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Mobile best practices for native ads

November 11, 2015 | By Rande Price, Research Director—DCN @Randeloo

Native advertising, across any platform, is a form of paid media where the ad experience follows the natural form of a publisher’s environment. The ad must be native in creative and in context in which it is placed. When native advertising is done right, the ad fits organically with its surroundings and receives more focus and attention. The MMA Mobile Native Advertising Committee members, EA, Foursquare, Google/Waze, InMobi, Pinterest, PubNative, Sharethrough and Yahoo, provided best practices for native ads on mobile to fit in with a publisher’s environment.

Best Practices for Publishers include:

  1. Relevance: The advertising content should fit organically with content and its context.
  2. Disclosure: The content must be labeled as an advertisement. This is an opportunity to gain consumer trust and not misrepresent itself.
  3. Placement: The ad placement should be easily viewable but not the center or focus of the page.
  4. Persistence: Native ads must include proper user navigation like the ability to scroll up and down the page of content.

Best Practices for Advertisers include:

  1. Relevance: The advertiser must focus on the creative, shaping the messaging for contextual fit and audience targeting.
  2. Interest: It’s important to optimize headlines and images, especially thumbnails, to attract core users. The MMA recommends using at least 17% of “context” words in your headline by describing: Time (i.e. after, fast, long, prior), Insight (i.e. secrets, discover, relate, think), Motion (i.e. appear, replace, arrive, enter) and Space (i.e. upon, above, beyond, biggest).
  3. Agility: Viral trends can be a great way to leverage interest in your advertisement especially since social media news feeds are often popular items users like to share with friends and family.
  4. Measurement: Native advertising can be measured for effectiveness so it’s important for advertisers to track. Behavioral tracking is applicable and similar to measuring direct response results with metrics like CTR (click-through-rate), CVR (conversion-rate), View Attitudinal tracking, inferred metrics, such as such as brand awareness, brand attributes and purchase intent are also used to measure effectiveness of native advertising.

Publishers and advertisers can enhance the mobile native ad experience by creating a positive user encounter that connects the advertisement with its audience.

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