The Native User Experience is Changing and Advertisers Must Get Personal

By Rupert Dodson, CEO of Dianomi

Advertisers have been pivoting to more personalized and authentic digital marketing strategies to better connect, engage and educate their targeted audiences. One major way advertisers are increasing brand visibility is by storytelling within their contextual placements. However, recently that’s become more and more difficult to do..Why?

Pandemic-fatigued consumers are no longer as entertained or influenced by ads, specifically Gen Z and Millennials. In fact, ad avoidance continues to rise with 82% of Gen Z’s skipping ads and more than half are using ad blockers. What does this mean for advertisers who need to reach these targeted audiences?

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If last year taught us one thing, it is that change is not always a bad thing. The digital advertising industry is constantly evolving, leaving advertisers no choice but to change narratives in order to keep up with the latest trends. Social platforms and streaming services grew over the last few years. In fact, 44% of mobile screen time during the first half of 2020 (740 billion hours globally) was spent on social apps.

The pandemic and social movements over the past 18+ months have highlighted the need for purpose-driven marketing. Consumers want to support brands and digest content that aligns with their core values and needs. What about irrelevant ads? Consumers are skipping them (65% to be exact), even if they pop up on their favorite social channels as they’re scrolling. This is the new normal and advertisers must get aggressive in their digital strategies to tackle this industry curveball.

It may come as no surprise that younger generations are constantly consuming media, but what many fail to see is that they are consuming media differently. Millennials and Gen Z’s are bingeing television shows, watching music videos, audio streaming and creating their own content on platforms like TikTok. In addition to this, younger consumers are seeking personalized and interactive experiences. Not only do consumers want content geared towards them, they also want the content to be interactive, engaging and educating no matter the platform. How can advertisers continue meeting consumers’ changing needs and expectations?

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Personalization is a versatile tool that many advertisers started to utilize last year. As the world abruptly went digital, competition in the advertising industry multiplied. Advertisers needed to establish meaningful relationships with consumers to stay afloat; in many cases, this determined whether a brand flourished or floundered. Advertisers started to produce content that explained messaging in a way that was both engaging and educating.

The time for advertiser’s to take personalization to the next level by leveraging AI contextual strategies while providing an elevated user experience is now. Advertising is more efficient when it is delivered in the right place and context.

Typically, consumers are more inclined to watch full ads without the urge to skip them when the content resonates. Advertisers must implement native advertising solutions to distribute content through contextual placements while also telling an authentic story. By doing so, this will let brands connect with their targeted consumers in an ad-skipping and brand-safe environment.

With the cookie going away, advertisers must begin thinking strategically. Simply going contextual is not enough. Advertisers need to be producing relevant, engaging and educating content through storytelling. If advertisers want to continue breaking barriers and grabbing the attention of younger generations, their strategies should become more personal.

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