3 min

Capture Mobile Attention with Programmatic Native Advertising

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We've got a new term for you today! And wow, is it an important one. Programmatic native advertising has the potential to revolutionize how online ads are disseminated within the next couple years. To cover this phenomenon, we're going to dive into the world of ad buying with this quick FAQ.

Okay, What Is Programmatic Native Advertising?

Basically, it's a combination of two different concepts – programmatic ad buying and native advertising. Obviously, this needs some more explanation! Programmatic ad buying is a whole lot like buying inventory in bulk: You use an algorithmic method of purchasing  online advertising space in real time, with parameters that you choose and a very fast, automatic bidding system (if you've bought any online ad spaces in the past years, you're probably familiar with this method). Native advertising is the strategy of using "camouflaged" ads on popular websites – ad content that resembles regular content and even offers some of the same benefits as regular content...except it also promotes your brand.

Programmatic native advertising simply combines the two practices into one, and allows you to buy native ad space in programmatic ways.

How Does It Work, Exactly?

It's more complicated than traditional programmatic buying, which only had a few parameters (how much space, where, basic stuff like that). With native ads, you have to specify what platform, what headline, what thumbnail image, what brand name/logo, what meta description, and so on. A great example of this is the New York Times and their new Flex Frames, which are basically templates for native ads that can be easily used in programmatic purchasing. Flex Frames even allow the Times to switch up first party data based on how users are responding, which is increasing click-through rates by 6x compared to banner ads.

It's important to note that buying native advertising in this way is still pretty new, because there just wasn't a way to do it before. We have the relatively recent OpenRTB 2.3 protocol to thank for the current expansion of programmatic advertising, which allows for more customization and templates, essentially including native ads in potential programmatic purchases. It's taken a while for ad agencies to catch on, but we're seeing more and more programmatic options for native ads these days.

Why Is This Useful?

Well, first and primarily, it can save a lot of time for business marketing teams trying to push new marketing content online. In fact, all the programmatic benefits – including the cost savings – apply here as well. This helps native advertising move from "Well I think we're doing it right, but this is a lot of work" to "Here's our content, here are our bids, these are the spaces we've bought, here's the data those ads are collecting, let's break for lunch."

Why Is This Important Now?

As we mentioned, the protocols for programmatic native advertising have only recently caught up. However, there are other reasons this option is becoming more popular. Google, for example, is now offering the capability through DoublecClick, and where Google goes everyone follows. Also, the latest programmatic push works really well with newer mobile platforms, allowing companies to hit multiple birds with a single stone. Finally, native ads are gaining increased respect.

What Should I Watch For?

Look for updates from the agencies or publishers that you favor regarding native ads and the templates or buying options that they support. And, as always, remember that native ads aren't just about finding the right spot, but also about creating engaging and informative content.

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Isaac Oswalt

Owner of 21 Handshake, a strategic marketing company, driven to grow relationship-driven businesses. Futurist in nature, Isaac displays a deep desire to preserve the human element in today's business. Trust being the ultimate currency, his clients appreciate that "new and stronger handshakes" is a success metric in their businesses.

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