Each quarter we provide a high-level overview of the Native Advertising ecosystem so that marketers can have a deeper understanding of their content distribution strategies. This quarter, in addition to trends in Standard Native, we are taking a look creative best practices across devices, ad formats, multiple verticals and KPIs.

One of the biggest benefits of Native Advertising is the opportunity for brands to engage their audiences with high-quality creative and content. Native ads are not offer-driven or intrusive like banner ads, but value-driven content provided for consumers in organic, immersive environments. But for this to be effective, brands need to understand how to best create and deliver smart, engaging content to consumers.

Bidtellect’s in-house creative services team, [b]+studio, has a deep knowledge and expertise in developing high-performing creatives across devices, ad formats, campaign objectives and verticals. Based on experience and performance, we created multiple best practices to follow, for example: Educate, entertain and bring value, Use Compelling Headlines that are Value driven vs. Offer Driven, Facilitate concern, doubt or worry, Offer to educate or solve problems, Ask questions, Choose authentic, emotional images, Use bright colorful images etc.

For the Q3 2017 Native Intelligence report, we took a deep dive into the best practices for creating and executing premium creative that drives results for brands. [b]+studio analyzed over 100 campaign creatives in Q3 2017 across the fashion, travel and tech industries to reveal important creative best practices and insights.

 

For Successful Fashion Creative, Ask Questions and Be Educational:

 

  1. Creatives that ask questions drove high Engagement Score results on all devices
  2. Headlines that ask questions had very high performance.  For example:
  3. Using questions creates intrigue. They immediately draw the reader in, driving engagement.
  4. Headlines that are compelling, educational and value-driven also performed very well across all units.
  5. Campaigns performed best when the product is showcased.
  6. Use bright colorful images to attract consumers.
  7. In-feed and In-ad on mobile drove high Engagement Scores for both clothing and shoe campaigns

Across the Bidtellect platform, we found that within the fashion category CTR is typically higher on mobile than desktop, but Engagement Score is higher on desktop than mobile. In terms of specific Native ad types, Engagement score for fashion brands’ content is highest on In-Feed formats but CTR is highest on Recommendation Widgets.

 

Travel Content Performs With Call to Actions and Bright Images:

 

  1. Call to action performs best for the Travel vertical both in headline or description. For example:

  2. The most popular ad format was In-Feed.
  3. Using the call to action creative best practice drove the highest CTR.
  4. The Listicle, Call to action and “How to” best practices delivered the best performance for Engagement Score
  5. Using bright colorful images and having people in relevant settings performed best

Taking a closer look at the travel category we found similar trends by device. CTR is typically higher on mobile than desktop, but Engagement Score is higher on desktop than mobile. In terms of specific Native ad types, travel brands’ content Engagement score is highest on In-Feed formats but CTR is highest on Recommendation Widgets.

 

With Tech Content, Consumers Will React by Facilitating Worry or Doubt:

 

  1. Headline and Descriptions that facilitate worry or doubt had an average Engagement Score of 7.5 and a CTR average of .52%.
  2. Asking questions and offering to educate and inform performed best in this vertical. For example:
  3. Desktop In-feed drove the most conversions.
  4. Tablets drove the highest CTR with an average of .51%.
  5. Creatives that display products in the creative had an average Engagement Score of 8.3 and a CTR of .14%

More specifically for the tech category, we found that CTR is significantly on mobile than desktop. Similarly, Engagement Score is significantly higher on desktop than mobile. In terms of Native ad types, travel brands’ content Engagement score is highest on In-Feed formats but CTR is highest on In-Ad.

Key Native Trends from Q3 2017

Mobile CTR was higher than desktop by nearly 30%.

Conversions were the primary campaign objective this quarter. Engagement continues to be an important indicator of success for marketers in their Native campaigns and Video (including cost per completed view and play rate) is on the rise.

Goal Type Utilization Q1 2017: CTR: 36% Engagement: 17% Conversions: 42% Video 5%

In Q3 2017 Shopping related content was the most engaging. The third quarter includes back to school, shopping for new fall styles, fall season sales and the holidays on the horizon. The second most engaging type of content was travel.

See below for previous quarterly reports:

Q2 2017
Q1 2017
Q4 2016
Q3 2016