The Rise Of The Feed (Why Native Is Here To Stay)

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Chris Quigley, MD of Sharethrough, gives insights into the change in content consumption, the rise of the mobile feed and explains why native helps answer this changing user behaviour.

Social media and the prevalence of smart phones has led to the explosion of content creation. Mobile content consumption has subsequently rocketed over the last 12 months, with mobile traffic growing x7 times quicker than desktop growth, up to 30.2 million uniques in 2014 [OFCOM August 2014]. The types of content have also evolved into different formats, supported by an ever-growing number of platforms; for example, short form video with Vine; long form video with YouTube and Vimeo; short form text with Twitter and long form text with Medium.

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At the same time as content volumes increasing, people’s ability to consume content has remained static, with limitations on time and attention span – an obvious issue for all brand marketers who are creating increasing amounts of content.

Higher volumes of content and increased mobile consumption has led to two key phenomena 1) the role of the feed 2) the importance of the headline. Both the feed and the headline go hand-in-hand, with the feed providing the *content environment* and headlines the *content format*.

The feed is central to anyone’s mobile experience, with anyone consuming content on mobile scrolling through feeds of content, punctuated by the headline. Both Facebook and Twitter have mastered the feed environment, with Facebook now making 62% of its revenue from its mobile feed, with the headline providing an easy way for users to consume more content more regularly.

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Increased content volumes have led to people now scanning stories, reading and consuming content via headlines rather than deep diving into the core content itself. According to Nielsen 79% of people consume content via a headline, not the content itself. Additionally, analytics firm Chartbeat found users only scroll through 50-60% of articles.

These changes in mobile environment and user behaviour provide challenges for advertisers and publishers. As an advertiser you’ll be looking for ways to ensure your brand content is consumed in the right environment, and as a publisher you’ll be wanting to monetise your feed similarly appropriately.

This is where in-feed native ad platforms like Sharethrough come in, providing a seamless way for publishers to monetise their feed with brand content, and providing advertisers a distribution platform to get their increasingly large palette of engaged with.

And with both the trend towards mobile consumption and brand content creation increasing it’s evident that native advertising formats are here to stay (for the good), and platforms like Sharethrough will become increasingly important in the marketing ecosystem.

On Thursday, September 25, Nate Gosselin, Head of Strategy, Sharethrough and Christopher Quigley, UK Managing Director, Sharethrough will host a workshop on how to survive the hype of Native advertising, and practical tips on how to run effective social content campaigns that don’t involve inane listicles. To register for this event, visit here.

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