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Branded Editorial Finding Its Place on Mobile

Owned sites grab the largest share of editorial media spending on mobile

Still relatively new, branded editorial media on mobile devices is luring consumers in. Data released in June 2014 by Sharethrough showed high engagement in Q1 2014 (2.2%) for branded editorial media content promoted worldwide through the company’s Sharethrough Exchange via native, in-feed ads on mobile.

Looking at the different editorial media types, content that lived on an owned site saw the most dollars by a long shot, as distribution grew 31% between Q4 2013 and Q1 2014 to grab 68% of spending. Though it claimed a much smaller share of the pie, sponsored editorial media, which lives on a professional publisher’s site, served to mobile devices saw a large increase in spending. Meanwhile, earned media—an article written about a brand that it did not pay for—grabbed the remaining 3%.

Owned media spans a wide range, and Sharethrough found that corporate blogs were the most popular site type for running such content, seeing nearly half of spending. Branded editorial sites—“a themed editorial site that uses the brand as part of its name [and] may live within [the] brand’s corporate site or at a standalone URL”—and corporate sites each grabbed 23% of investments.

But spending doesn’t tell the whole story, and earned content saw the highest engagement rates, indicating that brands could derive higher value from this form, Sharethrough noted. Meanwhile, sponsored and owned came in second and third, respectively.

In August 2013, Sharethrough found that nearly all US digital advertising professionals thought that native mobile ads overall were very or somewhat effective for branding campaigns, and the channel is likely to see increased spending in the coming years. According to data released in September 2013 by Interactive Advertising Bureau and Ovum, 74% of US mobile marketers said mobile native advertising was an important or very important mobile ad development.

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