How to Spot Native Advertising?

Nikolina author

Nikolina Maškarić

Ctrl + V Manager

Back in the days of classic publishing, the media skyline dominated TV, print, and radio. Back then, it was easy to spot native advertising. Most common, home to native advertising were advertorials in shiny, glossy magazines. But like any species struggling its way to survival, native advertising shifted into new forms and became a crucial part of digital marketing strategies for many brands worldwide.
 
Native advertising is appealing and information-rich sponsored content that matches the form and function of the platform on which it appears. Often found in social media feeds or as recommended content on a web page, native advertising is user-centered, focused on the quality of the content.

Where Does Native Advertising Fit Best?

The master key to good native advertising is that it is non-disruptive and exposes users to advertised content without sticking out like a sore thumb. For those reasons exactly, good native advertising examples are hard to spot.

An in depth look in the current state of native advertisement

Picture 1. A recently published report, An In-depth Look into the Current State of Native Advertising, shows a continuous rise of native advertising

High-rise of the native advertising in 2015 pushed Federal Trade Commission (FTC) into releasing a Native Advertising: A Guide for Business to help users cope with the invasive advertising from brands and more, to limit brands in ad deception.

Usage of native advertising per industry

Picture 2. MediaRadar’s report on Usage of Native Advertising per Industry

In their Guide for Business, FTC battles ad deception through the language and layout of how publishers should be disclosing native advertising efforts. According to them, there are 10 different ways consumers can identify native advertising and all them include word tags such as Ad, Advertisement, Paid advertisement, Sponsored content highlighted next to the advertised content.
 
New forms of native advertising which emerged with the rise of the influencers, pushed FTC to design a new set of regulations for the content advertised on Instagram. That resulted in the Paid Partnership feature on Instagram.

Three Principles at Play in Native Ads

If it looks like an ad, feels like an ad and talks like an ad – it’s not done right. Let’s unpack three main principles of good practice in native advertising.

  • Direct-paid opportunity. Working on a principle pay to play, brands pay to place their native content on different platforms outside their owned media properties.
  • Information-based rather than product-focused. Content created for the native campaigns should be interesting, fun, highly targeted and useful to the target audience and to the media channel!
  • Native ads are delivered in streamFeatured in a way that does not disrupt the user’s experience of the platform or the media itself, native advertising always delivers in stream.

Video 1. Video explainer of the difference between Content Marketing, Branded Content and Native Advertising – with examples to help put it all into context.

Native Advertising Types

Depending on the marketing objectives, brands reach out to different types of content creation for different channels and media placements. Native ads can take many forms, but these are the most used:

Search ads

Most used to drive direct responses from the potential users, search ads target placements in the stream. Search ads match the form and function of entries on a search engine results page (SERP) which results in high CTR and impressions.

Examples of different google search ads

Picture 3. Search ads example

In feed ads

Sponsored post on your Instagram and Facebook feeds are great examples of this form of advertising. Perfected by many brands worldwide, in-feed ads appear alongside other content on your social media newsfeed. Their design makes them look and feel like organic posts to keep the user experience intact.

Examples of Instagram and Facebook native advertising ads

Picture 4. Facebook and Instagram feed

Related: User Experience (UX) in the Digital World

Paid blog posts

Many large media companies offer brands paid blog post opportunities through their blogging partnership platforms. Forbes’ BrandVoice is one of the best examples. Brands create various types of content, ranging from beauty blog posts to amazing data visualization and publish it on co-branded websites. Presented on the media platform where your target audience is, their whole appeal is because they dive more into relevant, news-related topics.

Example of paid advertisement in a blog article

Picture 5. Paid blog post example

Widget recommendations

Usually positioned alongside or underneath the website’s organic content, widget recommendations are designed places for sponsored stories.

Widget recommendation native ad examples

Picture 6. Widget recommendations

Google Loves Native, What About You?

Native advertising is one of the rising stars amongst the ad forms. Consumed by a targeted audience, it results in the brand’s creativity and content adored by Google itself. Using the right media platforms, native advertising can help brands speed up growth and become relevant to their users.

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How to Spot Native Advertising? was last modified: May 14th, 2019 by student@paldesk.com

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