What is Native Advertising?

We all know what it feels like to be bombarded with in-your-face advertisements that are disruptive, intrusive, and annoying. Native advertising allows for ads to effectively display messages about products and services without being disruptive or frivolous. ​​This article will inform you on what native advertising is and how to incorporate it into your marketing strategy.  

What is Native Advertising?

Native advertising is a popular marketing concept in which ads are cohesive with the nature of the platform that they are displayed on. What’s most special about native advertising is that it doesn’t even look like advertising at all. Whereas in the past advertisers might have used subliminal advertising to be subtle, these days there is native advertising instead.

A native ad will appear as though it is part of the editorial look of the site in hopes that the ad viewer will find the ad more appealing and easy to digest. The most popular forms of native advertising are sponsored social media posts, recommended content on web pages, or even promoted search results. These platforms allow for a more organic ad viewing experience.native marketing

Why Use Native Marketing?

You might be wondering what the benefit is of using native marketing for your business. Let’s discuss why it is a great tactic to use. 

Increase Consumer Interaction 

People in our day and age have an overwhelming amount of content to choose from. And as a result, consumers’ tolerance for anything that disrupts their content intake, like advertisements, is extremely low. In fact, some consumers have downloaded ad blocking software into their devices to prevent them from seeing unnecessary ads. That is why it is so important for businesses to make use of native marketing. Native marketing uses different integration tactics and techniques to make ads look like they aren’t ads at all. This leads to more people finding the ad appealing and clicking on it to find out more information.

Reduce Ad Fatigue

A big factor as to why individuals do not interact with ads is because audiences become bored of seeing the same ad over and over again. After a while, it becomes so repetitive and lackluster that people simply stop paying attention. Native advertising solves this issue by cloaking itself in editorial content that engages the audience so they are more compelled to take notice of the ad and interact. 

Changes Ad Viewer Perception

Another great reason to use native advertising is that it changes the narrative of advertisements. A large majority of the time, ads feel like intrusive interruptions from the content that the individual wants to see. With native ads, audiences feel differently. They are aware that what they are looking at is most likely an ad, but they find it interesting enough that they don’t really care. It changes the perception of advertisements from dull, boring, and repetitive to engaging, natural, and fresh. 

Higher Conversion Rates

Because native advertising is more appealing to the consumer, ad viewers are more likely to click on the ad to interact with it. This action might prompt them to visit the brand’s website or social media page. If it interests them enough, they are more likely to buy the product or sign up for the brand’s services. Thus, native advertising directly increases conversion rates and can ultimately decrease bounce rates on a company’s website.native advertising

Native Ad Examples

As we mentioned, there are many different ways native advertisements can be incorporated into social media, websites, and more. These are some of the most popular types of native ads.

In-Feed Units

Essentially, any sponsored in-feed post on social media such as Instagram or Facebook is an in-feed unit. In-feed units are paid advertisements that appear directly next to other social media content, articles, or editorial content. Depending on the platform that the ad is on, the layout of the in-feed unit will differ.  

Paid Search Units

Native advertising is also useful in search engine results. These paid search units are found at the very top of the search results. Besides this and the small box labeled ad that appears at the corner of the search result, there is really no distinction between a paid search unit and a normal search result. This reinforces the subtle nature of the ad which makes the viewer more likely to click on it.

Recommended Widgets

Another common spot for native advertisements is the recommended widgets. These widgets are often on the side of a webpage or at the end of an article to point to additional content that you might find appealing.  They can also be on social media pages and search engine results.native ads

Promoted Listings

Promoted listings are a form of native advertising often seen by frequent online shoppers. For example, Amazon will often place products at the top of the list that have paid for placement. However, to the person online shopping, there is often no obvious indication that this is the case. To the customer, it looks organically placed. 

Display Ad with Native Elements

Similar to promoted listings, display ads with native elements are subtle in appearance. The difference lies in that the display ad with native advertising elements has a contextual relevance rather than a direct one. For example, let’s say that it is a car dealership website. The native advertisement that could potentially accompany it could be an ad for a tire company or a local car wash deal. As you can see, both of these native ads have contextual relevance to the site. 

Custom Ads

This is an umbrella term that defines every other possible advertisement that can fit within a platform’s interface. An example of a custom native ad could be an ad in a Snapchat or Instagram filter. Filters are already part of the user experience on both of these platforms and as a result, integrating an advertisement into the filters is a great way to create seamless native advertising. 

The Future of Native Advertising 

The future of native advertising is extremely bright as it is predicted to have a stronger hold on the digital marketing world. Let’s discuss what experts expect to happen in this space.

Programmatic Native Advertising 

The goal of programmatic native advertising is to take native advertising to the next level. This form of native advertising will help target specific consumers in real-time. See, native advertising consists of a number of different metadata elements such as a headline thumbnail image, content URL, etc. When a consumer visits a site, the software platforms interact to create an ad impression based on the requests of the publisher and the advertiser. The process happens within seconds and allows native marketers to reach their consumers in real-time. This will ultimately create more engagement and higher conversions.  

Social Media Dominant

We’re all well aware of social media’s hold on the marketing industry and sure enough, its influence extends into native marketing as well. Brands are straying away from purchasing ad placements on dominant publishing sites such as Forbes, BuzzFeed, etc. Instead, brands are looking to invest more of their resources into in-feed Instagram ads, Snapchat filters, and sponsored content on other social media platforms. With TikTok on the rise, it is likely that you will see more and more native advertisements, like sponsored TikTok videos, on the platform too.what is native advertising

Increased Reach on Mobile Devices

Digital mobile advertising is on the rise. Most people today have access to or own a smartphone and this has led to increased advertising on these devices. Since there is limited real estate on mobile devices, native marketers are able to afford way more opportunities to interact with their audience. In addition, creating native ads on mobile devices allows brands to be more creative and effective since mobile devices allow audiences to interact with advertisements in a much more hands-on way.

User-Generated Content

User-generated content adds a wealth of authenticity and sincerity to an advertisement. It helps create a personal relationship with your target audience and this is a big goal for native marketers. Native marketers want to learn more about what their ad viewers think since native advertising is quite a collaborative form of advertising. Effective native marketers will use data from user-generated content to advance in their strategy and advertise more effectively. In the future, it is likely for you to expect to see more polls, surveys, social media posts, and other user-generated content that coincides with the native ad placements in order to build trust between the brand and the consumer.  

Importance of Ethical Disclosure 

Although native advertisements are meant to seamlessly fit into the platform the ad is on, it is still important to be clear to the audience that it is in fact an ad. This is where ethical disclosure comes into play. For native marketers to keep up their authenticity, ad disclosures will become more paramount. The reason that ethical disclosures are so important is that they maintain transparency that the audience is being marketed to. It helps the consumers to distinguish whether or not something is a paid promotion, sponsored post, etc. This allows consumers to be more aware of the content that they are consuming and help to make better decisions in regard to what brands they would like to support. 


  • What is native advertising?
  • Why do companies use native ads?
  • Do consumers like native advertisements?
  • What trends are happening in native advertisements?
  • What are examples of native ads?

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