Spending on native advertising grew dramatically over the last three years, up 600 per cent according to a long-term study by Nativo.

The research reveals how digital marketers in specific verticals allocated their native investments throughout recent years. 

Nativo’s study examining native advertising spending from covers the period from Q1’2014 through Q4’2016. 

The authors analysed ad spend across their entire marketplace, identifying key trends from major verticals such as automotive, travel, CPG, health & fitness, finance and insurance, tech (both B2B and B2C), entertainment, and food and beverage.

The report asserts that overall, native spend is on the rise: across all verticals in Nativo’s marketplace, spend increased by 600 per cent from 2014 to 2016. This further validates eMarketer’s recent projections that by 2018, marketers plan to lean further into native — US native ad spend will reach more than $28 billion.

But beyond the broader positive outlook for native, never before had ad spend trends been broken down by specific verticals. The industry only had access to vertical trends anecdotally.

To provide digital marketers with insightful benchmark data, Nativo analysed three years of native ad spend on their signature True Native (in feed, click-in native ad units) and Native Video formats. Results reveal markedly different ad spend trends by vertical.

Key vertical findings from the three-year study include:

  • Year over year, food & drink grew their share of native ad spend the most by 9 per cent. Food & drink is followed by travel and business, which both grew their share by 4 per cent.
  • Automotive (OEM), tech B2B, entertainment, tech B2C and finance and insurance, all early adopters of native advertising in 2014, saw their aggregate share of budget decline by 20 per cent, from 57 per cent in 2014 to 37 per cent in 2016.
  • Conversely, slower vertical adopters of native — business, CPG, travel and food & beverage — grew by 24 per cent to reach 45 per cent aggregate share of budget in 2016.
  • Combining all related campaigns (OEM, After-Market, etc.), automotive remains the most active vertical year over year.
  • Top performing verticals in terms of engagement include CPG, entertainment, travel, food & drink, and tech B2C.

“Native spend continues to grow rapidly overall, but beneath that linear trajectory we’ve witnessed a lot of fluctuations vertical to vertical,” said Casey Wuestefeld, VP, campaign operations at Nativo.

“The data indicates that while advertisers are committed to increasing their investment in native, they are still experimenting where content strategies fit within their overall marketing mix.”

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