Programmatic and real-time bidding capabilities are quickly emerging as differentiating factors in the native advertising landscape. But as more companies enter the space offering similar features, telling them apart becomes increasingly challenging.
For Nativo CEO, Justin Choi, native advertising means an ad “looks and behaves as if it belongs on the site,” including providing a relevant message, as opposed to just a call to action.
Being able to scale native ads is important, Choi added, and to do so, Nativo identifies the different components of a publisher’s content. The company then distributes content through its demand-side platform (DSP) and uses its knowledge of each publisher’s site to reassemble the brand’s content in the same format.
The company also applies A/B testing, geotargeting, frequency capping and other features to further optimize the content across screens. Nativo works with approximately 230 publishers, including Entrepreneur, Maxim, Reader's Digest and Kiplinger, and 90 different brand advertisers.
Nativo also enables brands to display advertising as sponsored content.
“We see native ads as content that can be consumed in the same way as the rest of the content on a publisher’s property and readers don’t expect to be taken to another site" when clicking on the sponsored content, Choi said. “And so we allow brands to communicate with readers while letting them remain on the publisher’s site.”
Another native ads company, New York-based startup TripleLift, also enables brands to automate the distribution of sponsored content. TripleLift applies RTB technology to native ads, according to co-founder Eric Berry, one of the three AppNexus alums that started the company.
“There’s only so much you can do with a banner ad,” Berry said. “We wanted to create ads that match the look and feel of the rest of a website’s content, that has the same buy-side power and allows advertisers and agencies to purchase programmatically using RTB.”
TripleLift’s technology analyzes a publisher’s site to create templates of the content. Next, the company offers its own DSP in addition to plugging into third-party DSPs like Criteo, AppNexus and Turn, and identifies the images, text and other elements of the winning bid to inject it into templates on the publisher’s site.
The company works with 500 publishers such as FanSided and Elite Daily and 65 brand advertisers, including Nissan, Gap and General Mills.
Both Nativo and Triplelift claim that it only takes minutes for its respective systems to analyze a publisher’s site and begin assembling and distributing native content across the site and others that have been similarly optimized.
But unlike Nativo, TripleLift does not create landing pages for a brand’s sponsored content. “After someone reads your brand’s content, there’s the question of what’s next?” Berry said. “We don’t think it makes sense to create a landing page that keeps people on the publisher’s site; the advertiser paid for that impression and we want to give the advertiser control over how they continue to communicate with the consumer. ”
And while TripleLift allows third-party DSP plug-ins, Nativo does not. “The fact that other providers are connecting with existing DSPs tells you their execution works like a banner that is simply positioned in the editorial stream – some don’t even adapt to the appearance of each site,” argued Choi. TripleLift responded that its ads are adaptable.
Digital agency VivaKi tapped both Nativo and TripleLift in March as partners for its Audience On Demand Native, a service that will let advertisers buy native ads in an automated fashion. The service is currently in the beta-testing phase.
The two native ad companies offer different strengths, according to AOD Associate Director Ben Lampert. The agency is using Nativo for a “multimedia approach to articles and video for content streams, whereas with TripleLift we can focus on image-based content streams,” Lampert explained.
Note: Nativo does not offer RTB functionalities as originally stated.
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