Native Advertising and How to Use It Today

As advertising continues to reach higher saturation points, audiences are experiencing increasing ad fatigue. As a result, many have become wary of advertising, resulting in resistance. But it is possible to run effective ads online without disrupting users through native advertising.

Native advertising is a type of digital advertising that enables businesses to engage with users more effectively. Specifically, it places paid advertisements in the same media format as the contexts in which they appear. Native ads are non-disruptive since they are typically identified as a part of the natural flow of a webpage or app. These ads are unique and seamlessly blend with organic content while maintaining transparency by indicating that they’re ads.

Breaking Down the Current State of Native Advertising

Typical advertisements come with sales-focused messages to quickly get the consumers’ attention and persuade them into making a purchase. Yet, with more brands advertising than ever in digital channels, competition is cut-throat, saturation is high, and consumers’ tolerance for traditional ad messaging is dwindling. And as audiences continue to present advertisers with complex and changing demands, businesses have to adapt their approaches to get the customer’s attention.

Recent statistical data indicates that online consumers not only want a seamless browsing experience without disruption from ads — up to 80% of users ignore sponsored ads — but a whopping 84% also expect brands to create engaging content. Customers aren’t looking to avoid brands as much as they are seeking ads that are authentic, valuable and personalized.

Native advertising can fill this need by promoting a product or service in ways that potential leads find more engaging. It’s a less intrusive form of marketing using sponsored posts and paid content placement. Native placements blend with the form and aesthetic of the content that’s already engaging the consumer. As a result, it’s far more likely to grab — and retain — users’ attention. This gives brands a competitive edge for acquiring new audiences and making conversions. 

Native advertising is already proven to be one of the most effective methods of online advertising. The Interactive Advertising Bureau officially recognized native ads as an advertising format back in 2014. As a format, it gained significant popularity between 2017 and 2018 as one of the fastest-growing types of advertisements. Since then, native advertising has grown by leaps and bounds, and its global worth is estimated to be over $100 billion by 2022 and $650 billion by the end of 2032.

Companies like Blue Apron can provide valuable insight as an example here. Blue Apron has spent significantly on native ads, using catchy headlines and photos to entice a click. Their “We Tried Blue Apron: Here’s What Happened” campaign directed consumers to a page centered around shared, user-generated experiences. Consequently, visitors also engaged and contributed their own perspectives, resulting in both brand awareness and retention, as well as providing authentic insight to the company that led to better products and service delivery.

The Benefits for Advertisers Utilizing Native Content

Since native advertising organically fits well into content, it’s an advertising tactic that poses numerous advantages. Here are some of the benefits of native advertising.

Product Placement Is More Organic Within the Page

Product placement is a form of advertising that has been around long before the internet. Besides providing you with the right coverage and market for your products and services, its effectiveness is owed to the fact that it appears organically within its surrounding content.

Today, social media platforms are excellent arenas for native advertising, even on the most recent platforms. Recently published data shows that TikTok users respond surprisingly well to ads that appear in their feed, for example. 

Non-Disruptive Ad Formats Have Higher Click Through Rates and Drive Sales

Ad fatigue results from disruptive advertisements, and it’s well-known to consumers and marketers alike. Disruptive ads can be annoying, especially when you’re in the middle of watching a video or reading an article. They’ve resulted in many consumers using ad-blocking tools or impatiently waiting for the skip button.

The lack of reception to this traditional approach to advertising has created a niche for native advertising. Its non-disruptive, relevant ad formats result in higher clicks, increased conversion rates, and sales. A native ad for beauty products on a fashion or cosmetic website is a good example. There’s a higher likelihood of a consumer becoming interested in what you are offering and making a purchase since they are already in the position to expect what you provide. 

Native advertising also allows you to use promotional content relevant to the platform. Your product or brand gets exposure to an already existing audience, increasing your chances of converting leads to sales.

Generates Awareness in a Way That Resonates With Your Target Audience

Native advertisements are personalized to target a specific audience. Sites with recommendations and widgets that suggest similar products are more likely to be well-received by your audience and create awareness for your brand. Native digital advertising that is a part of organic content makes it easier to convert prospects and leads into actual customers since it resonates with their needs.

Native advertising is about creating awareness of products and brands to match your target audience’s expectations regarding content. Facebook and Instagram, for instance, are social media platforms highly dependent on feed. Native adverts fit perfectly on such platforms since they blend with the flow without customer interference.

On a platform like Pinterest, meanwhile, users are actively in a discovery mode, so placements here can take advantage of the way the platform is being used to seek out ideas and inspiration. Consider an example such as recipes involving food or beverage products – these can fit the needs of precisely what a user is actively seeking, and incorporate a product in a natural way. This context that clearly illustrates how a brand will integrate into the user’s life can build a deeper, tangible connection, leading to higher brand awareness and retention.

How to Best Use This Form of Advertising in Your Strategy

Here are four ways to use native digital advertising in your marketing strategy:

1. Hone In on Which Native Ad Format Will Yield the Desired Results

With several native advertising options, it’s essential to narrow down the one that yields desired results. Make sure you select the perfect fit for your brand’s needs, and consider your content carefully for the context of the placement.

