What is Native Advertising?
Digital marketing is never short of buzzwords, and marketers are expected to understand the most recent trends and be prepared to harness these new ideas. Enter native advertising.
What is it?
Firstly, and somewhat confusingly, native ads don’t look like ads. Not in the traditional sense of flashy adverts on web pages that are designed to drive click throughs. Typical native advertising campaigns will blend seamlessly into the background of wherever the campaign is live, on-site or across social media. The idea is the advert is disguised as content that users would be seeking to consume anyway, for entertainment or education purposes.
Types of native advertising
Most people are familiar with sponsored content. The major entertainment websites often have sponsored videos that are geared towards making their audience laugh, and click the share button. The advert itself is almost secondary to the content; for example a popular humourous video about cats that is actually an advert for cat food.
Recommended content is another form of native ad that blends well into the background of web pages. This is something that most people will already be consuming; when you get to the bottom of a news story or feature, there will often be a selection of links under a heading like ‘you might also like’ or ‘from around the web’.
Social ads are the third type of native ad that are commonly used by smaller businesses thanks to their accessibility. These adverts appear in people’s social timelines and look like any other shared link to an external site. The wording often works to drive the user to a particular page, tapping into the audience’s need for value. Again, there is the higher likelihood this type of content will be shared, increasing the likelihood of an organically-grown audience.
As with the early stages of content marketing several years ago, native adverts have a relatively small following, with only a small percentage of businesses exploiting them thus far. Over time, content marketing has become an essential weapon in a digital marketer’s arsenal and you can guarantee that the same will be true of native ads in years to come.
Resources for Native Advertising
If you want get serious with Native Advertising you should look at networks such as Taboola, ZergNet, Outbrain, Yahoo, AdBlade and Rev Content.
A clever tool to help you disover what others are doing is Nativeadbuzz.com (no affiliation link)
As with any digital marketing, your audience is precious so think about your values when choosing which native ads to use. Whatever you do online will reflect your brand so a plan is always crucial.