As online digital advertising continues to advance, it becomes harder and harder for brands to use ads that build trust in their target audience.
Many people, especially younger generations, are extremely critical of direct advertising and deliberately choose not to interact with it.
Native advertising provides an alternative that combines advertising and content together to create a seamless and natural format of digital ad.
Take a look and discover more about this type of ad and native advertising examples that can guide your strategies.
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What is Native Advertising?
Native advertising is a term used to describe a format of digital ad that mimics the look, feel, and function of the platform they appear on.
Most often found on social media, native advertising is meant to mirror the appearance of regular content on an app or website and thus not appear as an ad at first glance.
There are some critiques of native ads as “tricking” users into thinking they are engaging with non-advert content.
However, well done native advertising is non-disruptive but not deceptive either.
The end goal of a native advertisement is to fit into the natural flow of a social timeline or web page layout while exposing audiences to paid content.
Native advertising is preferable to many marketers over traditional social ads specifically because they don’t abruptly take readers away from the experience they are already enjoying.
After all, what’s worse than having your otherwise enjoyable social media experience be interrupted by an unskippable ad that doesn’t reflect on your interests or fit into the content you were consuming?
Why Does Native Advertising Matter?
As mentioned earlier, native advertising can sometimes receive a bad reputation as a dishonest attempt to trick readers into clicking on a paid ad.
And while there certainly are a few examples of poorly done native advertising that fit into that description, there are also many well-done native advertising examples that distribute high-quality content in engaging formats.
Here are some benefits of native ads:
It upgrades the experience
Native advertising is important as it allows marketers to create high-value and enjoyable experiences with target audiences.
While blatant paid ads are seeing dips in performance, native advertising is rising in popularity across multiple industries.
Not only are native ads more engaging and interesting for readers, but they also perform better with higher click-through rates and generate more sales.
According to eMarketer, native ads deliver 1% or greater CTRs for the pets, food & drink, and family & parenting categories.
It increases brand awareness and brand recognition
In fact, this is one of the best ways that native advertising can help brands overcome the stigma of tricking readers.
When a native ad doesn’t have a clear click-through goal or button and instead works to raise interest in a brand’s name or services in an engaging yet natural way, audiences can warm to the company the ad promotes without feeling as though they were fooled into interacting with paid advertising.
Before we move on, check out a few interesting statistics that might help you make up your mind if you were on the fence about starting native advertising campaigns:
- Native ads have a 40x higher click-through rate than classic display ads.
- 53% of consumers look at native ads more often than classic display ads.
- In the US alone, around $44b was spent on native advertising in 2019.
- 70% of audiences would rather learn about products from a native ad post than a traditional advertisement.
- Almost 77% of native ad users didn’t feel as though there were reading an ad.
- 25% of the market will move to native advertising in the next five years.
6 Native Advertising Examples
While native advertising can be defined as a type of ad that mimics the feel of a platform, that still doesn’t help marketers who need more clarity about what that looks like.
To help, here are 6 native advertising examples that show you how a native ad can look across different social and web-based platforms:
1. Spotify Playlists
Native advertising doesn’t always have to come in the form of a content post.
Music player giant Spotify can create custom playlists based on a company’s services, products, or themes, and use Spotify’s user data to recommend specific playlists based on listening history.
A great example of this is Netflix and Spotify’s team up to promote the show “Stranger Things”.
Users could enable a “Stranger Thing” mode that assigned them to a playlist based on a character.
Not only did this promote the show through background art design and logos, but it resonated with listeners since the playlist tracks mimicked their own listening interests.
2. Instagram and Snapchat Story Filters
Story filters on Instagram or Snapchat provide fun and shareable content that can connect users to a brand in engaging ways.
Whether a filter is sponsored or not, if the content is entertaining enough, audiences will use it.
Filters can include things like AR makeup overlays, interactive quizzes, editing techniques with brand names, or background graphics.
A specific example could be Nickelodeon’s Spongebob filter, which was a quiz that filtered through different characters before ending on one that was meant to match the user.
This fun and interactive filter raised awareness in the show and entertained users.
3. Twitter Hashtags
Sponsored hashtags on Twitter are nothing new, but using them in engaging and native ways can help boost your ads.
Engaging with users to use your hashtag for different challenges or votes can raise awareness of your brand and get the most use out of your paid brand tag.
Patrón Tequila used the hashtag #MargaritaOfTheYear on International Margarita Day to encourage Twitter users to vote for one of several different recipes to determine the best margarita of the year.
Not only did the hashtag promote the specific Patrón Tequila vote, but it also encouraged users to interact and share their own recipes and margarita experiences as well.
4. Social In-Feed Ads
Social media sites like Facebook and Instagram are dependent on a feed, which is a scrolling timeline of posts and content features from followed users or accounts.
Paid ads can also appear on those feeds as well, and well-designed advertising content can blend into the flow of regular content without being an obviously paid ad.
While sites still require sponsored and paid ads to include a hashtag or button alerting readers to the fact that it is a paid post, that can become secondary to audiences if the content in the post — be it graphic, photographic, video, or text — is engaging enough.
5. TikTok Trends
TikTok is an app that is highly dependent on native advertising.
While some paid ads appear as video pop-ups with skip options, a much more successful approach is to take advantage of trending sounds or video formats.
When a popular sound or video trend can fit into your product line or service offerings, making a TikTok video following the trend can be very natural.
However, as with all social media ads, it is important to understand that users who don’t approve of your approach to content can comment on their disapproval.
Therefore, as you create native social media ads, it’s essential to keep an eye on the feedback you receive from your ads.
6. Sponsored Article Posts
Native advertising doesn’t just live on social media.
A popular form of native advertising can be found on online news websites and magazines.
A sponsored post will often appear in the “Recommended Articles” section or as an in-feed button that will take readers to a separate page.
These articles are sponsored and promote different brands, but will often try to make the content within the blog useful and informational to those who are interested in the general topic but not necessarily the advertisement.
By providing useful and helpful information while avoiding pop-ups and banners, sponsored posts can bring a wide array of audiences to a single native advertising page.
Wrap Up: Gaining Consumer’s Attention with Native Ads
Native advertising provides marketers with an alternative to overt digital advertising that is dipping in popularity among target audiences.
Native ads are not only more successful than their traditional counterparts, but are more entertaining and engaging, leading to more clicks, sales, and brand awareness.
Understanding ad performance is essential for marketers and companies who want to see continued growth in their paid ad strategy.
Without a clear knowledge of the results of digital advertising, it’s hard to know if your paid ad dollars are being well-spent.
If you are interested in improving your ad performance, read our resource today!