Online shoppers are becoming more knowledgeable. Advertisers have had to get inventive in order to build ads that resemble the appearance and feel of the websites, apps, and feeds where users consume digital information, as tolerance for apparent and invasive ads continues to decline.
There are numerous digital advertising methods available for targeting your target audience. Native advertising, on the other hand, provides distinct advantages that enhance rather than detract from the customer’s digital experience.
The “disguising” of ads on a webpage or within an app is known as native advertising. Subtlety is essential here. Whereas individuals will dismiss or exit out of more evident sorts of adverts (such as pop-up ads), users may unknowingly click on a native ad.
A native ad will display on the page you are now viewing and will appear as if it were content on the page. On a mobile device, native advertisements appear in the user’s content feed with other links.
Native advertising is highly targeted. When users access a webpage, open an app, or even search online, the native ads served to them are based on the characteristics (geographic, demographic, etc.) your campaign is targeting. In addition, native advertising content has to be very similar to the site your targeted consumer is on.
For these reasons, native ads have a much higher click-through rate (CTR) because consumers think it is part of what they are browsing. Native ads are less bothersome to consumers, which results in more clicks and, if the destination is compelling and speaks to the user’s needs and goals, better results. Integrating rich media (such as images, video, etc.) can further improve the performance of native ads.
Why is Native Advertising so Effective?
The success of native advertising, particularly when compared to more traditional forms such as banners and display ads, but also when compared to Facebook and LinkedIn, is one reason for its popularity.
The effectiveness of campaigns is emphasized on numerous levels. CTR (click-through rate) is, of course, one of the parameters. It is often 2-8 times higher for native advertisements than for traditional display ads in comparable placement. The second factor is the amount of time people spend reading on your website as a result of the promotion.
Reading time is the amount of time a person spends on your website after clicking on an ad to get there. People who visit your website via a native ad spend more time on the site than those who visit via traditional banner ads. The third factor is the conversion rate on your website. Here, too, native advertising holds its own.
Here are some of the reasons:
1. People consume content, not ads
Visitors to news sites are looking for content that is interesting and current. Even if a banner ad is targeted and relevant to the reader, they will rarely interrupt their reading experience in order to navigate to the advertiser’s website.
On the other hand, if the products or services are presented in a content format, for example as an intriguing blog post, the reader may become very interested in it, and click on the content ad (i.e. the native ad) to read more.
Because a native ad is clearly presented as an interesting reading experience and clicking on it leads to a landing page where one can read the entire content, the number of people who click on native ads has multiplied. When a native ad campaign is built the right way, the content brings added value to the reader.
2. Visitors skip banner ads but notice native ads
Most visitors to websites quickly notice ad slots and learn to avoid them with their gaze. The phenomenon is called “banner blindness.” For this reason, the attention-grabbing and effectiveness of traditional banner advertising has declined dramatically over the past eight years.
At the same time, visitors do notice content-based ads. According to a Yahoo survey, 93% of visitors to the site notice native advertising, at least at the headline level.
This means that 93% read the title of your native ad. This is the first step in deciding whether to click on the title and read the entire content on your site. If they don’t even notice the ad (banner blindness), you won’t get any traffic to your site.
One of the main reasons why native advertising has generally a higher CTR is because visitors on news site observes them, reads the headline and can react on the headline.
3. The power of content ads
The traditional saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” is not so true in marketing. It can be difficult to demonstrate the benefits, services or technical features of a company’s products with a single image in a banner ad.
You also need text that clearly highlights your strengths, benefits, and offers so that the customer has the information they need to make a purchase decision. With the help of textual content, the reader becomes interested and hooked without the message being perceived as coercive or even advertising.
Of course, images also play a significant role in native ads and native advertising campaigns. But the strength of native advertising lies in the journalistically appropriate image, combined with a skillful and engaging headline and standfirst.
And now you have attracted the reader to your content. Then things start to happen.
4. People remember what they have read
When a potential customer clicks on a native ad and ends up on the company’s home page, the content does the work. Generally, the reader will spend an average of 1 to 4 minutes on the content, that’s several minutes of your brand strengthening in their mind.
Good content is tailored to help the reader understand your message, product, or service. It educates and challenges the reader, leaving a positive impression of your business that will be remembered for a long time.
When the need to buy becomes current, the reader will remember what they recently read about the company’s products or services. Useful content can be the first and most important step in the process of making a purchase decision.
In summary, the effectiveness of native advertising is due to the fact that it corresponds to the natural reading behavior of the reader.
