A study by the Online Publishers Association says that nearly three quarters of its members currently offer native advertising, with up to 90 percent expecting to provide native solutions by the end of 2013.
The report, called “Premium Content Brands Are Native Naturals,” surveyed premium content brands to determine publisher definitions, marketer goals, metrics and best practices.
While 93 percent of respondents believed native ads must be integrated “into the design of the publisher’s site and live on the same domain,” there was less consensus on the origins and forms of the content.
Most agreed that native ad content should come from the publisher directly, but 62 percent believe it can be produced by a marketer or agency, while 38 percent say it can be user generated. Respondents were split on whether “highly automated” content like sponsored stories and social media posts would qualify.
The findings also show that marketers approach native advertising differently than display. More than 80 percent of OPA members report marketers are primarily using native to increase consumer “engagement” with advertiser brands. They’re increasingly looking to traditional publisher metrics like time spent and social media sharing when analyzing native ad performance.
“Native advertising is a natural outgrowth of the kind of collaboration OPA members have done with marketers for years in the form of custom programs,” says OPA President Pam Horan, in a statement. “The findings underscore the fundamentals, namely that successful native advertising programs rely on an inherently compelling destination with a dedicated audience to thrive and that the content itself has to reflect the quality expectations of that audience to warrant engagement.”