What Does Native Advertising Entail?

‘Native advertising is paid advertising that matches the form, feel, and function of the content media and platform upon which it appears’ (source: Native Advertising Institute). Native advertising has been around for about ten years but thanks to Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning, its audience-first targeting is now more powerful and effective.

It’s a fact that we consume huge amounts of content throughout the day whether it’s through blogs, watching news channels, television shows or spending time on social media. For best results, brands know they need to be present wherever their target audience is and these types of content are ideal for native ads as they can be tailored to the user’s experience.

native advertising
Image Credit: Neil Patel

Types Of Native Advertising

You will often find native ads in social media feeds or as recommended content on a particular web page. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) breaks it down into six types of native advertising which are as follows:

  • Paid search ads appearing at the top of Google search results
  • In-feed ad placements that appear in the article or blog post
  • Recommendation widgets on a publisher’s website that show recommended content or products related to the content a visitor is already consuming
  • In-Ad with native elements may look like traditional online ads but they are more relevant to the site the person is visiting
  • Custom ads can appear within an app interface, whether it’s Twitter, LinkedIn or Snapchat
  • Promoted listings (sponsored content) are specially designed to fit seamlessly into the user’s experience

Related: ‘How To Run A Successful PPC Campaign

How Is Native Advertising Used?

In native advertising, the publisher manages nearly everything about the ad which gives them more control. As these ads are more contextual, unlike display ads or banner ads, native ads don’t even look like advertisements. It seamlessly forms part of the editorial flow of a webpage or landing page.

A good example is native ads appearing within an article you are reading whether it’s an online news channel or a post on your Facebook feed. Considering that consumers are bombarded by online ads every day, ad blocking has been on the rise along with banner blindness (when people automatically ignore ads).

With data privacy and online security a top priority, web browsers like Google Chrome and Safari have put measures in place to block annoying types of ads. This is good news as the way to win with online advertising is by creating ads people want to see.

Is It Programmatic Advertising?

Programmatic is an automated way to buy ad placements but, remember, not all native advertising is programmatic. This type of marketing uses real-time systems, rules and advanced algorithms to automate targeted placements and/or creative experiences doing it yourself.

Programmatic native ads leverage machine learning and contextual signals to add more power to customised ads by displaying them at the right place to reach the relevant audience and meet their specific needs or preferences. It’s best to keep the user experience as native as possible as consumers are getting smarter and can quickly recognise spam or clickbait.

Why Is Native Advertising So Highly Regarded?

Native advertising perfectly suits mobile, video and social media advertising. It not only benefits publishers but advertisers and consumers as well. Due to its non-disruptive and contextual nature, consumers enjoy a better flow of content. At the same time, advertisers can get higher engagement rates while publishers often see higher CPMs and revenues.

Due to native ads not requiring you to abandon the experience you’re in, you are not redirected to another site having to find your way back later. Everything just keeps flowing through the plethora of content to create the best possible user experience.

Recommended: ‘How to Calculate CPM: 7 Steps (with Pictures)

Interesting Native Advertising Statistics

There has been a significant increase in native advertising, social media advertising and video advertising. To give an indication of just of how powerful it is, here are some interesting statistics.

  • Native video advertising accounts for 56% of video ad spending. (IAB 2018 Video Ad Spend Study)
  • 70% of users would rather learn about products through content than traditional advertisements (Content Marketing Institute)
  • Native ads receive 53% more views than traditional display ads (Sharethrough)
  • Native advertising increases purchase intent by 18% (Forbes)
  • Two out of three Gen X and Z consumers trust branded content more than traditional advertising (Adweek)

All of these trends show the positive impact of native advertising and it won’t stop any time soon. The benefits of native advertising are even greater when following best practices and optimising for success.

Recommended: ‘Native Advertising Examples: 5 of the Best (and Worst)

Final Thoughts

Native advertising fights ad fatigue which happens when consumers get bored of repeatedly seeing the same ads. Once this occurs, they can easily stop paying attention and ignore ads entirely. Experts agree that it is business-critical to focus on quality content that will help generate interest, increase click-through rate and engagement.

A big criticism of native advertising is that they appear like normal content to trick users into believing they are “real.” This is simply NOT the case as native ads don’t just fool people. The key to success isn’t that the ads trick users but rather express themselves exactly for what they are.

If you need an expert digital marketing agency to help manage your brand online, WSI can help. Visit our website or call us on 01453 542761 to discuss all of your requirements and we will provide you with a no-obligation solution.

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