What Is Native Advertising (Overview For Beginners)

You’ve heard of native advertising but you wonder, what is native advertising in the first place?

Perhaps you are looking to learn more about native advertising and hoping to read a good article breaking it down in easy and bite-size pieces!

Whatever may be the case, we’ve got what you need.

In this article, we will look at native advertising to understand what it is, why use native advertising, the characteristics of native advertising, the native advertising types and more. We are confident that you will have a much better understanding of the native advertising concept.

We’ve broken down this article into the following sections so you can directly navigate to what is important to you:

Let’s get started.

What is native advertising?

Native ads are advertisements that fit into the format of the page visited by the user having the same look and feel as the website or app in which they are placed.

We all come across native ads online.

When you visit a website and you see things like “sponsored posts”, “promoted stories” or “recommended for you”, these are native ads being displayed to you.

What differentiates native ads from normal advertisements is that native ads do not feel like ads. 

Native ads are presented to you in such a way that it does not stand out, look pushy or intrusive.

With native advertising, the user experience is not affected by the delivery of the advertisement material.

Why use native advertising?

Native advertising is more effective than regular display advertisements or banner ads.

Users are no longer paying attention to the banner ads or ads displayed on the screen and so traditional display advertisement is losing effectiveness.

Native ads are used more and more to combat banner blindness and advertising fatigue.

Using native ads, the user is more likely to see the advertisement and engage with it.

If you are looking to increase the effectiveness of your ads, you should consider using native advertising to reach your audience.

53% of users pay more attention to native ads than display ads.

Native advertising dominates the online advertising space.

According to an estimate by Business Insider based on data provided by PwC and the Interactive Advertising Bureau, native ads will account for 74% of total US display ad revenue.

Why should you consider native ads you say?

Because that’s how you can effectively reach your target audience.

Characteristics of native advertising

You can spot native advertising in a few ways.

Native advertising is a type of content that you pay someone to publish for you.

Although the idea behind native advertising is that it will blend into the web page or appear as seamless as possible, native advertising is still a paid ad.

So the first characteristic of native advertising is that it is a paid advertisement.

Native ads are also generally content-based.

In other words, they will not disrupt the user’s ability to consume the content on a page and the native ad will blend in.

If the ad blends into the content of the page, is relevant and helpful to the user, your native advertising campaign will be more successful.

So the second characteristic of native ads is that you give content to the user and are not expecting to make a hard sell.

So you are sort of giving before you expect to receive something back.

Native ads are also delivered in-stream.

In other words, they blend into the material or page that the user is visiting.

The native ads will be similar to the design and layout of the page, will be delivered in the same format as the content around it and will be delivered within the social media stream or editorial content.

Finally, native ads must be labeled as advertisements.

There must be no deceptive tactic behind native advertising.

The user should know that this content is a paid advertisement so they are not deceived.

Typically, native advertisements will have labels like “sponsored content”, “recommended for you” or “sponsored stories” etc.

There must be a label indicating to the user that this content is sponsored by someone or paid to be delivered to you.

Native advertising types

In-Feed Ads

In-feed ads are advertisements that can appear on a website’s home page, article page or content feed.

In-Feed Content Native Ads

In-feed content ads appear exclusively on article pages between two paragraphs or below the article.

An in-feed ad is a type of ad that is not loke usual banner ads where it is placed on top or at the bottom of the page.

In-feed advertisement is integrated into the content of the page making them less annoying.

In-feed content ads are content ads integrated into the content of the page.

Promoted Listings

In-feed product ads or promoted listings typically appear on e-commerce websites.

The in-feed product or promoted listing ads appear in such a way that the shopper’s experience is not affected. 

The ads will appear on the category page, product page or search results.

You will also see a statement saying “sponsored by” signaling that this product or listing is a promoted listing.

Social Media Native Ads

Social media native ads are advertisements delivered on social media platforms.

They are presented in different types of visual formats like images, video or other.

They can appear in any type of social media content whether it’s a story, article, news or other.

Search Native Ads

Search engine native ads are advertisements appearing on a search engine results page or SERP.

When a user performs a search, the search native ads will be displayed on top or at the bottom of the page.

Just like other native ads, the search native ads will be delivered to the user in such a way that the advertisement will blend in with the organic search results.

The user experience on the search results page will not be affected by the search native ads.

Content Recommendation Ads

Content recommendation ads are typically placed below the content of the web page.

They will have the term “sponsored” in their title or perhaps “recommended for you”.

These types of ads are also known as content discovery ads, sponsored content or content recommendation widget.

