What is Native Advertising and why is it so important?

Chances are that you have already been exposed to a number of instances of native advertising. In this day and age native advertising has infiltrated almost every site on the internet; and it’s becoming more and more difficult to identify.

In this post we will cover the definition of native advertising to help you gain a better understanding of why it is so important in the world of online marketing, as well as some of the controversies that native advertising has acquired during its introduction and existence.

Understanding Native Advertising…

Native advertising is basically paid advertising content. Videos, blog posts, and infographics, whatever you can think of, if a content creator can produce it, businesses can purchase it and publishing networks can promote it as paid content.

You may be wondering what the difference between native advertisements and advertorials is. Simply put, in order for a native advertisement to be identified as a native advertisement, the content needs to aligned with the publication or the website’s set editorial style and format, and also needs to deliver the type of content that the site’s audience usually expects.

These characteristics are what make native advertising so difficult to identify, as they typically camouflage with the original and organic content on the site very well. This is made even more difficult by the fact that there are no clear cut regulations or directions on how publishers need to label native advertisements, and the standards of transparency vary incredibly from every individual publications.

It is also important to understand that native advertising should not be confused with content advertising. Furthermore, the overlap between native advertising and content advertising often leads to wide uncertainty and questions.

Native advertising versus controversy

Businesses and marketing teams relish native advertisements, purely because of the high click-through rates when compared to regular online advertisements and the engagement rate is typically a lot higher. Nevertheless, there are those who are not that keen on native advertisements, especially customers.

A handful of regulatory bodies have raised concerns on the typically obscure nature of native advertisements. The United States Federal Trade Commission is planning to introduce regulatory measures on businesses using native advertisements to promote their offerings and products, and the Federal Trade Commission has also suggested that they may start tracking the market to make sure that native advertising is used mainly for the benefit of the consumer. The American Society of Magazine Editor is another professional organization that has urged for more transparency and regulations when it comes to native ads.

Statistics associated with native advertisements

Let’s have a look at some eye-opening statistics associated with native advertisements from Taboola Blog:

  • ‘Native display ads produce a CTR 8.8X compared to typical display ads.’  
  • ‘Native ads register a 9% higher lift for brand affinity and 18% lift for purchase intent than display ads.’
  • ‘71% of consumers say they personally identify with a brand after viewing its native ads versus only 50% with display ads.’
  • ‘Native ads receive 53% more views than traditional display ads.’
  • ‘Native ads deliver 1% or greater CTRs for the pets, food & drink, and family & parenting categories.’
  • ‘Two out of three Generation X and Z consumers trust branded content more than traditional advertising.’
  • ‘Native video ads are predicted to increase by 24.2% by the end of 2019.’
  • ‘Compared to traditional display ads, native ads yield a 40x higher CTR.’

Native advertising: Don’t judge a book by its cover

When it is done successfully and professionally, native ads can be engaging, relevant and sell a business offering or develop brand awareness. On the other hand, done badly or haphazardly is only likely to result in disappointed and disgruntled users and consumers. Successful native advertising is a difficult balancing act but that doesn’t stop publishers from following and using the native advertising trend as part of their online marketing campaigns. It is a matter of time whether or not the Federal Trade Commission and other similar regulatory organizations will configure how these types of advertisements should be presented, but as things stand, it appears that both brands and publishers will carry on trying to come up with a magic formula.

According to AdYouLike ‘the native ad industry set to grow to $400 billion by 2025, a 372% jump from the projected size of the market in 2020.’

What are some of the pros and cons of native advertisements?

Native ads are a trend that is on the gradual rise in the world of online marketing. Native ads create the best results when the articles and campaigns provide relevant information, are well-targeted, and when they are put on sites that appeal to the target audience and blend in with the format and tone of the rest of the organic content. However, content that is overly self-aware and promotes itself can create issues for both the publisher and the brand.

Users depend on and trust their favorite news publications for relevant, accurate and reliable information. When publishers place native ads amongst organic editorial content without making it similar to the original content, they break that trust between brand and user which can lead to a drop in both traffic and conversion rates.

Of course there are ways to overcome this hurdle. The majority of online publishers run custom headings over native ads or put hashtags in the descriptions and captions of most social media posts. The only issue here is that advertising companies want their native articles to blend in with editorial content. When native advertising is inundated with warnings, hashtags, and headlines the less premium advertisers are willing to pay.

Bottom line

How can publishers meet the demands of both the audience and the advertisers? Simply put, it begins with generating relevant native content that is as top-quality, relevant, and engaging as possible. Users are much more receptive of native advertisements when it offers value to them and when it answers their questions.

Categories: Affiliate Marketing

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