Maximizing ad revenue without disrupting user experience

As digital media publishers scale content and revenue, they often face the challenge of maximizing ad revenue while minimizing disruption of the user experience.

In the early days of inventory, publishers could get by with offering display advertising and little more. But with recent challenges such as ad blocking and “banner blindness” (i.e., where users don’t see ads because they tune them out), breaking through to the consumer has become a legitimate concern.

As our industry seeks a balance between advertising and user experience, one successful option for both publishers and advertisers has been native advertising.

Let’s start with the basics:

What is native advertising? It is a form of paid media where the advertising message follows the form and function of the user experience in which it’s placed, such as a sponsored article, or a post in a news feed. It’s a creative way to satisfy the publisher’s challenge to maximize ad revenue and minimize disruption, while communicating the advertiser’s message in a clear and innovative way.

Native advertising can offer three chief benefits for publishers:

Advertisers are adopting and spending more on native advertising. eMarketer reports that native digital display ad buys will make up more than half of all digital display ad spending in the US this year. As a result, in the 1st half of 2016, publishers were seeing a 227% lift in eCPM on native ads compared to display banner ads.

The less invasive nature of native ads can reduce the likelihood of “banner blindness” and ad fatigue. Based on Yahoo’s internal research, native ads generate up to 3x more attention than display ads. Users are more engaged, and hence more likely to return to publisher properties.

Advertisers are seeing strong performance on native advertising. For example, one advertiser campaign saw stronger click-through rates and lower CPMs than the industry standard. The better native ads perform, the more advertisers will spend and the more publishers can yield.

As the digital media industry continues to evolve at a rapid pace, native advertising is a smart and effective way for publishers to adapt to new advertising trends and grow revenue, while maintaining an engaging and unobtrusive experience for visitors.

If you’re interested in learning more about native advertising, please contact Yahoo for Publishers for more information and publisher best practices.