What is Native Advertising?

RIP Web BannerAs media consumption habits trend increasingly digital and digital consumption habits trend increasingly mobile, interruptive advertising such as banner ads are failing to engage (or  even function cross-device) with research finding they are a poor investment.

Seeing the writing on the wall, brands are increasingly seeding their own branded content on third party publisher websites as native advertising (once known as “advertorial”), and social channels such as Facebook’s Sponsored Posts.

And they are winning. Business Insider reports that native advertising in Facebook’s News Feed generates CTRs that are 49-times higher than traditional display ads in the sidebar, and with a 54 per cent reduction in the CPC.

These types of figures have seen a meteoric rise in native advertising with successful content sharing networks such as Outbrain achieving incredibly fast success as global publishers have jumped on board to offer their audiences to advertisers.  You have probably seen these native ads on websites under the headings “Recommended for you” or “You may also like this”.

Part of the success of native advertising is driven by its ability to be integrated seamlessly and with contextual relevancy into the organic content in which it is served.

And given how much data organisations like Facebook have on their audiences (rightly or wrongly), Native Advertising also succeeds because it delivers content relevant to people as individuals, tailored to their informational desires – which is dangerous for global democracy (think Russian election interference) but good for your marketing.

That said, if the content is garbage or simply a corporate message, it doesn’t matter how well targeted it is, or how much you spend seeding it, it will fail to gain traction. What’s more audiences will be unimpressed when they click on what they understood to be content and ultimately the credibility of both advertiser and publisher will be undermined.

With quality – and sharable – content, native advertising is an incredibly powerful amplification medium that can produce excellent results.


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