The What, Why, And How Of Native Advertising

Native advertising.  It’s a hot topic among business owners and marketers.

Perhaps you’re wondering whether native advertising can actually help you achieve your brand goals.

Well, if you are not making native advertising a part of your overall strategy, you’re leaving money on the table!

What Is Native Advertising?

The big and basic question: What is native advertising? 

Native advertising is the use of paid content, called a “native ad,” that adapts to the overall look and feel of the website it appears on.

Popular brands are crazy about native ads because these ads look more natural and attractive than standard adverts.

The term “native” is based on the premise that these ads appear like they’re a natural part of an entire piece of content.

They don’t look out of place at all.

Native ads are great to leverage for brands.

They provide people with useful knowledge and help raise brand awareness, as opposed to regular display ads that are just too promotional.

However, you need to remember one this: Native advertising is not content marketing.

Some people can easily mistake native advertising for content marketing because native ads do not interfere with a web visitor’s experience.

Again, native ads blend with the platform that they’re on, which makes them somehow difficult to detect among online searchers.

WordStream mentions that nearly half of online customers cannot identify native ads.

Have you seen articles by brands in your Facebook News Feed or other websites you visit with the word “Sponsored” or “Suggested”?

These are examples of native ads.

The Benefits Of Native Advertising

How does native advertising help your online brand? What are its advantages?

1. Brand awareness

Native ads on social media have call-to-action buttons that invite you to Learn More.

The purpose of this is to increase people’s awareness of a particular brand. It’s being done in a way that’s not intrusive.

People in Facebook News Feed are just scrolling down to know “what’s up” rather than buy something.

2. Effective communication 

Like content marketing, native advertising will help you deliver your message in a valuable, interesting way.

People will benefit from your message and you’ll benefit from them too.

Through your brand messages, you get more people to perform several actions.

Such entail visiting your website, signing up for your newsletter, registering for your free trial, and downloading your app.

3. Acquire cold traffic

Cold traffic refers to visitors that have little to no idea about your brand. You get cold traffic when people click the native ads you display.

As someone who’s starting out on a business, cold traffic is a brilliant way for people to get to know you and eventually do business with you.

Though cold traffic has low sales conversion rates, you can convince people to sign up for your mailing list. This will be a good way to keep them informed of your latest offers.

4. Camouflage marketing messages

As I’ve mentioned, native ads camouflage your marketing messages. People often view them as editorial content.

They are also highly relevant to the content of a page which which makes them more likely to be liked, read, watched, listened to.

Is Native Advertising Designed To Deceive Consumers?

NO. Native advertising is still advertising.

The difference that native advertising has over traditional banner ads is the latter is perceived in a better light.

Even the Federal Trade Commission makes it clear that native ads are not meant to deceive people.

According to FTC’s guidelines on native advertising for businesses, a native ad consists of the following:

  • A headline
  • A thumbnail image
  • A short description

Before consumers are to arrive at an advertiser’s web page, there must be labels that help them identify that what they’re viewing are native ads.

Businesses are required to place labels near the headline or in corners of their native ads such as:

  • Featured Partner
  • Ad
  • Promoted or Promoted by
  • Sponsored
  • Presented by
  • Suggested Post

Types Of Native Ads

Native ads come in different forms. They are also delivered in various ways.

Here, I’ll show you the most common types of native ads and native advertising examples too.

1. Promoted Listings

Promoted Listings are the kind of native ads that are shown on websites such as eBay, Amazon, or Etsy. These native ads are shown similar to the way other product listings are featured.

2. In-Feed Ad Units

In-Feed native ads are popular among sites such as Facebook and Twitter. These ads appear together with other people’s stories in News Feed.

Feed format is highly popular these days due to people’s increasing use of mobile devices in browsing the web.

Like other native ad types, in-feed ads do not disrupt users’ experiences.

3. Recommendation Widgets

Recommendation Widgets are native ads that appear as content recommendations. You’ll see recommendation widgets positioned near the main content you’re viewing.

4. Search Ads

Search Ads are native advertisements that appear in search engine results. Notice the label “Sponsored” at the upper right corner of the featured gym bags.

Must-Know Native Advertising Statistics And Trends On Native

It would be great to know what’s up so you can use native advertising to your advantage. Below are the statistics and trends on native advertising:

1. Native video ads will become the next big thing. 

According to Cisco, video will influence 69% of all consumer traffic in 2017. This is already highly evident in Facebook’s increasing use of silent autoplay videos in News Feed.

Short-form videos are also gaining massive enthusiasm among online consumers.

You need to immediately grab people’s attention when using native short-form videos since people have an attention span of only 8 seconds.

2. Spending on native ads will continue to rise. 

From only $4.7 billion in 2013, spending on native ads will skyrocket to $21 billion in 2018.

Also, native ads on Facebook and Twitter will account for a huge portion of native ad revenue until 2018.

3. Native advertising engages viewers. 

A survey was conducted and it has been found out that nearly 80% of businesses are convinced that native ads are relevant, valuable and interesting to people.

This means that if you plan to do native advertising for your business, your ads must fit the preferences of your target audience for them to work.

4. The increasing importance of eye-catching visuals. 

Visual content gets the attention of your target consumers.

Not only will you have to work on your thumbnail image, you also need to fine-tune your headline, description, and call-to-action.

This picture says it all! The fact that nearly 100% of the human brain is visual proves the importance of a catchy native ad copy.

Conclusion

Native advertising is everywhere.

It has enabled small businesses and huge brands increase brand awareness, web traffic, and consumer engagement.

This advertising technique will continue to see growth in the future.

Consumers find it impossible to ignore native advertising due to its manner of changing how individuals perceive businesses.

Native advertising is less intrusive and works in a similar way to how any content on the web should be.

What are your thoughts on native advertising? 

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