Native advertising 101

Native advertising enables brands and businesses to reach and engage with audiences at times when they are most receptive.

Unlike traditional banner advertising, native advertising seeks to fit seamlessly into the audience’s daily digestion of digital content – encouraging readers to click and view the content in the same way as they view non-advertising content under headlines such as ‘recommended reading’ or ‘more like this’.

It’s subtle, but effective. And it’s the way the ad-averse Australian consumer like it!

What is native advertising?

Native advertising is paid advertising that looks and feels like editorial content. Whether it’s text based (article, blog) or visually based (video, infographic or images), native advertising should meet the same editorial standards of engaging storytelling that are applied to the creation of regular digital content.

The only difference is that there the content carries a subliminal message about the brand, product or service that is being ‘advertised’. It should help form a direct connection in the audience’s mind between the relevant content and the advertiser.

Native advertising is often produced, published and always paid for by a business or brand, but hosted on a publisher’s platform and with a similar feel, form and style to that platform’s own content.

Where does native advertising appear?

The answer to this question is: everywhere and anywhere. Native advertising appears on most major media websites (as ‘recommended’ content, or content ‘from around the web’), on blogs and on long-form content sites such as Medium. It is also found on virtually every social channel including LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

The following three examples under ‘we recommend’, ‘promotional features’ and ‘you might also like’ demonstrate how native advertising simply slots into a sympathetic editorial environment. 

Why does native advertising work?

It’s effective because the native format is designed to fit in seamlessly with the user’s expectations of content on a given platform. If you’re on a news website, you look for editorial content. If you’re on Facebook, you look for more visually-driven posts.

Native advertising is crafted deliberately so that it sits naturally within the user’s experience of a platform. Native advertising is popular with brands and businesses because when done well, it delivers a higher click through rate than traditional banner ads.

When should I use native advertising?

A recent survey conducted by WARC found that 59% of brands were using native advertising most at the beginning of the customer purchase cycle.

Native advertising is widely used to build brand awareness and boost engagement with potential customers. It’s a “soft sell” approach. Well-crafted native advertising builds trust and credibility.

Keys to native advertising success

The key to success with any native campaign is to create and publish attention-grabbing content that your target audience is actually interested in reading about or watching.

Humour, innovation, entertainment, opinion, information and fun can all have a place in native advertising, just as they would in regular editorial.

But it’s important to tailor your content to the platform you’re publishing on. Paid editorial content for a serious news media website would have a different look and feel to a sponsored Facebook post, for example.

Should native advertising be labelled as such?

Yes, it should. Marking native content as sponsored lets your audience know that the content they are reading has been paid for. Not marking content as paid can actually work against your brand, damaging its reputation and reducing its credibility.

Does native advertising work?

According to research conducted by IPG Media Lab, native ads are looked at 53% more frequently than traditional banner ads. They are also viewed for 25% longer than traditional banner ads. IPG media lap also reports that native ads are viewed for the same amount of time as editorial content and are much more likely to be shared than a banner ad (32% versus 19%).

Want to know more?

Please contact Content Empire to find out more about how a native campaign could deliver results for your brand or business.

Key Points

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