What is native advertising and why it works

Chances are you’ve seen native advertising without even realising it. It’s an exciting way for businesses to engage with their audience, by creating adverts that their audience will trust, engage with and respond to.

What is native advertising?

Native advertising is where the advert matches the style, tone and content of the platform that they appear on. Simply put, it looks like part of the original content, rather than a paid-for addition.

Unlike display ads or banner ads, they don’t look like adverts. Native ads blend seamlessly with the editorial, offering interesting and informative content, which means they are more likely to be read and trusted by the audience.

Native ads receive 53 per cent more views than traditional display ads, and more than eight times the number of click-throughs. What’s more, 32 per cent of respondents said they would share native ads with a friend or family member, versus just 19 per cent for display ads.

Little surprise, that this type of advertising accounts for nearly two-thirds of all digital display ad spend, reaching $44 billion in the US in 2019.

Types of native advertising

According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) there are six types of native advertising.

1. In-feed adverts

An in-feed advert is typically placed between other content, which visitors find as they scroll down. Because they are designed to fit seamlessly inside the social media feed or website, they’re unobtrusive and don’t break the user’s flow.

In-feed ads are often used by the likes of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to seamlessly present content to users, where ‘infinite scroll’ is a dominant format.

2. Search ads

We’ve all clicked on the first result on the first page on Google, because it looks like it’s part of the organic search results. However, it’s a native ad. Clever, eh?

These search ads are promoted search results and advertisers pay to appear at the top of the list You can spot them as they have an ‘Ad’ logo next to them, to indicate it’s paid for.

3. Recommendation widgets

Recommendation widgets are a form of native advertising where an ad links to recommended content, based on the context of the article and the user. You’ll often see these ads off to the side of a web page, or at the end of an article, to recommend additional content you might like.

4. Promoted listings

If you love to shop online (and who doesn’t?!) chances are you’ve seen a promoted listing. They are used by e-commerce sites, such as Amazon and Etsy, to feature sponsored products, and will appear at the top of the customer search results.

5. Standard advertising with native elements

This type of advertising looks just like any other online advert. But while they might look like a standard banner ad, what makes them native is that they are relevant to the site they appear on and the content they appear next to.

6. Custom native adverts

This type of native advertising allows you to adapt and design your ad according to current trends – which are constantly evolving and changing. For example, you can pay to create a new Snapchat filter that fits with the user interface alongside Snapchat’s other filters.

The key thing with native advertising is to offer interesting, informative adverts – it’s not just about tricking the end user into clicking. Done well, it will help you sell your product or services and build your brand.

If you want to know more about creating a successful marketing campaign get in touch to find out how we can help.

Image credit: Ivan Bertolazzi Pexels