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What is Native Marketing: Its Definition, Advertising, Examples, Platforms, Types

Native Marketing, Types, Components, Best Practices

We are often confused about and ask what is native marketing? It’s not something new while we are browsing the internet. 

We will have to come across at least a few advertisements and in most cases, we are not really happy about it. The reason? Simply because it disrupts our concentration.

Now imagine what if there would be a specific type of ad that would appear on your screen while surfing online but didn’t interrupt your flow of attention?.

Of course, that would be more preferable, and for your information, it actually happens in real life. 

We don’t recognize these kinds of advertisements mostly though.

Native marketing or native advertising is this very type of marketing strategy, for which, advertisement is done in such a way that it appears to maintain the editorial flow of a page on the internet, so it’s hard to differentiate it from the actual page that we are reading. Below, it has been discussed in detail, let’s move there now.

What is Native Marketing and Advertising?

What is Native Marketing and Advertising?

Native marketing or native ads are paid advertising that comes naturally with the perfect match content and refers to the audience without having the knowledge of the content of the promotional ads it is. 

Native ads in most cases don’t really look like ads, they are not like traditional display or banner ads, which we can easily identify as advertisements. 

What’s really interesting about native ads is that it’s non-disruptive, and doesn’t mess with our concentration. It won’t stick out like a sore thumb but will expose the reader to advertising content anyway.

Often in the times of browsing social media platforms or publication websites, posts with titles such as “Sponsored Posts”, “Recommended for You”, “Promoted Stories” appear in front of us, which are nothing but daily life examples of native marketing or advertising. However, it’s kind of hard to recognize these ads as actual ads since they will camouflage themselves into the media format in which they will appear.

Why Native Marketing is Getting Such a Buzz?

With time, it has been observed that users are getting more used to traditional advertising strategies day by day, making the banner/display ads far less effective. 

People are actually showing banner blindness and advertisement fatigue, and that’s the reason native marketing and advertising came into existence.

There’s no denying that user behaviour is changing greatly. And native advertising is actually a necessity that allows the marketers to accommodate the changing behaviour. 

showing ads that look less like ads, rather than just a typical type of banner ad that might just disrupt the UX.

Nowadays, most brands and publishers are considering native marketing and advertising for the following reasons:

  • Native advertisements were seen 53% more than display ads.
  • Native advertisements camouflage well with the ad container (websites/platforms where they appear), allowing the ad to be less disruptive and so people are less likely to be ignorant about these ads.
  • Till date, two-third of original digital video (ODV) marketers have explored native marketing strategies. 
  • Native advertising can contribute to increasing brand lift by as much as 82%.
  • When consumers click on native ads instead of traditional ads, at that moment purchase intent gets upward upto 53%.
  • Conversion can be boosted as much as 60% by native ads containing rich media.

Types of Native Advertising or Marketing 

Native advertising options are classified into six distinctive categories by the Interactive Advertising Board. They are:

  • Content recommendation engine widgets
  • Promoted listings
  • Paid search ads
  • In-feed units
  • In-ad with native elements
  • Custom ads
Types of Native Advertising or Marketing 

1. Content Recommendation Engine Widgets

When you are done reading an article online, sometimes you might have to encounter widgets with headings like “You May Also Like..” or “Recommended for You”.

These widgets are what we call content recommendation engines and they contribute to allowing brands to leverage the audiences of notable publishers to drive traffic back to their own websites and contents. 

The publishers who want to expand their audience and also the brands who want to use content marketing for lead generation-these two groups might think about native marketing advertising for meeting their purposes. 

But, like advertisers, you always have to keep in mind that the significant thing here is whether you are able to make relationships with those specific publishers who can actually drive traffic back to your websites.

Revcontent, for example, operates a content recommendation engine for publishers’ networks, that includes- NBC NEWS, CBS Local, and Barstool Sports. 

CEO John Lemp says that if you want to have success by doing native marketing, you have got to create real partnerships between publishers and brands.

2. Promoted Listings

Basically, the e-commerce sites are the top users of promoted listings, what they do for it is feature sponsored products first, generally on a category page. 

Of course, promoted listings will enable brands to get themselves in front of the line than the other competitors.

Moreover, the other great thing about it is that this type of native advertising is getting far costlier than it was before, day by day.

Even sellers like eBay don’t even charge their customers for the promoted listing stuff unless they generate a sale. 

3. Paid search Ads

Paid search Ads

There’s a great similarity between promoted listing and paid search ads. 

However, even though promoted listing lets the sponsored contents appear in the first line, paid search ads will do that for the listings in this case at the top of customer search results.

Foursquare’s promoted listing, for instance, will put advertisers’ ads at the top of a customer’s search results. 

In addition, they will analyze the searcher’s current location and previous preferences for certain businesses or restaurants, and promote businesses based on them.

4. In-Feed Units

In-feed units refer to the idea of the promotion of sponsored content within a publication’s natural index of articles. 

In this case, readers will be able to see sponsored content from the advertisers in addition to seeing original content being a part of a stream or gallery.

