How readers feel about native ads in 4 charts
Publishers may be having a love affair with sponsored content, but what about their readers? Three recent studies provide new insights into how readers perceive the native ads that publishers are so enamored of. Turns out, it’s a bit of a mixed bag.
Here are four charts that describe reader sentiment about sponsored content.
Native-ad effectiveness depends on focus of the site
The IAB and Edelman Berland’s July 2014 report on sponsored content shows engagement is higher on business- and entertainment-oriented sites than on general news sites.
The survey of 5000 U.S. Web users found that only 27 percent of general news readers agree that sponsored content adds value to their experience of a site, versus the average of 38 percent for overall respondents across categories.
General news readers consistently saw sponsored content as less favorable and less likely to result in positive brand uplift for the brand or publisher, as this chart shows.
Reputations count on both sides
Native-ad effectiveness depends on the reputation of both the brand and publisher. The IAB’s report shows news publishers see more engagement when they work with familiar and trusted brands. The corollary to this, however, is that native advertising is less effective for generating new brand awareness.
The chart below breaks down which factors are most relevant to readers of different types of content when it comes to native advertising — whether the brand is conveying important information, whether the brand is an authority or whether the brand is simply trustworthy. Turns out, content is still king.
Local attitudes matter
Brits prefer longer headlines than Americans. According to Polar’s U.K. native advertising benchmarks, 60-80-character headlines achieve the best click-through rate, whereas U.S. readers prefer 40-60-character headlines. Another surprising statistic from the same report: Readers outside of London are twice as likely to engage with a native ad versus those in London.
“Engaged time” improves on smartphones and tablets
Native advertising performs better on smartphone and tablet devices compared to the same content on desktop. This is especially true for U.K. users, according to Polar’s benchmarks. A native ad on a smartphone has 64 percent higher click-through rate over desktop (compared to 31 percent globally), according to Polar. U.K. readers spend 3 minutes and 37 seconds on average engaging (measured as time spent) with a native ad on tablet, which is 30 percent higher than the global average. Specifically, U.K. readers have 39 percent higher engagement on tablet over desktop, and 45 percent higher engagement on smartphone over desktop.
Eggheads are less likely to click
A survey of 542 Web users conducted by Contently brought up a few interesting insights on how sponsored content is perceived by readers, broken down by education level. The research suggests better-educated readers are harder to get clicks out of — and gain the trust of — as the following charts demonstrate.
‘Qualify the context’: Publishers see success with podcasts created to deepen coronavirus crisis coverage
Publishers expanded COVID-19 coverage with products like podcasts as audiences flocked to pandemic-related content.
‘We need to see ourselves as a media business’: AC Milan’s endgame for content
Italian football club AC Milan has joined the likes of Chelsea, Real Madrid, Barcelona F.C and Bayern Munich in owning its production arm.
Member ExclusiveMedia Briefing: ‘I literally didn’t sleep last night’: Publishers share their concerns about the future of data
Publishing execs today face big questions about how to value their audiences and who holds the keys to that value.
SponsoredShoppable content is reshaping brand and publisher relationships
In recent years, brands and publishers have adopted affiliate marketing as an increasingly established method to audiences. However, what may seem to be a mutually beneficial arrangement between brands and affiliates on closer scrutiny reveals itself as a solution that comes with challenges. Meanwhile, the emergence of content commerce is opening different approaches to matching […]
California’s privacy law has had ‘no impact’ on ad revenues or inventory, but indirect effects could hurt
Publishers, ad tech firms and ad agencies say they felt a bigger hit from opt-ins in Europe than from opt-outs in California.
‘Isolated and voiceless’: Burnt out young workers are turning to tech for mental health support
Gen Z workers think robots are more helpful than humans for mental health support — a factor that hints at deeper work-culture issues.