What Are Examples of Native Advertising?
If you want to create native ads for your brand, there are various tools and platforms available to help you get started.
Sponsored articles on various news sites are one of the most frequent methods of native advertising. Native advertising, on the other hand, can take many various forms. Indeed, you are constantly exposed to native advertising on social media, even if you are unaware of it!
Let’s take a look at three types of native advertising:
- In feed/in content ads: These are ads that are integrated into content pieces, social media feeds, and ecommerce businesses. They seek to blend in with native content and create a non-disruptive user experience.
- Content recommendation ads: Ads that are displayed alongside editorial content or other ads in a recommended format. These are typically found at the end of an article or on the side and feature different suggested ads or content for users.
- Branded/native content ads: These are native ads that don’t fit into a typical mold. These ads function as unique content on a publisher’s website or platform.
1. Spotify & Stranger Things
Netflix and Spotify are two brands that are well-known for utilizing user data to create unique, relevant experiences. Therefore, the platforms partnered up to create a truly original native advertising campaign that garnered a lot of attention.
After the premiere of Netflix’s Stranger Things series, Spotify users logged on to their accounts to find that they could enter into “Stranger Things” mode on the platform, and based on their listening habits they were assigned a Spotify playlist based on a character from the show.
This content was identified as sponsored and had a design that was adapted to Spotify’s platform and aesthetic. This is a great example of elite-level native advertising!
2. The New York Times & Allbirds
A typical native advertising format you often see is sponsored posts on news websites. A great example is this New York Times article, sponsored by the shoe company, Allbirds.
This ad is an in feed/in content ad that was promoted on the platform’s regular newsfeed with a sponsored tag. When users clicked on the article, they were taken to a unique page on the NYT’s website with beautiful graphics and supporting sound effects.
The article focuses on the value birds have in our environment and how they are at risk due to climate change. This aligned perfectly with the shoe company, as it is dedicated to sustainability and has “bird” in its name. This is a strong example of how native content needs to align with your brand but not necessarily be about your brand.
3. The Message Podcast & GE
Native content doesn’t just have to be articles and social media posts. For instance, General Electric partnered with Panoply to produce a science fiction podcast called The Message. This podcast was the first of its kind to reach the No. 1 spot on Apple’s iTunes player and had over 4 million downloads at the time.
This podcast is a perfect example of native advertising because the podcast itself was well developed, thoroughly entertaining, and featured GE technology naturally in the storyline. However, it never explicitly named GE in the content itself, only in the introduction, credit, and cover art. The podcast was so successful that they later went on to create a second one, Life After, and they won a 2016 Webby award for the Best Use of Native Advertising.
4. Social Media Ads
The quickest way to find an example of native advertising is to open up any of your social media apps and look at the in-feed ads that appear. This is by far one of the most common forms of native advertising out there.
These in-feed ads are disclosed as being paid, perfectly match organic content, and are placed within a user’s content feed.
5. Instagram Filter and Nickelodeon
However, not all native ads on social media have to be in-feed advertisements. Nickelodeon showed this with their fun “Which SpongeBob Character Are You?” Instagram filter.
This version of native advertising is entertaining, interactive, and a great way to connect with Instagram users. It’s indicated as being sponsored by Nickelodeon on the app, it’s placed where all of the other filters are, and works just the same as any other organic filter.
6. Taco Bell & Snapchat
Similar to Nickelodeon’s Instagram filter, Taco Bell decided to partner with Snapchat to create a lens in celebration of Cinco de Mayo. The sponsored filter made users’ faces look like giant taco shells and although the idea was relatively simple, people loved it!
The filter was a great success and got over 224 million views in one day. Of course, not only did it entertain people but it also promoted Taco Bell across the social network.
7. Patrón Tequila & Twitter
Tequila maker Patrón took to Twitter on International Margarita Day (February 22) to promote their brand on social media. They presented several margarita recipes and asked people to vote on which one they thought was best.
By engaging with Twitter users and prompting people to get involved, Patrón was able to promote its brand without traditional advertising. Instead, they got people to share, like, and comment about their brand in a way that felt more natural and spontaneous.
8. Mercedes & The Washington Post
For this native advertising campaign, Mercedes created content that talked about how technology is turning people into “superhumans” with things like the use of virtual reality in medicine, robotic exoskeletons, and more. The content was interactive and included quizzes and graphics that people could click on to get more information. While Mercedes was mentioned here and there, the majority of the content was informative rather than promotional and talked about numerous technological developments and not just the brand behind it.