Chartbeat: Native Ads Aren’t Engaging Readers

Yahoo native adsNative ads are the “it format” of digital media right now. Perceived to be less visually disruptive and able to command premium pricing, publishers are widely embracing them. That list includes Yahoo, The New York Times and most recently, The Wall Street Journal.

Facebook and Twitter also have their versions, too (in-stream ads). Beyond this, native ads are also part of the larger “content marketing” trend.

An article (via Re/code) on Time.com from Chartbeat CEO Tony Haile, itself a kind of content marketing for Chartbeat, argues that native ads are far less engaging than publishers and advertisers may believe:

On a typical article two-thirds of people exhibit more than 15 seconds of engagement, on native ad content that plummets to around one-third. You see the same story when looking at page-scrolling behavior. On the native ad content we analyzed, only 24% of visitors scrolled down the page at all, compared with 71% for normal content. If they do stick around and scroll down the page, fewer than one-third of those people will read beyond the first one-third of the article.

What this suggests is that brands are paying for — and publishers are driving traffic to — content that does not capture the attention of its visitors or achieve the goals of its creators. Simply put, native advertising has an attention deficit disorder. 

Chartbeat’s Haile goes on to argue that, done right, native ads can be effective. He just says that there are few successful examples around today.

In fairness to native advertising people have historically made similar arguments against “traditional” online display advertising (e.g., “people don’t click on banners”). However research has shown that online display ads do build awareness, purchase intent and even drive offline sales — typically without driving clicks.

The issue, as Haile points out, is quality. In the case of native ads the “creative” is the content.

Often digital marketers choose focus on reach, audience targeting and analytics and neglect ad creative. Research from comScore has found, however, “that creative quality drives more than half of the sales changes for brands analyzed, four times higher than the impact of the specific media plan involved.”

Related Topics: Channel: Content Marketing | Statistics: Online Behavior | Statistics: Popularity & Usage | Statistics: Social Media | Top News

Sponsored


About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn



Marketing Day:

Get the top marketing stories daily!  

Share

Other ways to share:
 

Read before commenting! We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. You can read more about our comments policy here.
  • http://www.brand.com/blog James R. Halloran

    “On the native ad content we analyzed, only 24% of visitors scrolled down the page at all, compared with 71% for normal content.”

    I agree with your findings here. If only 24 percent of people are scrolling through the rest of a native ad, that’s a failure from the creative end. (But that’s only if the native ad is targeted to the right demographic to begin with obviously.)

  • http://ouriel.typepad.com OurielOhayon

    Unfortunately the analysis of chartbeat is biased because of the limited scope of what they consider “native ads”….Native ads are broader than just “paid /sponsored editorial content” they include any type of format that blends in the experience (Vs added on top of the experience ) eg: facebook mobile ads, eg google search ads eg twitter sponsored ads > therefore their title should be “Some publishers (which?) are seeing very limited efficiency with sponsored paid content” > THAT would be accurate…

  • Nishan Roy

    Show the love you have for your mother in your life. Shower her with the elegancy of flowers and superb gifts offered at affordable
    prices at the online shopping sites. Now you can send your presents whenever you want to Philippines at low cost on the Mother’s Day. Send Flowers to Philippines on this season. Visit us: http://www.rightflorist.com/Philippine_Florist/Gifts_Flowers_Philippine.asp

  • Nishan Roy

    Show the love you have for your mother in your life. Shower her with the elegancy of flowers and superb gifts offered at affordable
    prices at the online shopping sites. Now you can send your presents whenever you want to Philippines at low cost on the Mother’s Day. Send Flowers to Philippines on this season.

  • http://www.rightflorist.com/Thailand_Florist/Gifts_Flowers_Thailand.asp Niloy Roy

    Let your loved ones know that how much you love and care for her by sending Flowers to Thailand. Express your best sentiments of love to your near and dear ones with
    the beauty of Flowers and Gifts and make them feel cared and special. Online florist is always ready to help you at any hours of the day. Cheap Online Flowers Delivery in Thailand Same Day.
    Visit us: http://www.rightflorist.com/Thailand_Florist/Gifts_Flowers_Thailand.asp

Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Marketing Land on Twitter @marketingland Like Marketing Land on Facebook Follow Marketing Land on Google+ Subscribe to Our Feed! Join our LinkedIn Group Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest

 
 

Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States

Europe

Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech


Free Daily Marketing News!

Marketing Day is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!