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What is native advertising and what are its benefits?

What is native advertising and what are its benefits?

Posted by on January 7, 2019

With so much advertising already on the web, you need an advertising technique that will help your company stand out from the crowd.

Maybe you’ve already heard of native advertising. Maybe you’re only just starting to wonder, “What is native advertising?” Maybe you’re somewhere between the two and you’re not entirely sure that it’s the right fit for you.

Either way, your company can stand to benefit from this popular technique. Keep reading for a crash course in native advertising and the key benefits that will help you stand out from the crowd.

What is Native Advertising?

To put it simply, native advertising is paid content that matches a publication’s editorial standards while also meeting the audience’s expectations.

In other words, native advertising is a form of paid advertising in which the ad matches the form, feel, and function of the content in which it appears.

It’s advertising that flies under the radar, thus the name native advertising.

Characteristics of Native Advertising

While it might be easy to confuse native advertising with content marketing, the two have a few critical differences.

Native advertising is the promotion of content and works when the ad itself melds seamlessly with the content that surrounds it. It shouldn’t look like an ad at all, but rather another useful and engaging piece of content for the viewer.

Because of this, native advertising is most successful when the content is useful and clever. Think about selling your brand with an entertaining and engaging story.

In addition, you should also think about what problem your brand solves for consumers. From there, use your native ad to present your service as a solution to a pressing problem in consumers’ lives.

Types of Native Ads

In general, digital environments have two kinds of native advertising, open and closed.

Open ads promote the same content on platforms or pages that share content on related topics. Closed ads, on the other hand, are published on a specific platform, formatted based on the individual style of the platform itself.

So, open ads are designed to fit a wide variety of pages covering the same subject, while closed ads are each individually tailored to their respective platform.

Who Uses Native Advertising?

The real question is, who isn’t using native advertising? And more importantly, who can afford to ignore it?

Native advertising revenue is rapidly growing and shows no signs of slowing down. Consumers are 25 percent more likely to engage with native ads than banner ads, and they’re 475.28 times more likely to survive a plane crash than click on a banner ad.

When you look at the numbers, there’s no contest. Native advertising comes out ahead.

Why is Native Advertising Effective?

It begs the question, why is native advertising so effective? When you break it down, it’s actually rather simple.

Consumers see as many as 5,000 ads per day. They’re tired of ads, and they’re tired of feeling like someone is trying to sell them something, even if it’s a company they like.

Native advertising is effective because it doesn’t feel like you’re trying to sell your customer something, even if you actually are trying to sell them something. It feels natural and seamless. It doesn’t annoy your customers the way a normal ad would.

Key Benefits of Native Advertising

With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at a few of the key benefits of native advertising.

Customers and Publishers Feel Empowered

As a rule, when customers are online, they’re looking for one of two things:

  1. Entertainment
  2. Solutions to their problems

They’re not necessarily looking for products or services, though they will entertain products and services that double as a solution to their problem.

Let’s say they’re searching the web for headache solutions. They’re watching a video or reading an article related to headache cures when suddenly a pop-up advertising headache medicine cuts them off.

While technically, the pop-up does offer a solution to their problems, it’s intrusive and more likely to annoy them than get them to click on the pop-up.

Now, imagine that the article or video seamlessly mentions a product in a natural way. Instead of being irritated, the customer is more likely to trust the product mentioned.

Native Ads are Never Intrusive

Pop-ups and banner ads are intrusive. They cut off the user experience, often without any relation to the content at hand.

As an advertiser, this doesn’t do you much good. Your customers aren’t likely to click on the ad, and they’re pretty likely to be irritated.

Unlike other types of ads, native ads are never intrusive. The customer is given the space to consume the ad according to their own convenience, and it’s always an ad that fits so seamlessly with the content around it that it doesn’t feel like an ad at all.

Potential Reach is Higher

Because native ads feel natural and are presented as a valuable piece of information for consumers, your ad’s potential reach is far higher than with other forms of advertising.

Think of it this way. Your native ad won’t look like an ad, in fact, the best native ads don’t look like ads at all. It fits the content so well that it seems like a natural, useful piece of information.

Because of this, consumers are more likely to treat it as helpful content instead of an annoyance, which gives you far greater reach.

Greater Engagement

This is also the reason why native advertising can get you far greater user engagement than typical digital advertising methods.

Native ads are viewed 53 percent more frequently than banner ads. Why?

Banner ads interrupt the user experience and demand that the customer take time to look at them (or, at least, take time to close the ad).

