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Dwell time on mobile native ads twice as long as on desktop: report

Consumers who interact with native ads like facts and figures, but they do not necessarily want the hard sell, according to a report from Adyoulike UK on what makes a successful in-feed native advertising campaign.

Moreover, brands can do more to take advantage of native advertising through unique video content, given that last year, 90 percent of native video advertising was simply reusing TV ads. The findings, based on an analysis of one billion native ads served by in-feed native ad platform Adyoulike last year, suggest the onus is on publishers is to make sure native ads satisfy consumers who are on the site to be informed.

?Getting people to click on something that appears to be an ad is a very tall order when surrounded by compelling, interesting articles and stories with facts and figures,? said Ken Wisnefski, founder and CEO of WebiMax.

Doubling engagement
Publishers are the major creators of native advertising, according to the report. Forty-seven percent of native content was created in-house by publishers, with 40 percent made by advertisers and agencies and 13 percent by co-creation, a mixture of the two.
 
Ad lets consumers build vehicle configuration and get quotes.

Headlines containing numbers are twice as likely to be engaged with as those without, while headlines that do not overtly mention brand names are also twice as likely to receive interactions as those that do, according to the report. 

In addition, adding shading and a brand logo to a native ad ? something that the Interactive Advertising Bureau?s new native guidelines suggest could be good practice ? makes no difference at all to engagement and click-through rates.
 
Showing that advertisers need to be creative and descriptive with titles, 36 percent of ads with a headline measuring 70 to 90 characters were pursued by consumers, compared to only 13 percent of those with one to 20 characters and 19 percent of those with 20 to 40.  

And suggesting that users prefer to read ads they do not have to scroll down to view, in-feed native ads above midscreen on publisher Web sites saw a click-through rate that was 56 percent better than those below midscreen.
 
Average user dwell time on native content in 2014 was 1 minute 8 seconds on desktop and an even more impressive 2 minutes, 20 seconds on mobile. 

Sixty-two percent of publishers are running native campaigns on mobile to take advantage of the longer user time on mobile. 

Although native ads generally are thought of as in-stream social ad content or sponsored content in media publications, the ads? emergence for any mobile application or Web site has made native a far-reaching and effective tool for advertisers.

The use of mobile native is growing as it provides a more seamless experience than banner ads, which can be disruptive for users. While it is still early days for native advertising, early learnings suggest that users find native ads more appealing and less intrusive. 

Native ads in apps and on mobile sites typically see two to five times greater engagement than traditional banner ads, presenting a huge opportunity for mobile advertisers. Agencies, however, have not yet migrated to native on mobile as they have with desktop. 

Advertisers that are able to create attractive, compelling native ad units to fit the form, function and purpose of their mobile strategy open the door to improved user experience and greater revenue potential.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau has identified the six core types of ad units most often deployed for native advertising as in-feed units, paid search units, recommendations widgets, promoted listings, in-ad with native element units and "custom." 

Valuable content
?We are living in a world where data is becoming an increasingly more valuable part of our everyday lives,? Mr. Wisnefski said. ?There is so much content coming at us all the time over the Web, but people have a preference to see things that are to some degree quantifiable. 

Factual native ads satisfy consumers, research shows.

?Brands are providing more valuable content than ever,? he said. ?However the assumption should be that people are on a publisher?s site to read and be informed by that publisher?s content. Any mention of a brand name in a headline will come off as more promotional,? he said.  

?According to this study, it?s clear that while more people may click on a headline that doesn?t overtly appear to come from a brand outside the publisher?s, the fact that people are spending an average of over 2 minutes on that branded content makes a compelling case that people do not mind that the content is sponsored,? he said.

Final Take
Michael Barris is staff reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York