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Native advertising is becoming even more significant in 2022 and far more complex. Save for a few pioneering advertisers and publishers until now, the native ad space has mainly been unstructured and murky. The rise of header biddings and other programmatic technologies brought much-needed order to the world of native advertising, and we’ve seen that reflected in its substantial growth over the past year or so. But with industry heavyweights such as Google, Amazon, and Apple getting involved in native ads, it’s time to look ahead at five predictions for how things will play out by 2022:
The regular publishing workflow is long gone when publishers send their paid search ads. Publishers understand that they need to optimize these ad units independently, just like organic search results. Native ads are also becoming less of a black box – with open standards such as Twitter Cards and Facebook’s Audience Network; advertisers are getting access to more structured data on how well their content is performing. It will likely spur changes in the way publishers approach advertising inventory management – more automation is inevitable, but many of the most valuable native ads today still require manual optimizations.
The rise of popularity of tools allows advertisers to build dynamic content for social media channels using data-driven insights about their target audiences. Marketers can write one post and schedule it across various social media properties with the push of a button and then use an analytics dashboard to measure its performance. Within just a few years, paid social media posts will be indistinguishable from organic ones. The line between native ads and content marketing is getting blurrier by the day – even if people are still willing to pay more for high-quality branded content than for something that looks like an ad.
Even though programmatic technology has transformed almost every industry under the sun over the last couple of years, it’s only beginning to take hold in digital advertising (especially mobile advertising). Publishers were initially reluctant to embrace automation around their most valuable inventory, but it’s finally starting to happen. With the advent of next-generation header bidding solutions, mobile native ads will likely follow a similar path – automation will lead to better targeting and more effective monetization.
While native advertising’s popularity skyrocketed on mobile devices in 2016, it still has a long way to go. There are still many native ad formats that haven’t been tried out on smartphones or tablets yet, and all signs point to continued growth for this industry. More publishers are adopting responsive site designs, which makes their content more accessible to consumers across different devices – by 2022 at the latest, the vast majority of websites will be serving up mostly paid-for branded content instead of organic search results. As this happens, native advertising will take on an even more prominent role in the mobile ecosystem.
Brands are already getting much better at storytelling – they can leverage all the tools that digital marketing offers to connect with audiences in a significant way. When done well, these stories build client loyalty and convert leads into paying customers. At the same time, consumers are savvier about what’s real and what’s not – but instead of rejecting it outright, they’re willing to pay more for high-quality branded content than for anything else. By 2022, we’re likely going to see quite a shift towards “reimagined journalism” – immersive long-form web content that’s more persuasive and immersive than anything we’ve seen before.
Whether you’re a digital marketer, publisher, advertiser, or end-user, it’s clear that native advertising will continue to evolve in an increasingly complex marketplace. The best thing to keep new developments – this list of 5 trends will help get you started.
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