Has your business invested in any native advertising? Unless you’re a marketing professional you may not be sure exactly what that means, but chances are you’ve already engaged with them as a user. Simply put, native advertising is any advertising that is embedded within editorial content in such a way that it doesn’t look like an ad. This “blending in” characteristic is also what makes native ads so effective.
Native advertising’s share of the online marketplace has been growing dramatically in the past few years, closely mirroring the rise of social media. Business Insider estimates that native advertising will comprise 74% of all online ad revenue by 2021. Companies everywhere, including small businesses, are taking note. Here’s what you need to know.
Types of Native Ads
There are several categories of native advertising, some of which you may be surprised to find you already use:
- In-Feed Ads – These ads appear within social media feeds and directly mimic the look of surrounding posts.
- Paid Search Listings – These ads appear above organic search results and look as if they are the top search results.
- Recommendation Feeds – These widgets provide value by recommending things that are similar to what you’re already looking at, and may include both editorial and native ads.
- Advertorial Content – This ultimate type of native advertising merges real content with ads by having the writer or artist actually work the product into a full piece of content. Usually, the only way to tell these pieces apart from regular content is by the small badge somewhere on the page that reads “Advertisement” or something similar.
So, if you have done any social media or AdWords advertising, you likely already do have some experience with native ads. If you haven’t, here’s why you need to pay attention: by all accounts, native advertising works much better than standard banner ads.
A Track Record of Effectiveness
One recent study of nearly 5,000 consumers, utilizing eye tracking technology, found that:
- Users noticed native ads 53% more frequently than display ads.
- Native ads produced 18% higher “intent to purchase” and 9% higher brand affinity than banner ads.
- 32% of users said they’d be willing to share the native ad with a friend or family member, compared to 19% for display ads.
This effectiveness naturally means that marketers everywhere are doubling down on native advertising. The truth is that at this point in time, Internet users have gotten used to standard banner ads and have learned to simply ignore them. Native ads get around that problem by erasing the gap between ads and content.
While on the surface native ads seem to simply be masquerading as posts, but really they provide the user with an unobtrusive, seamless experience that isn’t as annoying as traditional ads. By being displayed alongside content, they’re also being forced to live up to a higher standard and actually provide value.
What has been your experience with native ads both as a user and a marketer? Have you ever clicked on one yourself? Let us know in the comments!