Native Advertising: An Overview

Native ads are the future of advertising!

The idea behind native advertising is to make ads that blend in so well with the content of the page, are incorporated into the design, and follow the behavior of the platform so that the viewer feels like the ad belongs there.

Native ads include sponsored posts on social media and promoted search results. Users receive the same value from both formats as they do from user-generated social media posts and organic search results.

Fortune 500 companies and consumer startups alike are putting more money into content marketing and non-disruptive ad formats. It makes consumers more resistant to traditional forms of advertising like banner ads and display ads.

Before we move on to talk about how specific companies have incorporated this advertising technique into their marketing strategy, let us dig a little deeper.

What is Native advertising?

Paid advertising that matches the feel and function of the media format in which it appears is known as native advertising. They fit the web page “natively” and seamlessly.

Native ads, in contrast to banner or display ads, are not like ads, so they don’t interfere with how the user interacts with the page. 

Advertisers can be sure that users already enjoy the format in which the advertisement will be presented, and these kinds of ads offer a great opportunity for creative exposure. Native advertising options like recommendation widgets and in-feed commerce are popular. However, advertisers can also use the method to distribute original, individualized in-app content.

Since these advertisements necessitate a “native” understanding of the platform, they also present several challenges. Native advertising is likely to perform better the more advertisers can learn about a platform. However, the advantages outweigh the difficulties of these issues. It is possible to provide users with unique content that is particularly engaging for your target audience by adapting advertising to the forms and functions of a platform.

Native advertising often performs better than traditional advertising. It engages users more than traditional advertising, even though users are aware that the content was paid for. This could be because the content can be used in a way that is similar to how a user normally uses media.

Example of Native Advertising Showing Context and Content Matters (Source: Outbrain)

Types of Native Ads

According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), there are three types of native advertising:


Sponsored posts on Facebook, sponsored content on Instagram, and promoted tweets on Twitter are examples of in-feed native ads. You have already seen these numerous times, except for the “Sponsored” tag. Sponsored content will appear whenever you scroll through your preferred social media platform.

Ads in the feed, also known as in-content ads, are successful because they are unobtrusive and do not shout slogans from campaigns at the audience.

By no means are these native ads exclusive to social media; you can also see them on content and commerce feeds.

Branded Content

Branded content is a burgeoning sector in native advertising. It goes by many different names, like publisher hosted or made, as defined by the IAB. Others might refer to it as branded content, partner content, publisher partnered content, or branded partner publisher content. I’ve referred to it as Branded Content here for simplicity’s sake.Ā 

This type of native advertising essentially entails a publisher creating a custom piece of content for a brand that adheres to the publisher’s expectations for the audience and tone of voice. In essence, this native advertising format is a partnership between a single advertiser and a single publisher.

Branded content is paid content published in the format and style of an editorial piece on a website.

Content Recommendation

Have you ever noticed sponsored content in a news or content website’s recommendations section? Those are content recommendation ads. It is an incredibly successful form of native advertising. You can find it on every leading news website. This content will be visible at the end of the article. In other cases, you might see boxes of three or six ā€˜Related Contentā€™ or ā€˜Promoted Storiesā€™ columns at the bottom.

For marketers, content recommendation ads provide enormous scale. You can have your content shared across thousands of websites. This is possible by paying just a few cents per click for a website visit. Only the visit costs you money. It is typically operated through self-service dashboards, in which you can effectively load content and budgets. Although this is changing, it is typically not traded programmatically.

Examples of Native Advertising

Here are some examples of native advertising:

Spotify Playlists

Native advertising does not always come in the form of content.

Spotify, a music streaming service, can create custom playlists based on a company’s services, products, or themes. It can also recommend specific playlists based on listening history using Spotify’s user data.

The collaboration between Spotify and Netflix to promote the show “Stranger Things” is a great illustration of this.

A “Stranger Things” mode that placed them in a character-based playlist could be enabled by users.

In addition to promoting the show through logos and background art, this also resonated with listeners because the playlist tracks reflected their own listening preferences.

Twitter Hashtags

Although sponsored hashtags on Twitter are nothing new, using them natively and engagingly can boost your ads.

It is possible to maximize the use of your paid brand tag by engaging users to use your hashtag for various challenges or votes.

On International Margarita Day, PatrĆ³n Tequila used the hashtag #MargaritaOfTheYear to encourage Twitter users to vote for one of several recipes to determine the best margarita of the year.

The hashtag not only promoted the PatrĆ³n Tequila vote in particular, but it also encouraged users to interact and share their own margarita recipes and experiences.

TikTok is a mobile application that heavily relies on native advertising.

While some paid ads appear as video pop-ups with skip buttons, using popular video formats or sounds is much more effective. Making a TikTok video that follows a popular sound or video trend can be very natural if it fits into your product line or service offerings.

However, just like with all ads on social media, it’s essential to know that users who don’t like the way your content is presented can voice their disapproval.

As a result, it’s critical to pay attention to your ads’ feedback as you create native social media ads.

Native Ads: The Bottom Line

Native advertising is a cost-effective method for businesses and brands to gain exposure on a number of the world’s most prominent publisher websites, including CNN, The Washington Post, Der Spiegel, Le Monde, and others.

While native ads outperform display ads in terms of performance, native ads outperform display ads overall, resulting in a higher ROAS (Return On Ad Spend) for advertisers.

Featured Image: Intrix Media

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