AOP offers best practices for native advertising in wake of survey results

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One in three consumers are more likely to trust native advertising than traditional advertising, according to a report from the Association of Online Publishers (AOP).

The report, which focuses on the impact of native advertising, or advertorial, uncovered a series of interesting statistics. Three in five (59%) consumers claimed to find native advertising “interesting”, while 42% more consumers said they found native ad drivers more interesting than traditional ads.

Intriguingly, native advertising becomes more popular when supported by traditional advertising. Native ads saw an uplift of 38% across key brand metrics, such as brand perceptions, affinity, and word of mouth, when compared with unsupported native ads.

The biggest driver for native ads was that they were informative (32%), followed by interesting (27%), clear and easy to understand (22%), useful (21%) and eye catching (21%). More respondents saw traditional advertising as easy to understand and eye catching, yet 38% polled said the biggest driver was that it was ordinary.

AOP, alongside Tapestry Research, conducted the survey of 1500 respondents through qualitative interviews, using advertising campaigns from the likes of The Huffington Post and Marie Claire to gauge users’ opinions.

The overall conclusion of the research is that, even if you think it blurs the line between advertising and editorial, native advertising is here to stay.

Tim Cain is AOP managing director. He explains the association’s key guides for success in traversing the fine line between brand awareness and keeping a publishing audience happy.

“Native should be bespoke to the advertising brand and reflect the style of the publication,” he tells MarketingTech. “Our rules for success include avoiding overt sales messages, journalistically following the style of the media brand, and being genuinely engaging and adding value to the reader’s experience.”

He notes that, while not each advertorial is created equally, native is an “evolution” of this concept.

“Native advertising needs to be signposted clearly, so it is not seen as surreptitiously claiming to be editorial only to confuse the reader with commercial overtones,” he adds. “It should be stylistically close to the editorial tone and feel of the media brand, and viewed as a natural piece of content consistent with what the reader would expect to see and read on that site.”

The AOP report, available to members, can be found here.

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