What Is Native Advertising?
The term native advertising (also commonly referred to as “Custom Content,” “Sponsored Content,” “Branded Content,” and “Content Marketing”) denotes ads that are designed to appear native to the website or channel that they are featured on.
Native ads are comprised of two elements: brand and content. At their core, effective native advertisements are quality content combined with a paid advertising strategy. When done correctly, Native Advertising leverages customer attention by engaging users with content they actually want to see. Widely touted as one of the digital advertising waves of the future, spend on Native Ads is projected to move from 2.36b in 2013 to 4.57 billion in 2017.
The term “native” refers to the user’s experience with an ad on a specific channel. Native ads are most effective when they remain non-disruptive and appear identical to the rest of the stream or feed of content. This kind of content is at its best when it provides content that the user is actively seeking out instead of appearing in a harsh, jarring or overtly commercial manner.
How Can I Launch Native Ads for My Business?
Much more than a simple ad, native advertising can be created through a variety of different channels. This includes: blog posts, an image slideshow, a video, a tweet or status update, or even just a well-placed image. Native Ads can be found on many different platforms across the web including social networks like Twitter and Facebook, content publishers like Buzzfeed, 3rd party apps like Spotify and search engines like Google’s AdWords.
Native Ads on content heavy sites can be published in a variety of different ways. They can be co-created by the brand and the publisher, sponsored by the brand and then created by the publisher, created by the brand in the publisher’s native format, or created and hosted by the brand and shared or disseminated via the paid network. Regardless of which tactic is used when publishing native advertisements, it is important to remember that branding is key.
When servicing native advertisements it is important to identify your advertisement as “sponsored content” so that users are not mislead into thinking that an advertisement is exactly the same as the rest of the organic content on the site. Failing to do so can result in catastrophic repercussions for the advertiser, the publisher and for users — as The Atlantic learned when they posted an article by scientologists without disclosing that the content was sponsored and not a piece of bona-fide journalism.