Every Native Ad and Content Marketing Vendor in One Handy Chart

by Nick Cicero on Feb 12, 2014
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We all can admit it, the banner ad is dying and/or already dead. Since their launch in 2000, banner ads have declined from a 9% click through rate (CTR) to .11% average CTR today. That number isn’t getting any better.

Fortunately there are literally thousands of native advertising and content marketing vendors on the market today working to come up with lasting solutions for marketers to better engage and advertise to their audiences off of their owned properties.

The problem is there’s no real standard for Native Ads. Right now, “native ads” are just a blanket term for some type of paid media partnership involving an action that’s not just a standard “click on me” banner. For some, native ads are content partnerships, sites like Buzzfeed, Mashable, Forbes, and even Gawker creating “sponsored stories” served alongside their regular editorial content on the site, often times on a special page where that advertiser can serve exclusive banner ads around that content. While many brands are recruiting social agencies or outsourcing partners like Newscred and Contently to do this, creative teams inside of publishers dedicated to these types of campaigns are becoming more common.

Others seek to build new inventory and real estate for publishers based on the technology they have. These are the types of custom integrations you have seen where the ad is really a valuable product for a consumer. Buzzfeed and GE worked to create an “Efficiency Machine” built into the homepage of Buzzfeed.com allowing users to select their story mix based on personal preferences. This is similar to the PlayStation-sponsored social hubs for IGN and AOL’s Joystiq around the E3 video game event last summer that my team at Livefyre put together.

Terence Kawaja and Luma Partners has been carefully studying the digital media landscape for a number of years now. The Lumascape charts his team puts together are widely circulated in the ad tech space as a primer for this ecosystem year after year. Below is the 2014 breakdown of native ad and content marketing partners in the space.

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Nick Cicero is the Editor at Social Fresh and a Digital Marketing Consultant. Formerly of Expion and Livefyre, Nick has experience building social campaigns for Sony PlayStation, Winn-Dixie, Eminem, Teen Vogue and more. He’s a fan of playing...