Native ads are a hot topic in the world of mobile advertising right now and one of the industry’s leading ad networks, LeadBolt, has taken a pioneering role in pushing the format forward.
In case you didn’t already know, mobile native ads are often positioned as a response to in-app banner ads, which many developers and advertisers view as old-fashioned, intrusive, and ill-fitted to smartphone screen sizes. Native ads are therefore designed to integrate more seamlessly with the app experience.
This seamless integration can manifest in a variety of ways, as LeadBolt’s CEO Dale Carr explains:
“Native ads are represented in various forms. Sparking the current buzz is the technique of seeding an ad message within a content stream. For social media streams, for example, the ad message will appear within editorial and blends into a user’s news feed.”
Along with content stream ads, Carr says one of the most popular forms of native ads offered by LeadBolt are frames that border interstitial ads, making the ad appear more integrated into the overall theme and look of the app. These borders can incorporate a variety of messages, animations and display effects.
Other simple applications of the native ad principle include the embedding of a “more games,” or “more apps,” button into an app’s menus. This button can then link directly to an app wall, providing users with more control over the advertisement and making the ad much more user-friendly and unobtrusive.
Some native ad types are slightly more quirky and unique. For instance, LeadBolt also offers its new interactive ‘Floating Ad’ format, which offers app users a game-like challenge, where you have to pop floating bubbles, each containing an app icon or ad message. Floating ads can go native and be customised to better fit an app’s theme – for instance, a travel app developer could have the ads floating on clouds, or a game developer could customise the ads with its own artwork.
Dale Carr says native ads represent a huge opportunity for devs and are a natural evolution of mobile advertising. By creating a less disruptive experience for users, developers can expect higher engagement and more conversions.
“Native ads provide a more seamless user experience,” says Carr. “When viewed as part of an application (provided targeted correctly) is regarded by end users as a more acceptable monetization mechanism than a badly put together pasted ad appearing as a disjoined part of the app. Leadbolt has actually been on of the first who launched native ads native to their platform. We always provided our clients and publishers with a way of inserting native ads and highly customizing them to the look and feel of the app.”
With LeadBolt, AppsFire, and numerous other ad companies, jumping on board, the mobile native ad revolution certainly looks underway. As has been pointed out many times before, mobile ad spend has still yet to really reflect the widespread use and penetration of mobile devices over the last few years. Hopefully the development of new ad formats, designed specifically for mobile devices, and mindful of the overall app experience, will help drive engagement, convince advertisers and push the whole industry forward.