Recommendation Widgets

Instead of an ad popping up and disrupting your viewing, you can use recommendation widgets to access the information you might be interested in. Recommendation widgets can be used in various ways, including first-time visitors and repeat customers. For example, once a user gives consent for cookies, the cookies store plentiful user history that a marketer can use to trigger personalized products, services, and offers. 

Recommendation widgets include paid content delivered by a widget without mimicking the editorial content feed appearance. It’s measured using brand metrics involving the interaction of the customer. 

Recommendation widgets are also deemed more profitable compared to other native ad formats since they increase conversion rates and sales due to consumer engagement and interaction. They also allow the publisher to recirculate organic content, elevating their engagement metrics.

In-Feed Ads and Branded Content

Most native ads on social media platforms are regarded as in-feed and typically promote a product or service. Branded content, which can also be in-feed, is designed to promote a brand. Marketers looking for a long-term strategy to convert leads into brand enthusiasts and loyal customers may want to consider using branded content. In-feed ads, on the other hand, are a great native ad format for quicker conversions and sales. 

2. Focus on Ensuring Your Content for Consumers Is Relevant

Today’s consumer is complex and expects curated content to maximize engagement and make them feel as if they’re a part of the brand. Native advertising helps to ensure that consumers get what they want and need.

Though native digital advertising is paid or sponsored ad content, it enables your content to remain relevant to your consumers by providing them with value. They increase the consumer’s purchase intent by driving them towards similar products they’re interested in.

Content is king when it comes to getting consumers’ attention and ensuring your offering is relevant. Here’s how you can do it: 

  • Know your target audience
  • Solve your target audience’s problems
  • Understand their values and create content that resonates with them
  • Research what’s trending amongst your target audience 
  • Create visual content to grab the attention of your audience

3. Don’t Let the Visual Be an Afterthought

Images are vital to grab the audience’s attention, particularly for placements that are integrated into feeds with a huge range on content. On video placements, thumbnail images also help consumers make keen and quick judgments. Visuals make it faster for them to decide if content is relevant to their needs and interests. When utilized correctly, images can prompt the customer to click and find more information.

On video, it’s vital to note that thumbnail images are as significant as the video itself. When scrolling through videos on social media platforms, users tend to click on attention-grabbing images. You may have the content an audience is looking for, but they’ll overlook what you have to offer if you choose a thumbnail image that’s unattractive and isn’t related to your topic. A poor thumbnail image is enough to block your content from their view as users simply won’t click on it.

Images shouldn’t be an afterthought when it comes to native advertising — they’re critical in getting viewership and engagement. Take some steps to make your visuals stick out to your target audience:

  • Ensure you have high-quality photography or illustration, and keep several options on hand to choose from and test
  • Avoid using too much text or making the image too busy – and, consider how the image will crop, resize, and display on various devices and placements
  • Utilize color strategically to stand out from the competition amid a user’s busy feed

4. Monitor Your Campaign Success With Clearly Defined Metrics and KPIs 

Of course, any marketing campaign can be costly, so it’s important to keep track of the value that they’re bringing to the business, and how effectively your budget is being spent. By closely monitoring your marketing campaigns, you can optimize your spending and ensure that your budget is being leveraged effectively.

This is why it’s essential to plug in the appropriate marketing metrics to confirm whether you’re on track. Focusing on metrics such as brand awareness, customer engagement, ROI, and conversion rate can help you ensure that you’re heading in the right direction and determine whether your strategy is a success, or if it needs adjustment.

Carefully defining and tracking your KPIs will help you keep sight of your brand’s goals. It’s vital to develop measures and strategies that are aligned toward clear, specific goals. Make them descriptive and be specific about expectations for performance.

Clearly defined metrics and KPIs help you monitor your native advertising marketing campaigns. Having a set goal and adjusting your strategy for the needs of each campaign enables a better use of your budget and enables you to gauge whether or not you’ve hit your benchmarks for consumer outreach. 

With clear KPIs and metrics in place, you can then focus on your inbound leads, upsell percentage, sales targets, and the company’s profitability.

Get Started With Programmatic Native Advertising Today

Programmatic native advertising is designed to maximize the potential of native advertising. As native advertising, it incorporates your marketing message and assets into a publisher’s feed, while programmatic technology enables you to apply real-time bidding while being contextual and relevant to the content. Combining the two allows you to make targeted native ads in real-time, scaling easily and optimizing ROI.

Programmatic native advertising is an excellent way to elevate your advertising and remain competitive. Programmatic technology helps to make native ads more relevant by anchoring contextual signals and enabling better performance through machine learning. If you’re following programmatic native advertising best practices, a modest budget can take you far in performance. Programmatic makes native advertising affordable and efficient.

Programmatic native advertising also provides great coverage for placements that optimize for mobile. As users spend the majority of time on their smartphones online, marketing efforts that aren’t tailored to mobile users quickly find themselves behind the curve and lagging on performance. Native ads are adaptable, helping them perform well on mobile platforms. This makes them excellent for customer conversion, acquisition, and retention since consumers can be reached where they are.

If you’re ready to begin navigating programmatic native advertising or simply need help more effectively optimizing and leveraging your native campaigns, AUDIENECEX has expert talent and integrated tech to support any brand or agency’s goals. Feel free to reach out to us and our team would be happy to speak with you and figure out how we can best address your needs and maximize your campaign performance.