Niche publishers have sold their audiences based on the premise that their readers are valuable. The problem has been that this was eroded by extended audiences, interest and behavioural targeting. Brands would simply buy the audience off a network for rock bottom prices.
Native ads allows niche publishers to sell integrated campaigns, rather than selling rapidly commoditised space. Customising content using the knowledge of your audience that sits on your platform is absolutely the best intersection of both brands objectives and your audience. The value proposition is clear.
Native executions reinforce to brands the exclusivity of your home on the internet.
People visit daily to gain something from your site. That’s what brands get access to.
A great example of this is Uncrate, a personal favourite of mine. Their site and app curates products and services that have interesting stories, such as the Hot Tug. They will feature as native in-stream ads that appeal to their audience.
Here's a live example for Soma Water on Uncrate:
This clicks through straight to the Soma site with an offer of $10 off. Now I do think in this a use case they need to better disclose that this is an ad, but I do like the execution. You'll note the one on the right is also an ad for boxers. As a user this isn't the first I've seen, many have been featured and more often than not it's a positive experience.
Brands are buying access to their audience and in a way that makes sense for the end user.
This is why the industry is pumped. There is a way forward for niche publishers to get the internet dream: of building a tight knit community of passionate readers.
- Ben Young is co-founder and chief executive of Young & Shand and is currently in New York leading the charge with its native ad measurement technology Nudge.
- This story was originally published on LinkedIn.