StackAdapt: Native advertising outperforms display ads; B2B trailing in adoption

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When assessing paid advertising, a recent battle worth watching is the performance of traditional display ads versus the emerging format of native ads or sponsored content.

A new study uncovered revealing insights in how each performed on a specific network. Also, we interview an ad-tech insider to learn how B2B firms can leverage native ads.

Findings from 1500 campaigns

As a native advertising demand-side platform, StackAdapt helps Fortune 500 companies and agencies promote their content on around 30,000 publisher sites. In their 1,500 campaigns, the platform says they actively combat “banner blindness”.

Banner blindness, a term coined in 1999 by Rice University doctoral student Jan Benway, pertains to a phenomenon where users unwittingly ignore conspicuously displayed banners on websites and direct their attention to link-rich portions of the page.

StackAdapt ads appear as sponsored content on publisher sites. On the average, users spend from one minute and forty seconds to three minutes and ten seconds on the advertiser’s site.

According to Google’s Rich Media gallery, average clickthrough rate of display ads is 0.06 percent. In their 1,500 campaigns, StackAdapt has registered an average click-through rate of 0.4-0.8 percent for their native ads— 85 percent to 94 percent more that the average for display ads.

As shown in an infographic summarizing the key takeaways from their campaigns, the consumer packaged goods vertical gets the most results, registering a 0.52 percent clickthrough rate for their ads. Other B2C verticals like automotive and style & fashion register 0.35 percent and 0.38 percent, respectively.

These numbers show that across StackAdapt’s campaigns, ads for B2C advertisers have outperformed B2B ads.

B2B firms and native advertising

In an interview with B2BNN, StackAdapt COO Vitaly Pecherskiy said that B2B advertisers have yet to fully embrace brand storytelling through sponsored content as much as B2C companies have.

“B2B companies are missing opportunities to educate consumers through strong content. They are more focused on their value proposition,” said Pecherskiy.

Percherskiy said that B2B firms are still in the early stages of venturing into native advertising. “B2B companies have to improve their native advertising efforts because brands that succeed are the storytellers,” he added.

According to the Content Marketing Institute, 80% of B2B marketers have a content marketing strategy. One of the main components of a content marketing strategy is content promotion. Pecherskiy said that native advertising works alongside social, paid social, search engine optimization, and search ads as a distribution channel for branded content.

With content marketing proving its effectiveness, more brands are becoming publishers. Instead of talking about features and benefits of a brand’s offerings, Pecherskiy said that best practices for B2B companies point to thought leadership and broad awareness strategies.

“For brands like Intel, we see that published content that aim to foster thought leadership. This creates awareness and the audience’s affinity to brands. For StackAdapt, even for bottom-of-the-funnel content, it’s all customer success stories instead of self-promotional content,” he said.

See StackAdapt’s infographic below:


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Aki Merced

Aki Merced

Aki Merced is a freelance business and technology writer. Her focus is on creating content that connects and converts. Visit her website at Follow her on twitter @akimerced.