There is no more overused word than “premium” when it comes to online advertising. It’s universally desirable, even though its exact definition continues to change with the evolution of the web.
This week OMMA dug into the definition of premium as it relates to display advertising in a recent article called “What is Premium Now?” In a fitting kickoff for the native advertising round-up, OMMA’s Laurie Sullivan noted confidently in the piece “Native targeted display ads provide the best results.” We agree.
Laurie’s article obviously opens the door for future conversations about what is ‘premium’ among the native ad market, but we’ll stop short of getting into that just yet. For now, we are working with the broad world of native ad platforms to flesh out the native ad framework and further define open versus closed native ads. Lets figure out just exactly who the players are before we decide on the all stars.
As some of the articles below highlight, the race to premium native is very much on. From Twitter’s enhanced targeting capabilities to Foursquare’s massive redesign, major social platforms are investing heavily in improving their user experience and enhancing their native ad offerings.
The native ad space is moving fast, so read up below to get caught up on the week in native ad news:
OMMA – What is Premium Now – This article tries to tackle everything in one swoop. It discusses where the display ad market current stands, where it seems to be going, and how that ties in with the growing mobile and native strategies. The general goal of the article is to figure out what constitutes a “premium” display advertisement. Given the incredible statistic that the display ad market in the United States will reach $15.4 billion this year, up from $12.4 billion in 2011, it is no surprise that there is still substantial focus on display as a viable advertising option. However, with Microsoft recently writing off billions of dollars in losses stemming from display advertisements, it may be a strategy worth discussing. For those (like us) who are proponents of native, the author points out is that many of these display ads are rolling in native elements. Unfortunately, only partially interrupting users is not the answer. While I applaud the reporter for trying to come up with an interesting hybrid model that ties in mobile, native and display, the growing social landscape is showing that true native content is the most effective model.
Twitter Advertising Blog – New targeting adds greater relevance to your Promoted Tweets – Rumored for the past two weeks, Twitter is now rolling out targeted Promoted Tweets. Similar to what Facebook is trying to do with their Sponsored Stories, Twitter is trying to figure out a way to use their massive collection of data to push out information to specific DMAs or demographics without blasting the entire Twitisphere. For Twitter, they are itching to figure out ways to raise their ad numbers. According to a study released by TBG Digital, Facebook’s mobile ad click-through rate is 1.1%, while Twitter’s sits at .266%.
Venture Beat – Foursquare paves way for ad products with release of Local Updates – Foursquare needed to figure out a way to make some money, so it is no surprise that they went back to the drawing board and completely redesigned their entire user interface and experience. For those of you who use Foursquare, you probably notice that the redesign is both visually appealing and more interactive. By allowing users to interact with each other, it creates an experience that feels similar to Facebook or Twitter. Not only can users interact with each other now, but businesses can now weave themselves into the stream of discussion. Their ad unit, Local Updates, will be contextual. Users will only receive updates on those businesses that they have shown interest in based on past check-ins. While Foursquare advertising may appeal mostly to local businesses, large brands need to consider creative ways to reach Foursquare’s nearly 20 million users.
FMP Signal (Blog) – The Rise of Native Advertising – Federated Media’s recent Conversational Marketing Summit featured this presentation by Stumble Upon’s Jack Krawczyk. One interesting topic he touches on is the cycle of content discovery and how native fits in that model. The general thinking breaks down like this: Discover –> Share –> Amplify (Repeat). Think about it, our main goal of using content aggregators, social sites, and other online mediums is to discover content. If we find awesome content (hopefully branded content), we share it. Following those shares, native ad units work to amplify and reinforce the importance of the content that is being shared. This process should not work in a Facebook or Twitter silo. Each of the social sites interacts with its users in different ways, so brands need to think about the complimentary process that buying across multiple platforms offers them.
Digiday – Brands Try out SocialCam – Despite a controversial $60M acquisition by Autodesk earlier this week, brands are beginning to check out what SocialCam has to offer. While SocialCam has not jumped into the “Promoted” and “Sponsored” monetization game with their fellow social sites, they are garnering significant organic interest from the likes of Brisk Iced Tea and The Washington Post. In fact, WaPo just formed a partnership with SocialCam to allow a select group of London Olympic reporter to use SocialCam as their online video recorder. This is a great first step for an app that has seen massive adoption in such a short amount of time.
Hope you enjoyed this installment. As always, make sure to check in again next week.