Even though the content might be marked as sponsored content, it will be blending into the publisher’s native experience.

5. In-ad with Native Elements

When brands do this type of native marketing, the advertisements will be looking like a standard ad. 

However, there will be significant contextual relevance with the publisher itself. For example, we can think about a food brand that is currently promoting its own proprietary recipes on websites, publishing user-generated recipes as well. 

6. Custom Ads

Custom Ads

These types of native advertisements are hard to put in a particular category. 

Let’s try to explain it with an example. 

For instance, imagine creating a Pandora playlist for workout music. Now, Pandora might serve up ads for sports products or sports drinks in front of you, which you can call custom ads. 

What Does Native Advertising Include?

In a more generic way, digital native advertising will be consisting of the following elements:

  • Ad creative (image, video etc.)
  • Headline
  • Body copy
  • Landing page URL
  • Branding (name, colors, logo etc.)

Native ads, being a variety of digital ads, will be having these elements within them for sure. 

However, apart from these components laid out by the IAB, native ads, taking the function and form of the container, will have another four, which are:

What Does Native Advertising Include?

1. Design

While designing the native advertisement, you must do it in such a way that the ad looks like a part of the website of its own. 

It should fit well within the overall interface and doesn’t look like standing out from the rest of the content.

2. Location

Just to make sure that the ad blends well within the media format, you might want to ask a few questions to yourself like should it be positioned as a part of in-feed content ads or should it be placed in the content recommendation widget and should it be in a dedicated ad slot?

3. Ad Behavior

Don’t forget to analyze the ad behaviour as well. When people click on the ads, some ads might take them to a different page of the website, while some will take them to a third-party site altogether. 

4. Disclosure

Take a moment to evaluate how much the ad mentions its nature or if the publisher disclosed the fact if that’s an actual ad.

5 Native Advertising Best Practices

Here are 5 best native advertising practices from the specialists:

Native Advertising Best Practices

1. Focusing on User Experience

When users are going to agree that their needs are being met and they are satisfied without doing any kind of extra hassle or trouble. And only then can it be said that those users are having an excellent user experience.

You will always have to remember that when people are visiting a content site, they don’t really want to see anything else other than content themselves.

If your advertising is creating disruption for them, it’s not obviously going to provide a better user experience at all.

That’s why Mike Germano, Chief Digital Officer of VICE says that native ads should be incorporated as a part of the reading experience of the platform user. Apart from being blended well with the site’s content, it should also be contextually related and relevant.

2. Transparent and Clear Disclosure

Native ads should always be distinguished from the rest of the content on the site.  There must be ad labels included, like, Promoted, Sponsored, advertisements, Ad etc.

The Federal Trade Commission encourages publishers to clearly differentiate native ads from the editorial contents. 

You need to keep in mind that native ads are not only about being blended within the platform, but also complementing the content consumption experience. 

3. Targeting Specific Audiences

Try to get close to your audience as much as possible. Unless you know what types of ad strategies fit best for them and how to craft the ads according to it.  

The users are not going to feel that you actually care for them. As a publisher, you would highly recommend using tools and analytics available to you, so that you can gather user data to determine your audience.

4. Native Advertising Platforms

To drive higher engagement on the websites, you might want to think partnering with the following native marketing networks and here are some  of the native advertising platforms: 

  • RevContent
  • Outbrain
  • Taboola
  • Gravity
  • Nativo
  • Triplelift
  • Content.ad 
  • Facebook ads
  • Google Ads

5. Thinking Mobile-First

While doing native marketing, don’t forget about your mobile audiences. You should ask yourself these questions:

  • Is the content easily consumable on a mobile device?
  • Can the content be easily shared across different social media sites?
  • Is the content always on the go and handy as well?
  • What is the load time of the content?

Native Marketing Examples

The common marketing strategy of Native marketing is the advertising and those closely attached with the content so that the audience thinks it is also content that you are interested in. So, here is some of the example from where you can get some idea of the Native marketing examples:  

1. Facebook News Feed Ads: In social media every time you scroll you will see some relevant ads in your feed. Nobody can deny that those ads he/she is not interested in. And sometimes we cannot understate whether it is sponsored ads or regular posts. 

If you are making people maybe then you can recognize it but most of them don’t know it is an advertisement. Here is what I found out in my Facebook newsfeed: 

Facebook Native Ads

2. Google Search Ads: When you search on google for any of the keywords most of the time you will see some ads are at the top of the search result. And those showing ads are very relevant to your searching keyword. I am searching for “best hosting” and google show those ads before the organic result.   

Google Native Ads

3. In The Middle of The Article: Plenty of websites show ads in their blog in the middle of the article. The best example will be the newspaper. The newspaper website has a lot of the ads top, sidebar, bottom, in the middle of the article and some are URL ads as well. 

Website Native Ads

Here is other native ads Good and bad examples are:

Final Words

The way you do native advertising or native marketing might be as creative as you want but it’s better to keep it away from legal issues and arguments. Just make sure that your audiences don’t feel like they are being fooled in this native marketing strategy and you are good to go and the best part is now you may know what is native marketing.