. By understanding post-click user engagement, marketers can make data-driven decisions about the optimization of bids.
If advertisers focus their optimization efforts towards what happens after the click, measuring the real return on investment of their branded content initiatives becomes a lot easier.
Post-click analytics will finally provide an answer to a critical question when it comes to the effectiveness of native advertising: are brands paying for users that are actually engaging with the content they’re presenting to them, or are they just glimpsing at it?
What benefits do you get from your integration with PubNative?
Through our integration with PubNative, our customers benefit from greater access to mobile publisher inventory. And because of this, they can achieve greater scale, targeting and workflow efficiencies in their native ad campaigns.
What do you think is the biggest barrier to more people using native advertising?
For brands, the biggest challenge is in generating scale. However, it’s important to remember that native advertising is still a growing marketplace. And because it has such huge potential for publishers (because it creates real value for consumers and advertisers), it’s only a matter of time before distribution scales even further.
What kind of growth are you seeing in your inventory of video ads?
Growth has been positive! Since we first launched video in March, we’ve achieved greater scale by integrating with more SSPs and ad exchanges.
Benjamin Chacon is a content strategist who works in StackAdapt’s Toronto office. He writes about native advertising, digital marketing and ad technology.