In-Ads With Native Elements

In-ad with native elements is a type of ad that is contextually relevant to the site in which they appear or the content next to which they appear.

If you are on a page about cars, you may see an in-ad with native elements contextually presenting ads about cars or related topics.

Branded Content Ads

Branded content is a type of ad where a brand creates a custom content brand.

With brand content, the brand’s goal is to build a connection with its audience, evoke an emotion.

The brand content is a type of advertisement where the brand presents an ad but without appearing as if they are looking to make a sale.

It’s like the modern infomercial where brands aim to educate or entertain their audience.

Mobile Native Ads

Mobile native ads work the same way as any other native ad but this time on mobile devices.

The native ad may appear in any way where the user experience is not affected.

The native ad may appear at the bottom of the page or other non-obstructive location.

Potential adverse impact of native ads

An ad designed not to look like an ad!

Humm…

Now that sounds a bit misleading.

Although native ads are quite effective, you’ll need to be mindful of the adverse impact it may have on your users.

Considering that native ads may be used to mislead consumers and online users, there are rules and guidelines that must be observed to ensure that advertisers are not deceiving customers.

In a survey, 54% of people said that they felt deceived after clicking on a native ad.

If you use native ads to give users value, you will increase your sales and profitability as a result. 

At the end of the day, whether you are advertising, selling a product or a service, you want to build trust with your audience and customers.

That’s how you add value to your brand.

If you deceive your users by offering them native ads in such a way they feel deceived, you will lose trust.

They may no longer come back to your website or consider your offers.

Programmatic native ads

Programmatic native ads are ads delivered to the user based on an automated process using programmatic algorithms to deliver the best and most relevant ad possible to the user.

Leveraging sophisticated programs and artificial intelligence, ad-buying software has evolved to a point where you define your KPI’s and campaign goals the your software will take care of the rest.

65% of B2B marketers indicate using programmatic systems to buy or sell ads.

And these numbers are increasing.

The programmatic algorithm will optimize the ad campaigns based on what is working and what is not.

It will consider your audience’s behavior and make instant adjustments to ensure your ad campaign remains optimized at all times.

How to create effective native ads

To create effective native ads, you must make sure you do not deliver native ads that will diminish or affect your user experience.

Best user experience

If you are able to deliver ads to your users without disturbing their user experience, your ad will end up being more effective.

Also, if you deliver your advertisements in a consistent way across your website, then the user experience will not feel cluttered and messy.

It is a good practice for your users to know what to expect as they navigate your pages.

Mobile-first approach

Just like website optimization and any other digital marketing technique you will deploy, taking a mobile-first approach is essential for native advertising.

48% of buyers use mobile devices as the first point of contact to start their search.

53% of paid-search clicks are on mobile devices.

For your native advertisement strategy to work, you’ll need to have a mobile-first mindset when you are creating and delivering your ads.

Valuable content

Whether you are serving native ads or other digital marketing content to your users, you must create content providing value to your users.

Great content is the essence of a successful digital marketing campaign and also a native ad marketing campaign.

Depending on the type of native ads you are delivering, you can create content around it that will be highly useful to your audience.

If you are creating an in-feed native ad or content discovery ads, you’ll want to provide your audience with helpful information to educate them on a topic, solve a problem or give them a good well-rounded understanding of the topic.

If you are doing branded advertising, you’ll want to embed that branded ad in a relevant article where the reference to the branded ad makes sense and is logical.

The more value you deliver to your audience, the more you build trust and you’ll succeed in your native advertisement campaigns.

Native advertising statistics

According to eMarketer’s 2019 report called US Programmatic Ad Spending Forecast 2019, in 2019, US advertising spend is around $60 billion.

84.9% of the ad spend is programmatic.

66.7% of the programmatic ad spend will go to mobile devices.

Native ads give offer 18% more purchase intent.

Nearly half of all ad spend will go to video.

Native ads receive 53% more views than traditional display ads.

Compared to traditional display ads, native ads yield a 40x higher click-through rate

Takeaways

So there you have it, a quick overview of what is native advertising.

Online advertising is big business.

However, how effective are the ads that you deliver to your audience.

Many have become blind to the display ads online and automatically shut them down.

To combat online advertisement fatigue, marketers have come up with native advertising which is a less “in-your-face” type of advertising.

With native advertising, the user experience on the page is not affected.

The native ad will be delivered based on the same look and feel of the web page you are viewing and even contextually relevant to the page.

Native advertising can also be deceiving as you are serving ads while blending them into the page.

However, if done right, you can increase your overall digital marketing success.

Do you have any points to share on native advertising? We would love to hear from you. Drop us a comment.