What is Native Advertising?

What is Native Advertising?

Native advertising is sponsored content that appears to be part of an online or offline publication’s regular, unsponsored content such as articles, blogs, reviews, news, and more.

What does native advertising look like?

Native advertising blends into the regular publishing format of a media outlet so as to appear to be traditional content. It is a form of paid or sponsored advertising that marketers use to bring more attention to their brands, products, and services.

Native content often appears in the form of sponsored posts, interviews, articles, reviews, news, and more. This sponsored content does not have to be overtly salesy, and can often provide real data and useful information to readers.

How effective is native advertising?

In fact, 70% of internet users would rather learn about brands, products, and services through content like sponsored posts than through traditional advertising models, according to the results of a LinkedIn Marketing Solutions study.

Internet users accept and even like native advertising content pieces “because they don’t look like ads. They look like content.. the stuff we seek out on the Internet. The stuff that entertains, informs or inspires.”

When did native advertising start?

Native advertising may seem like a newer advent in content and inbound marketing. However, marketers have utilized native strategy for more than a century.

Brands like Cadillac ran long form copy ads in magazines, newspaper, and other print publications as early as the 1910s.

Nowadays, native advertising takes almost any form including the following:

  • Sponsored content: Content written by a brand’s marketing team to appear as regular content and promote the brand’s products or services.
  • Suggested content: Sponsored news or articles that are linked as recommended reading for users.
  • Social ads that appear as posts: Ads that look like normal posts or content can appear in user feeds on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and other social feeds.

Is native advertising regulated?

When it comes to disclosure, the FTC has mandated that “advertisers are responsible for ensuring that native ads are identifiable as advertising before consumers arrive at the main advertising page. In addition, no matter how consumers arrive at advertising content, it must not mislead them about its commercial nature.”

The American Society of Magazine Editors recommends that, “regardless of platform or format, the difference between editorial content and marketing messages should be clear to the average reader.”

As such, users will often find native advertising disclosed as sponsored content with declarations like, “This article was brought to you by…” or with just the word “Sponsored” visible at the top of the ad article or post. However, even with disclosures, native advertising still performs better with a 53% higher purchase intent than traditional advertising.

How can I measure the success of native advertisements?

Patrick Quigley, CEO of the advertising technology firm Vantage Media, says, “Native advertising is expanding into new areas of media and there are stats to prove it’s having [an] impact, down to where and with whom.”

Many marketers judge the success of their native advertising based on traffic and engagement (time spent on the page, how many clicks, likes, shares, etc.). However, some marketers are still wondering how to measure attribution of native advertising to their overall bottom line.

As Vitaly Pecherskiy, co-founder and COO at StackAdapt Inc. put it, “There is no commonly agreed-upon way to tie in the branded content engagement to the most widespread attribution model–post-view.”

One solution includes inbound lead analytics through campaign call tracking which offers data-driven marketers the information to see if their native advertisements are driving real leads.

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