4 Reasons Why Native Ads are the Best Way to Reach Mobile Customers

4 Reasons Why Native Ads are the Best Way to Reach Mobile Customers

July 22, 2014

With so much of digital time now taking place on mobile devices, smart advertisers are quickly shifting budgets from display and search to mobile ads. According to eMarketer, mobile ad spend is expected to increase 56% to $15 billion in 2014, compared to a measly 0.4% growth for display. However, advertisers are just as quickly realizing that the standard banner ads they have been using on display elicit a much weaker response on mobile. Why? It’s simple – we don’t interact with mobile phones the same way we do with our desktops.

This demand for an ad unit designed explicitly for the mobile experience has given rise to native ads – ads that mimic thethe form and function of the user experience in which they are placed. Two widely recognized examples of native ads are Facebook News Feed ads and Twitter Promoted Posts.

While native advertising has had its share of detractors, numbers don’t lie, and they all point to the bright and exciting future that lies within the quintessential pairing of mobile devices and in-stream advertising. If you haven’t been paying attention, mobile news feeds are the new home for great ads, and here are the top four reasons why:

1. Native Ads are Effective. Plain and simple.Native ads on mobile deliver exactly what every advertiser wants: maximum returns at a minimum cost. This pairing has been shown to outperform native ads on desktop, and banner ads on mobile. Let’s take a look at the data:

The graph below depicts the results of a Marin Software study that found Facebook News Feed (aka native) ads had a 187% higher click through rate and a 22% lower cost per click on mobile than on desktop. In other words, native ads, which have already been shown to be more effective than banner counterparts, are even more effective when used on the right platform.


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The effectiveness of native ads specifically on mobile is also apparent when they are compared to banner ad performance on mobile. Industry studies report that mobile native ads boast click-through rates of 1.37%, a significant lead over the average .35% click through rate for the traditional mobile banner ad.

In sum, native advertising on mobile devices is the optimal combination for ROAS.

2. Native Ads Provide a Better User Experience. Bar none, no one likes to be bombarded with pop-ups and banner ads that clutter the screen and interfere with the user’s experience, especially on the small, condensed window of a mobile device. Native ads are designed to seamlessly integrate into a user’s feed and be nearly indistinguishable from organic content, resulting in a less invasive experience that, instead of bothering the user with irrelevant messages, is intended to help the user “discover” new brands naturally.

And it works – studies have shown that 25% more consumers actually look at native ads than banner ads, and the number of people that said they would share an ad with their friends and family members is 168% higher with native ads than traditional banner ads. Luckily, the extinction of “banner-spam” is in sight, as the non-invasive nature of in-stream ads has proven to be a huge perk for advertisers and users alike.

3. Native Ads are Growing Fast.  We know that social advertising is growing, and lo and behold, native advertising is a major component of that growth. By 2017, BIA/Kelsey estimates that the social advertising spend will reach $10 billion. Of that, native advertising will have skyrocketed to reach 40% of that total outlay. The mobilespace is exploding, with 78% of Facebook users having gone mobile, and native ads are the perfect channel for advertisers to capitalize on that growth.

Take a look at the major players of the social advertising industry. In addition to Facebook and Twitter, platforms such as linkedIn, Pinterest, Buzzfeed, and Refinery29 are all investing in and developing native advertising, each of which have a huge presence on mobile. As mentioned earlier, numbers don’t lie, and the opportunity presented with in-stream ads on mobile devices is undeniable.

4. Native Ads Allow for More Accurate Targeting.  Aside from the actual content of an ad, the audience is another essential ingredient to master in order for any ad to be successful. When it comes to accurately targeting mobile users, native ads far outshine banner ads. Facebook, for one, claims 90% targeting accuracy, far surpassing the online advertising industry average of just 35%.

So why the discrepancy? Banner ads are limited to vague web tracking data that is misleading and often not even accurate. Native platforms, on the other hand, possess an enormous amount of first-party data that can be effectively used to ensure ads are seen by a  very specific audience. From gender, to relationship status or even interests, in-stream ads on native platforms maintain a targeting advantage that is tough to compete with.

The native ad format is the clear future of success on advertising on mobile. Check out our case studies to see how advertisers are driving ROAS and accomplishing their marketing goals with native on mobile today.