What Is Native Advertising?
Native advertising is the concept of creating ads that are so cohesive with the page content, assimilated into the design, and consistent with the platform behavior that the viewer feels the ad belongs there.
Promoted search results and sponsored social media posts are popular examples of native ads. Both formats provide the same kind of value to users as the organic search results and user-generated social media posts.
As consumers become more resistant to traditional forms of advertising, Fortune 500 brands and consumer startups alike are allocating bigger budgets towards content marketing and non-disruptive ad formats.
The global market for native ads is expected to reach over $85B in annual revenue by 2020.
How do Native Ads Work?
Native ads, a tactic that supports performance marketing, work in terms of supply and demand. On the supply side are publishers, with an audience and reach, looking to monetize their sites. On the demand side are advertisers looking to reach an audience and hit goals around awareness, sales, or lead generation.
Which Ads are Native?
At the very core of native ads is the concept of placing ads in a relevant and unobstructive context where they natively fit. Native advertising is most likely to look just like all other articles and pieces of content around it, and especially in cases where the goal is brand awareness, you may not see some of the common words you’re accustomed to seeing in advertisements (purchase, subscribe, sign up, etc).
Native Advertising Channels
Whether its run manually or programmatically, native advertising runs across:
engines like Google pioneered an entirely new form of “native” with their sponsored search results.
Social networks like Facebook and Instagram popularized native in-feed and carousel ad formats.
Who Benefits From Native Advertising?
Fortune 500 brands and fledgling startups alike use native ads to reach audiences at highly impactful moments, when people are already consuming content and open to discovering something new. These campaigns can drive goals around high-level brand awareness as well as down-funnel leads and sales.
Publishers have embraced native ads as an indispensable tool in monetizing content across platforms and devices. Opt-in native units encourage valuable user actions without sacrificing the overall UX, driving users to high-value pages such as video, sponsored content, microsites, and more.
Native ads avoid the disruptive pitfalls of pop-up or pre-roll ads in favor of a more respectful bargain with users, allowing people to discover and engage with branded content they may like on their own terms.