Smartphones and mobile devices are most people’s go-to and preferred method of accessing the web. Due to society’s shifting habits and leaps in tech development, “mobile first” has become one of the biggest emerging trends in online marketing.
According to research from Google and Nielsen, 77% of mobile searches happen at work or home. (Check out the results from this study, it’s actually quite interesting.) Despite being within close proximity to a computer, people are still opting to use their personal mobile devices due to the convenience factor. Our overall relationship with technology has become more intimate and permeates every layer of our lives, from keeping up with a diet plan to keeping tabs on baseball scores.
The “mobile first” shift has impacted the world of web design and app development. Designers and developers are finding it simpler to build sites and apps with mobile in the forefront of the mind. Online publishing and online marketing are also taking steps to join the “mobile first” world. Brands are uncovering many benefits in using mobile device and social media pushes to net actionable information about consumer behavior and purchasing trends.
As brands fully immerse themselves in “mobile first” marketing, one of the most important components is native advertising. Native ads fit perfectly into the “mobile first” landscape since they appear seamlessly within streams of editorial content, which allows people to see and interact with the native ads on their mobile devices. As mobile devices become even more critical in reaching consumers, native ads will become more prominent within brands’ overall mobile marketing strategies.
Why should brands put more focus into making native ads a major part of their mobile first marketing strategy? Here’s why:
Facebook Introduces In-App Mobile Ad Network
In April, Facebook launched a new in-app mobile ad network, which enables marketers to reach targeted audiences within other mobile apps based on the Facebook users’ stated interests and demographic information from Facebook. This is an expansion of Facebook’s niche targeting tools to be able to reach users of other mobile apps. Native ads (similar to Facebook newsfeed ads) is one of the ad formats available on the Facebook in-app mobile ad network. This in-app mobile ad network is an extension of Facebook’s efforts to make money from mobile advertising; according to an article in Ad Age, 59% of Facebook’s ad revenue came from mobile in the first quarter of 2014, a 30% increase from a year earlier. Native ads are likely going to be a popular ad format for Facebook’s in-app mobile ad network, since native ads have proven to be more effective than banner ads.
Large Publishers – Such as the L.A. Times – are On Board with Mobile First Design
Back in May, the Los Angeles Times relaunched its website with a new “mobile first” design, with the goal of prominently displaying images and summarizing stories with brief “sharelines” that will be more likely to get shares and interaction on social media. The new L.A. Times website is another sign of how many publishers are moving away from “print” format to more of a visually focused design that is ideal for viewing on small screens. As more publishers move toward “mobile first” design, their advertising offerings are likely to continue to trend in the direction of “mobile first” native ads.
Budget is Funneling into Native Ads
As “mobile first” becomes the common trend in online media, more advertising dollars will be devoted to native advertising. According to a study on the future of the native ad market by BIA/Kelsey (cited by Business Insider), advertisers will spend approximately $11 billion on social ads in 2017 and 40% of that amount will be spent on native advertising.
The momentum behind the “mobile first” trend has no signs of slowing down and big players have thrown in their hats. Native ads have a role of growing importance in online marketing strategies and continue to attract advertiser dollars. Embrace the ever-changing online marketing environment and don’t miss out on the opportunities presented by a “mobile first” outlook!