spring water ad

By Aurelie Guerrieri

Advertisers and publishers are creative people, sometimes to a fault.

In the constant pursuit of discovering new ways to catch the user’s eye with something slick and new, there can be a tendency to lose sight of the fact that enhancing the user’s experience – not interrupting it – is the real objective of native ads.

Really great mobile ads both stand out and blend in. They catch our eye without throwing us off and hang around without being irritating. The magic question for brands and publishers alike is how to strike this perfect balance between standing-out and blending-into the app user’s optimal experience?

In their recent Mobile Native Advertising Best Practices report, the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) identifies a few guidelines that marketers and publishers should follow to improve the potential of their native ad campaigns. In a nutshell:

  • Ad creative needs to catch the eye of the consumer
  • Marketers must optimize against the key performance metrics that impact business
  • Great ads maximize exposure by leveraging social feeds and viral trends

Most importantly, the MMA counsels that it’s critical to identify the app environments and publisher contexts that are most relevant to the campaign and brand message. This is where an experienced native advertising leader, such as Cheetah Ad Platform, comes into play.

Here’s some highlights from the MMA report and how Cheetah Ad Platform goes about checking every box to ensure that we deliver superior native advertising solutions.  


Relevance is its own reward

Native advertising is only effective if the ad complements the organic content of the app. That’s why data targeting is such an important component of native advertising. First and foremost, an ad needs to be non-intrusive and provide a message that will be receptive to the consumer. By leveraging our first-party data signals, as well as insights into our app experiences, we not only strategically place the ads at the right moment in the app, we ensure that they’re targeted to users who’ll be receptive.

Disclosure builds trust

It’s really important to make it clear to the user that an ad is ad and disclose the brand behind it. All of Cheetah Ad Platform’s native ads prominently display the advertiser, along with a strong CTA, so the user knows how to engage and who they’re engaging with. This transparency not only drives increased brand recall, it also builds trust with the user.

Perfect placements are a priority

It’s important to be visually creative but it is absolutely essential that ad units  are seamlessly integrated within the app. That means placing them at right time, like after the user completes an action and not when they’re in the middle of doing so, because that would be disruptive the user’s experience. We also make sure to optimize the format for the content. For example:

  • When the user is searching for gaming apps, we’ll provide in-stream game recommendations;
  • When an app is launching, we’ll use that real estate to display high-impact, full screen ads; or
  • When the user is charging their phone, we’ll serve a relevant ad banner offering a virus scan and boost, to protect and power the user’s phone.

Persistence pays

Ads need a continuous presence in order to capture the user’s attention. Unlike banners that pop up and refresh every 30 secs, successful native ads need to be available long enough so that a user can go back and engage with it after they complete an action. To do that, we optimize the refresh rate of our ad placements based on the environment. Using the phone charging example again, when a user charges their phone they check back routinely to see the status — that’s the organic behavior. So,  rather than serve many ads that the user may miss in this back and forth interaction, we prominently feature a single  advertiser within the session, the end result being a 2-3x higher engagement rate than standard display banners.*


In this maturing and evolving space, it is imperative that marketers partner with a leader who not only has the tools to provide native ad formats, but also someone who has developed trusting relationships with users by providing relevant, non-intrusive and timely messages that resonate with them.


This is exactly what Cheetah Ad Platform does: We deliver the holy grail of native advertising by making the right impression, from the first impression.


For more info about the benefits of working with Cheetah Ad Platform’s native advertising solutions please contact adsales@cmcm.com.


*Cheetah Ad Platform, Internal Performance Benchmark, Oct 2015

Aurelie Guerrieri is Vice President of Global Marketing Solutions at Cheetah Ad Platform.

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