Why You Should Consider Native Advertising In Your Marketing Portfolio

The art of misdirection at its best.

Photo by Nicole Honeywill on Unsplash

Let’s be real. Do you know what native advertising is? Don’t be discouraged if you have no idea what it is, as you’re not the only one raising your eyebrow over the term. Native advertising, in actuality, has been rising in popularity since 2014, but only about 3% of marketers have full understanding of the marketing concept. So, given the lack of awareness of the marketing term, we think it will be a good idea to re-introduce the concept to you.

Native Ad Definition

Native advertising, in its simplest definition, is a marketing strategy in the form of paid ads that don’t look like ads. Often times, native ads look, feel, and work just like the other content in the platform where they are posted. The idea of native advertising is to camouflage the ‘ads’ while exposing them in plain sight for users to see.

Native Ad Formats

You do realize that today, a lot of customers become more ad-resistant, right? In general, brands who actively promote their products or services are considered invasive and usually generate negative impression from the customers instead. So how does native ads differ from regular ads?

The purpose of native ads is to blend into the form and function of the content around them, so it’s really easy to miss them. Here are some examples of native advertising:

Native Ad in Search Engines

Just like its name, native ads are found on top of the search engine or sidebar. The ads are designed to look just like the organic search engine results.

Native Ad in In-Feed News

Native ads in the form of in-feed content usually appear alongside news feed on social networks such as Facebook or Twitter Feed.

Native Ad as Content Recommendation

Native ads can also appear as recommended articles such as “Around the Web” content. These links will send users to other publishing sites with a few commercials mixed in. Native ads as recommended content can be sponsored or branded. Sponsored native ads is where brands pay publishers to create content for them, while branded native ads content come from the brands and published by the publishers.

Photo source: Rocketshp

Native Ad as Video

Along with the evolution of digital media, advertising is no longer exclusive only to texts and images. As video content has become increasingly popular, brands are also incorporating native ad in video format.

Photo source: Pinterest

Native Ad Benefits

As we mentioned before, today’s consumers have become very tech-savvy. That’s why when it comes to advertising, most of them often reacted negatively. In addition, they tend to be highly critical towards information found inside the ads. So, how do native ads help brands in this situation?

Barrier to Ad-Fatigue

Native ads are extremely effective to counter consumer’s skepticism by concealing the marketing messages from brands in an editorial format. The goal is to create a perception in users’ minds that the ads are editorial content not commercial. Since native brands are brand exposure cloaked in editorial content, they often don’t tire out audiences. As long as the content is relevant and interesting, native advertising can effectively engage audiences.

Increase in Purchase Intent

The possibilities of native ads being watched, read, and listened are actually higher than display ads, since most users will probably not realize that they are being exposed to ads. Moreover, it gives brands an opportunity to position their brands in consumers’ minds. According to statistics, 53% of consumers look at native ads more than display ads and create an 18% increase in purchase intent.

Improve Loyalty

Here’s the thing about native ads. Despite most of the audiences know that they are in fact ‘advertisement’ thanks to the ‘branded’ and ‘sponsored’ labels, but it’s also a fact that many of them actually don’t care. Unlike when faced with an “in-your-face” display ad where brands aggressively promote their products, audiences still welcome native ads disguised in editorial content. Part of the reason might be the trust that the audiences have towards the publisher of the native ads. At such, there’s a chance that they will trust the brands using the service of the publisher as well.

What’s Next for Native Ad

It is a fact that native ads are one of the most effective marketing tools that are increasing in importance. As consumer’s behavior keeps changing, marketers also constantly try to find a new way to utilize native ads in a more efficient approach.

With the evolution of AI and machine learning, it’s possible now to have a targeted native ad served for specific audiences in real time. This AI-oriented native advertising can achieve a far more targeted response in real time, which in turns translates to increased engagement and higher conversions. Ultimately though, good native ads are about content where readers, watchers, and listeners will be interested in and can provide actionable goals for advertisers and brands.

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