As mobile device use increases, brands are forced to find innovative ways to engage their target audiences. Standard banner ads are no longer cutting it, and pop-up ads often only annoy, not intrigue, online users.  Many brands have turned to native mobile advertising to target people on their smartphone or tablet. Much like web-based native advertising, its messaging is displayed naturally and catches a reader’s attention with quality, relevant content.

Before you jump into native mobile advertising, here are five things you should know first:

1. Multiple Types and Options

native mobile advertisingLike its traditional counterpart, native mobile advertising can have multiple formats and functions. In-stream social advertising includes Twitter’s promoted tweets, Facebook’s sponsored stories and Instagram’s promoted photos. Brands can purchase the option to push specific content into their target audiences’ feeds. Another type, branded stories, are appear frequently on news websites and popular blogs, like Buzzfeed, and utilize a storytelling format. Check out an example from the Purina-Buzzfeed partnership for creative ideas.

2. Cost-Effectiveness

The engagement rate for display and banner ads are quickly declining. Eyes tend to move right over them, so even if their content is valuable, clicks tend to be few and far between. On average, native mobile advertising costs a mere 25 percent of its traditional desktop counterpart while offering opportunities for much higher levels of engagement. Overall, native mobile advertising provides a ROI brands can get excited about.

3. Tracking and Analytics Opportunities

Mobile device analytics have quickly caught up with desktop data tracking. In Google Analytics, online marketers can determine how people interact with branded content, the amount of website traffic it generates and if the digital visitor converts or not. There’s also the added bonus of GPS technology in mobile devices, which provides additional insight on users’ exact locations.

4. Demand for Content Depth and Value

Unlike most display and banner ads, native mobile advertising allows for more than a short headline of copy and accompanying image. Branded content allows for entire stories to be told. Multiple products and services can be weaved together for an integrated brand message. Videos, images and content can all work together in one piece. This does, however, usually make content development a much longer process, especially considering the need to maintain value for readers. 

5. Specific Tone and Style Requirements

Much more for branded content than in-stream advertising, companies must focus on matching the tone and messaging of their sponsors. If a brand purchases native mobile advertising on Buzzfeed, its’ content should be funny, quirky and probably a bit outrageous. If, however, it chooses a more serious sponsor, such as a professional settings decorating blog, the brand should match its tone and content style appropriately.  Because social media feeds features the many differing styles and tastes of its community members, brands have more flexibility. A switch in tone won’t throw off mobile users.

As you would with any type of advertising, don’t forget about strategy – focus your efforts on target audiences and keep overarching business goals and objectives in mind when planning a campaign.

If you’re interested in gaining an edge over your competitors by starting your own native mobile advertising campaign in 2014, we suggest starting small. Initiate a minor campaign on one social media network and purchase a sponsored story on a website that fits your brand well. Need help with strategy and implementation? Contact SteadyRain’s online marketing team to get started.

photo credit: sinkdd via photopin cc