Keep Calm and Read These UK Native Ad Benchmarks


Native ads have evolved from buzzword to the fastest-growing digital revenue source for a publisher. Last month, we introduced a first-of-its-kind look at industry benchmarks which shed light on the growing opportunity with native advertising and best practices in regards to its implementation. This was pulled together from a survey conducted amongst publishers and from gathered insights from aggregate data on MediaVoice, our market-leading native ads platform.

We’re pleased to present a new series of benchmarks specific to the UK market. Now UK publishers can see how they stack against the rest of the world, and use these specific learnings to improve the native ad experience for their readers — and improve their overall results.

The user experience is an important topic for any publisher, whether in the UK or any other part of the world. Are UK readers different? Let’s have a look as the analytics garnered through our MediaVoice platform sheds light on how readers are interacting with native advertising on the desktop, tablets, and smartphones:

•Just like in the display world, native ads that are above the fold always perform better: specifically 35% higher CTR globally. But they perform even better in the UK at 42%.

•Your real estate agent tells you this all the time: location, location, location. The same applies to native ads: will a native ad perform better on the homepage or an article page? Believe it or not, you’ll get better CTR with ads on your article page, 43% better in fact. This shouldn’t be too surprising as most readers spend more time on article pages and typically has fewer links on it.

•We’re often asked when badging a native ad for sponsored content, what works better: using a new badge or over-riding the existing badge. We found 65% better CTR when a publisher uses a new badge.

•What about the look and feel? We see 73% better CTR when the background has prominent shading over lighter shading (it’s the opposite globally which is 57% higher CTR for light shading), and a whopping 94% better CTR when using a client’s logo in the native ad spot (versus only 12% better globally).

•What about the perfect headline? Globally 40-60 characters is the sweet spot for higher CTR, whereas in the UK more is better: 60-80 characters, in fact.

In terms of content, an overwhelming 84% of publishers tell us they create the content, whereas 12% say it’s a mix between the publisher and the client. Compare that to the global numbers which are 50% of publishers create the content, 14% from the client, and 36% is a mix.

•Logistically, we asked publishers how they price their native ad units. The majority at 60% said they still use sponsorship pricing, 40% use a mix of sponsorship or other, and no one just yet uses CPM or CPE exclusively for pricing. In terms of geo-targeting, when asked if their native ads are visible only to UK readers, 60% of publishers said yes.

•Wondering what day of the work performs best for CTR? It’s Sunday, followed by Saturday then Thursday. The worst: Wednesday. See the benchmarks for full results.

•When asked if publishers geo-target their campaigns to UK readers, 60% said they do. Related to that, readers outside of London are twice as likely to engage with a native ad versus those in London. Keep that in mind as you target your content.

Native advertising is often touted as part of the solution to the aged dilemma of mobile monetization. Reinforcing this notion is the improved performance of native advertising on smartphone and tablet devices when compared to the same content on the desktop, especially in the UK market:

•It’s clear that in the UK readers prefer to consume their content on the go, which also goes for sponsored content. A native ad on a smartphone has 64% higher CTR over desktop (compared to 31% globally). Interestingly, UK readers spend 3 minutes and 37 seconds on average engaging (measured as time spent) with a native ad on tablet, which is 30% higher than the global average. Specifically, UK readers have 39% higher engagement on tablet over desktop, and 45% higher engagement on smartphone over desktop.

Overall, 27% of native ads are served on mobile in the UK, compared to 20% globally.

As the market leader native ads platform, with clients in the UK such as Haymarket, Hearst UK, The Economist, News UK, The Telegraph, IPC Media, Scripps, NetCommunities, The Financial Times, and Future, we’ll continue to innovate and bring world-class data to the market.


Download as JPG | Download as PDF |Tweet// <![CDATA[ !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src=p+'://';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, 'script', 'twitter-wjs'); // ]]</p></div>