How to Spot Native Advertising?
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Back in the days of classic publishing, where the media skyline was dominated by TV, print, and radio, it was easy to spot native advertising. Most common, home to native ads were advertorials in shiny, glossy magazines.
But, just 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. Let’s explore native advertising examples that will help you market your business and products!
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What is Native Advertising?
Most simply put, native advertising is visually 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 ads are user-centered, strongly focused on the quality of the content.
How to Spot Native Advertising?
The master key to good native ads 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.
Picture 1. A recently published report, An In-depth Look into the Current State of Native Advertising
High-rise of the native ads 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.
Picture 2. MediaRadar’s report on Usage of Native Advs per Industry
Three Principles of Native Advertising
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 of native ads.
- 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 stream. Featured 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 Examples and 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:
Native advertising example: 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.
Picture 3. Search ads example
Native advertising 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.
Picture 4. Facebook and Instagram feed
Native advertising example: 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.
Picture 5. Paid blog post example
Native advertising example: Widget recommendations
Usually positioned alongside or underneath the website’s organic content, widget recommendations are designed places for sponsored stories.
Picture 6. Widget recommendations
Google Loves Native, What About You?
Native ads are 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 can help brands speed up growth and become relevant to their users.
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