Why ad placement matters for mobile advertising
Ones that appear next to high-quality editorial content perform better
March 16, 2017
Everyone knows location matters in real estate. But it may matter equally as much in mobile advertising. A new study from Nielsen and Kargo, a mobile advertising company, found that where an ad is published can determine its return on investment. Ads placed next to high-quality editorial content perform the best, in part because people are highly engaged with that content and spend more time on the page, leading to longer exposure for the ad. By contrast, ads on search and social media didn’t perform nearly as well. Ed Romaine, chief marketing officer at Kargo, talks to Media Life about why execution in mobile matters, how this idea carries over to other forms of advertising, and why editorial has unique value.
Was there anything you found particularly interesting or surprising about the report?
Yes. The study supported what we’ve believed from the beginning — the types of executions and the places you advertise your message matter and can increase or decrease your overall impact.
The findings revealed that editorial environments like news articles, specifically quality editorial environments, offer the highest potential value for marketers.
What is the most important thing media buyers and planners can take from it?
I think one of the most important things to remember, whether we are referencing ad format or ad environment, is that there are right and wrong ways to utilize most places and products.
Environments like search and social have value, but editorial is unique because it allows the consumer to engage in a singular connected experience between the actual content and the advertising experience in a way the other environments do not.
Why are fully visible ads on screen for so much longer (44 seconds) with editorial content than search (6 seconds) or social (3 seconds)?
If you think about your habits on your own mobile device, you’ve probably noticed that when you’re on search or social platforms, you tend to scroll more quickly because you either know what you’re looking for (with search) or you’re scanning for content that catches your eye (with social).
Your phone becomes something of an Autobaun, with ads streaming by more quickly than you’re able to recognize or absorb them. However, when you’re captivated by a story that you care about, your scroll velocity tends to be much slower — meaning you’re seeing fewer ads for longer periods of time.
At the same time, ads in editorial were seen less than those in social and search. What’s more important? Longer onscreen time, or higher visibility? Or does there need to be a healthy balance?
The opportunity to be seen as a brand marketer and your placement on the page or inside the app are both important.
Outside of there needing to be a real balance between the two, the type of advertisement also informs what becomes more important. Is your brand featured at the onset of an ad? What sort of assets are you using? Is your ad short and to the point? Anything beyond six or 15 seconds these days can be a miss in the wrong context.
The most important measure of an ad’s success, however, is whether people remember the ad after viewing it, which drives potential revenue down the line. That’s why it’s so significant that our Feed vs. Read study found that ads in editorial take less view-time to prompt successful recall.
What are some of the most notable differences you found between younger and older users?
Interestingly, younger users generally tend to think of social platforms as well-designed and on-trend more so than older users, but this could simply be because they’ve been interacting on those platforms for a longer period of time in some cases and are more accustomed to how they’re organized.
In our results, we saw a notable distinction in how younger and older demographics use social for seeking out different perspectives on news stories — 67 percent of 18-34-year-olds vs. 33 percent of 35-54-year-olds.
Which platform (editorial, search or social) is considered most efficient, and why?
Mobile ads appearing in high-quality news articles are more efficient than ads in search or social streams (meaning they generate better ROI for marketers).
This is because mobile ads in editorial environments are visible for longer and require the least amount of view time to be remembered (1.6 seconds in editorial vs. 10.7 seconds in social).
Do different types of ads (copy, messaging, etc.) work better in different environments?
The quicker and more succinctly the message comes across, the better. This goes for all environments.
How do you see these trends evolving over the next year or two?
I think people are going to continue to get smarter and come back to the realization that context matters. Image marketing matters.
More than that, I think more than ever content platforms with integrity are going to have a resurgence because they are the only environments that can be trusted to showcase facts vs. alternative facts.
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