What is Native Advertising?
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 —  January 18, 2024

What is Native Advertising?

Native Advertising offers many benefits. Key among these is that it brings a tailored relevance to the consumer.


Native advertising is a form of paid ads that seamlessly blends into the look and structure of the page on which it appears. It provides a less disruptive experience to viewers than traditional ad formats. It mimics the tone, style, and theme of the content on the platform on which it appears. Native advertising includes sponsored content, promoted content, in-feed units, content widgets, and in-app rewarded video. Native ad spend has increased significantly in the last five years, as seen in the graph below:

Benefits of Native Advertising:

Native Advertising offers many benefits. Key among these is that it brings a tailored relevance to the consumer. Native ads appear on websites where the content category is associated with the ad genre. This increases the likelihood the consumer will be interested in–and engage with–the ad. Native ads provide companies with the opportunity to connect with an engaged target demographic.

The platforms themselves benefit from the additional revenue stream that native ads produce. The appearance of the ad blends into the page content so adeptly that sometimes users don’t even realize it’s an ad. To protect against misleading consumers, native ads are required to have a clear label (e.g. “paid ad” or “paid promotion,” etc.). While this is intended as a consumer protection, it also protects advertisers from the possibility of negative reactions from consumers feeling duped into clicking something they didn’t realize was an ad. The following studies back up the effectiveness of native advertising:

  • Consumers look at native ads 53% more than display ads (Outbrain)
  • Native ads create an 18% increase in purchase intent (Outbrain)
  • Native advertising on the open web that uses a softer trust-based approach to content marketing achieved a 5-10X higher average CTR than a more aggressive push marketing approach (Outbrain/Content Marketing Institute)
  • Native ads are 62% easier to understand than display ads, and 31% easier to understand than social ads (Outbrain/Lumen)


Types of Native Advertising

Now let’s dive deeper into the different categories within native ads.

Sponsored Content:

Brands invest in sponsored content by mixing their promotional material into the platform. The curated content aligns with both the site’s interface and theme. The aim is to inform consumers while subtly promoting your company or products.

Promoted Content:

Promoted content offers visibility exceeding standard content.  Advertisers can pay to increase their ad’s reach, all while melding cohesively with the platform’s environment. This strategy augments content reach without disrupting the natural flow of the user experience.

In-Feed Integration:

Advertisers place these units solely in content feeds, such as on social media sites as well as news and other media sites. They are designed to deliver promotional content without interrupting user browsing.

Tailored Content Widgets:

These widgets suggest relevant content, such as articles, videos, or even product recommendations. They typically appear at the conclusion of the article or within a content feed. These widgets seek to engage consumers without being intrusive.

Rewarded Video Ads:

This is a type of native advertising that offers viewers rewards within a mobile application in exchange for viewing a video ad. This fosters positive user interaction by incentivizing user engagement. For example, this may be used in conjunction with gaming features, such as unlocking a new level or item in exchange for viewing the ad.


Utilizing Native Advertising

Now that you understand native advertising and its benefits, let’s talk about how to best utilize it. The social media space has been a key component for native ads. TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts are appealing platforms for segmenting–and connecting with–specific audiences. These spaces are especially important for reaching the emerging Generation Z segment.  While social media remains an important area, a new trend is also taking form: native ad focus is shifting to other formats, such as Connected TV and videos within apps.

As with most digital advertising, you can track metrics meticulously. Native advertising’s impact can be seen through various key performance indicators (KPIs), such as engagement rates, conversion rates, impressions, bounce rates, cost per click (CPC), and cost per action (CPA). For native video ads, additional metrics include view count, unique views, interaction duration, replays, and social engagement metrics. These metrics collectively gauge the effectiveness of native advertising campaigns.


Ready to get started? Or looking to learn more first? Reach out to our team of experts with all of your questions! It would be our pleasure to assist you on your native advertising journey and to see if it is a good fit for your business needs. Call us today for a free consultation!

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