Native advertising is using paid ads that look, feel and function as effectively as best mobile ad sizes on the website. You will most likely find native ads on social media or the web as recommended content that you might enjoy. What separates them from display and banner ad formats is that native advertising does not look like advertising at all. It appears as something that your friends shared on social media or something that is part of the editorial flow on a website. The most important thing is that they are not disruptive and show advertising to the viewers in a discrete way. Since native advertising offers so many benefits, advertisers all around the world are trying to adopt it in their campaigns, and it is becoming one of the most popular advertising methods of 2020. Let’s take a look at digital native advertising trends that will define how we perceive the new types of ad content.

Native advertising: the driving force behind the growth

Since native advertising is at the core of pretty much every marketing and advertising strategy, it can be easily adapted to any omnichannel strategy where it will perform very well. Native ads have been gaining more and more steam recently, so you can expect a lot from native advertising this year. Let’s take a look at what 2020 has in store for native advertising.

According to Statista, native advertising spend in 2020 is expected to reach $52.7 billion (which is 64.8% of all US digital display ad spend, as stated by Emarketer). Furthermore, data from the Native Advertising Institute, shows that revenue generation from native advertising is expected to increase by 46% by 2021.

Native advertising trends

More programmatic and mobile

Both advertisers and publishers will use a greater variety of ad types and platforms when using native ad formats. This especially concerns native that goes well beyond social media because editors everywhere have welcomed native programmatic buying thanks to a powerful combination of great content, extended reach, outstanding efficiency, and brand safety. Emarketer reports that 87.7% of US native advertising will be purchased programmatically. Furthermore, mobile formats will also see an increase from 85.2% in 2018 to 88.8% in 2020. So, the general process of native ad buying won’t see significant changes in the near future - only slightly more focus on programmatic and mobile. It's worth to point out, the video ad formats will be rising even faster - the revenue by the end of 2020 will grow to 21.9% (CAGR) compared to last year (according to the BI predictions).

More context and brand safety

One of the native advertising industry trends for 2020 will be a shift to brand safety and contextual targeting. Some of the most significant factors that are this process are GDPR and CCPA, the latter coming in full effect from January 1, 2020. Since native advertising is a type of contextual advertising which ensures complying with these regulations, it will continue to grow in popularity. The native ads that can be found on some premium sites offer an increased level of engagement and are viewed as more trustworthy than those found on social media. Therefore, as far as brand safety is concerned, native ads help you to create meaningful relationships and give your audience more value.

Deep personalization

The term “effective advertising” implies deep personalization. Since personalization is a major priority and one of the keys to success, it will play a big part in the development of strategies thanks to dynamic creative optimization, or DCO, which is a programmatic creative spinoff. DCO allows you to enhance ad personalization with real-time user data, so no wonder it is becoming one of the native advertising trends in 2020. Along with machine learning, DCO enables better campaign optimization since the best performing audience segments will be ranked, matched for better reach and the top creatives will be selected for specific segments. To put it simply, it allows each relevant buyer to see a unique ad creative.

Targeting and retargeting

One of the main factors of success for native advertising is effective targeting and retargeting strategy. In 2020, a lot of attention will be directed towards improving the targeting solutions for native ads. But apart from this, retargeting is getting even more recognition in 2020, as people already interested in your product or service are much more likely to return. The numbers confirm it - retargeting ads get 76% more clicks than regular ads and this fact just can’t be ignored anymore.

Authentic storytelling will be the key

Even though we will see changes in the formats, metrics, and channels, engaging content will remain steadfast. As restrictions and regulations change, the digital content area will become more crowded and cluttered, thus making it very difficult to navigate. Authentic and engaging storytelling will serve as a “True North” for brands to follow with their native creative ad units.

Native advertising predictions for 2020

Since the power of native advertising is becoming more and more recognized, many experts predict that this is the year when advertisers finally jump on the native bandwagon. Also, many experts believe that 2020 will be a year of strategic partnerships between brands and publishers. It will provide a better route to collaboration on advertising campaigns and force creative studios to attract external experts to bring more value to their clients.

New advertising channels will start to emerge. Although the investment in original content will continue to grow, the problem of getting the right message in front of the right audience will still exist. Facebook and Instagram will keep their positions as native advertising leaders. Still, programmatic will turn into the best native advertising alternatives for serving these ads since it decreases acquisition costs and lets the brands advertise beyond social mediums. SmartyAds has an effective programmatic advertising solution that lets both advertisers and publishers get the most out of native advertising in 2020.​

Contact us today to find out how we can help you with yield optimization and your performance marketing.   

Written by
Iryna Sieliutina, Head of Content Strategy of SmartyAds
April 2019