Native ads are a bit different. The user can’t neglect them as readily because they blend with the content around it.

The Growth of Brand Content

Today, content is at the heart of everything brands do. It supports your brand growth and promotes brand awareness.

As the saying goes, content is king.

Unfortunately, producing new content is a constant, ongoing challenge for marketers and brand managers.

The beauty of native advertising is that for all intents and purposes, you’re creating content. It’s designed to blend with the content that surrounds it, which means it should be just as good as the content.

You also need ways to share this content. Native advertising has this element built into the method already.

Blending Content and Paid Media Seamlessly

Perhaps the most important attribute of native advertising is how well it blends with the content surrounding it.

This way, you can utilise ads in a much more effective way than traditional advertising methods. The consumer won’t feel as though you’re forcing a product down their throat, which works in your favour.

Instead, the customer feels as though you’re providing something that genuinely helps them, which creates a much more positive association with your brand and makes them more likely to buy from you in the future.

Mobile Capabilities

It’s official, mobile is the name of the game.

Google rolled out mobile-first indexing in early 2018, which means that if sites want to perform, they need to shine on mobile.

The good news for you? Native advertising works seamlessly with mobile websites. If anything, it’s the number one ad unit for mobile sites.

You see, because native advertising is displayed as part of the existing content of the site, it’s consumed in exactly the same way as the main content of the site.

That means you don’t need to make any platform-specific changes to your ads between desktop and mobile. One piece of advertising copy does the job, no matter where your customer is viewing from.

More Space for Innovation

Another benefit of native advertising?

Unlike old forms of digital advertising, where advertisers were constrained by text requirements and graphics limits, native advertising gives you miles of freedom.

Why? Because the ad is designed to blend right in with the main content of the platform.

This allows you to experiment more than ever in order to reach even deeper levels of engagement and richer user interaction. It gives you the space to innovate in your ads and try new things that you couldn’t do with banner ads, pop-ups, or video ads.

The sky’s the limit. What are you waiting for?

Full Transparency

Native advertising offers you a level of transparency that’s difficult to achieve in other forms of digital advertising.

Native advertising platforms have algorithms that match the webpage’s content and your ad perfectly. This is why native advertising is so effective.

Ads are still marked as sponsored content, so you’re not tricking the user into clicking on your ad. But they are still more visually appealing than ads that interrupt the flow of the webpage.

The algorithm is also designed to display ads only where they’re truly relevant, so you’re not only getting a good match–you’re earning credibility with the viewer of your ad.

Viewers Stay Longer

One of the biggest issues with banner ads and pop-ups?

The user closes them in the first two seconds in a fit of annoyance. In other words, they spend as little time as they possibly can looking at your ad.

That’s not really an effective way to get them to buy something.

Native ads bypass this problem because they blend so well with the main content on the page. This means viewers will actually look at them and consider what the ad is saying instead of immediately trying to make the ad go away.

It’s Ad Blocker Friendly

Another big issue for banners and pop-up ads? The advent of ad blockers.

Ad blockers achieve a simple goal, blocking out any intrusive ads that disrupt the user’s experience. And that means a viewer on the site will never actually see your ad at all.

Native advertising doesn’t work like standard digital advertising content. It’s completely unobtrusive and it reads like standard content on the main page. Plus, it’s designed to display information that’s genuinely useful to the viewer.

That means that it can fly under the radar of an ad blocker, which means that viewers can actually see the ads you place. That tends to help your marketing ROI.

You Stay in Control of Your Content

Finally, one of the best benefits of native advertising is that you, the advertiser, are always in control of your content.

Typically, when a website runs banner ads, the website doesn’t have much control over the appearance of the ads, which can turn them off to allowing banner ads.

Conversely, advertisers want to stay in control of their content to ensure the message and response is exactly what they want.

Native advertising offers a happy medium. Advertisers retain control of their content, and website publishers allow content that doesn’t disrupt the flow of their existing content.

Take Control of Your Native Advertising

Now that you know the answer to the question, “What is native advertising?” the real question is, “What are you going to do with that information?”

If you’re smart, you’re going to use that information to your advantage. That’s where we come in.

We’re the ideal platform for businesses looking to connect with customers, whether you’re a media buyer, a small business, a communications firm, or anything in between.

Whoever you are, we make it simple to connect your content to your audience in a cost-effective way. Click here to find out how it works. Or, if you’re ready to take the plunge, register with us to see how we can help your company thrive.

Talk to Spike today about our content solutions

Posted in: Native ads