Simply defined, native ads are paid content. Infographics, articles, videos- if a content creator can create it, corporations can purchase it and publishing platforms can promote it. To be considered a true native ad, the content must align with the site or publication recognized editorial time and style and must also offer the type of information that the audience expects.
Native ads are generally found in social media feeds, or as suggested content on a web page. Unlike display or banner ads, native ads do not appear like ads. They look like a part of the editorial flow of the page. The most important thing related to native ads is they are non-disruptive- it exposes the readers to ad content without sticking out.
Different Types of Native Ads
In-feed units- If you see sponsored posts appearing in your social media posts or on the publisher’s website, then those are the in-feed units. They are paid placements that look directly in-line with other posts, articles, and editorial content. In-feed units look different from one site to another as they fit into the unique user experience of each site.
Paid Search Units- Native ad is a popular advertising process for search engines. Are you bidding on those top-of-the-page ad placements? Technically, they are native ads as those top paid search results are made to appear like the organic search results.
Recommended widgets- Another place where you will find native ads on social media, publisher sites, and even the search results pages, is in the recommendation widgets. You will usually see these ads at the side of a web page or sometimes even at the end of an article, to recommend extra content you might prefer.
Promoted Listings- If you have a habit of shopping online, you must have come across promoted listings. As an example, while looking for new marketing books, various sponsored listings start appearing on Amazon.com. However, while those publishers had paid for those ad placements, they are made to appear like organic listings.
Custom- Provided the speed of technological advancements and the potential for publisher partnerships, this type of native ad leaves the door open for various ranges of possibilities. Developing a new Snapchat filter is an example of a custom native ad. The filter fits within the user interface of the app along with the other filters of Snapchat.
Why should you use Native Ads?
Content plays an important role in our lives. From the moment we get up in the morning to the moment we go to bed at night, we go through news articles, watch television shows, social media posts, and photos. With so much content in all our lives, and such a less time to consume it, today’s customers have trained themselves to ignore the ad, and now more and more people are using ad-blocking software to remove ads from the sites.
Native ads are designed specifically not to appear like an ad, making it difficult to avoid. Instead, it is created to look like the content of the page. As a result, customers interact with native ads about 20 to 60% more than traditional banner ads. Native ads can increase conversions. Several studies have found that native ads create an 18% higher lift in purchase intent compared to display ads.
How does Native Advertising Work?
Firstly, a brand pays for placing their content on native ad platforms. Just like any other advertising project, choosing the right platform plays an important role in the process. You must choose the channels that your target audiences prefer, whether that be social media, Google, etc.
Then, the native content is designed by the brand to have the similar look and feel to the content that surrounds it on the platform. What brands are paying for is the ability to “rent” the platform of their distribution.
Once the content is developed and approved, it is tagged with a “warning” sort of thing that may say something like “Advertisement” or “Paid Advertisement.” This develops transparency within the native ad platforms as it does not disrupt the experience completely.
Who gains benefits from Native Ads?
Advertisers- New startups and Fortune 500 brands alike use native advertisements to reach customers in highly impactful situations when customers are already consuming content are open to discovering new things. These campaigns can lead to goals around high-level brand awareness and down-funnel sales and leads.
Publishers- Publishers have accepted native ads as an indispensable tool in monetizing the content across devices and platforms. Opt-in native units support valuable user actions without losing the overall UX, driving the users to high-value pages like sponsored content, video, microsites, and many more.
Users- Native ads avoid the troublesome pitfalls of pop-up and pre-roll ads in favor of a respectful bargain with the users, letting people find and engage with branded content they may prefer on their terms.