Before we get started I should probably tell you what native advertising is. I think of it as advertising in camouflage, you can see it, it's right in front of you but it doesn't look like any advertising you have seen before because it blends in, It's part of the background, it's part of the foreground and stealthily waiting for you to click.
Fact 1: There are six core types of native adverts
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Narrative advertising Task Force
has identified six core types of native ads most commonly used to deliver paid ads that are so much a part of the content that the viewer thinks they belong. Thy are so much part of the design and platform that they don't feel like adverts.
In feed native ads
are right there on your timeline and look almost identical to every other post, That's right Facebook user you have spent time commenting on and responding to these sponsored posts without realising that they are adverts.
stare you in the face every time you use a search engine, they form part of the page but look just like the rest of the content. They are also found on sites like Amazon, Etsy and Foursquare.
Content recommendation widgets
Browsing your favourite news site and you spot a link that says something spammy but right next to it is one that looks like interesting content, They don't look like adverts, they are part of the page, fit in with the overall design and yet, they link to well businesses and articles about businesses.
Custom content units
It looks like content on the site but press the more button and you are on another website reading something interesting that you saw on a website with similar content.
In Ad(IAB Standard) with Native element units.
Designing standard banner ads to match the look and feel of a website, in essence camouflaging the ad as content
Fact 2. Native ads appear to receive twice as much focus as banner adverts.
Using Neuroscience Nielsen and Sharethrough
found that native ads get double the amount of focus banner ads do. Eye gaze appeared to focus more on native adverts even though banners and native ads were placed in feed. IPG Media Lab noted in a prior study that native ads gained 52% more focus on desktop, The study by Nielsen and Sharethrough found this to be true on tablets as well.
Banner ads receive little to no visual focus on the text. Peripheral vision is commonly used to process images because it occurs quicker than textual processing. On native ads the main focus was on the text rather than the visuals. This was true of editorial posts as well.
Fact 3. Native advertising must be labeled as advertising
When you look at native advertising there is always a tell that it's an advert, it may say sponsored post, or Ad in small letters so that the viewer is made aware that what they are reading is paid for by someone who may or may not have an agenda, paid for by someone that may want to or may not want to lighten the load in your wallet.
As an advertiser you should always use content that is relevant to the audience and adds value to their daily lives. If they get to the end of the content and find they have been duped, that their was no gravy with the rice and have nothing to show for their diligence, they are not gong to stick around. Give them value and the fact that you paid for the content will be a secondary consideration.
Fact 4: By 2021 Publishers are expecting 36% of their ad revenue to come from native advertising
Native advertising has only been around for a few years but many Publishers have seen a marked difference in their ad revenue. During 2018 a survey which included 148 news media executives from 53 countries found that 95% of them found native advertising to be an important revenue stream. "It might not be the holy grail that will solve every problem in the industry, but this years study shows that it will be an integrated part of the news medias business model", said Jesper Laursen, founder of the Native Advertising Institute
Fact 5: People cannot stand traditional ads and pop ups
More than 86 million Americans use ad blockers and local sites have found that up to 50% of their users use ad blockers. My ad blocker has prevented me from using sites, but I can find my news elsewhere, and elsewhere they are using native advertising and I have even had the misfortune of clicking through a few times. The oddest experience is when you click a link for a news story on the same website but get diverted through the advertisers link.
Some media publishers are paying for link to their own web site and getting paid for the same link. The advertising company is making moolah hand over fist.
Fact 6: Native advertising allows you to tell a story
Native advertising isn't about the logo or the brand, it's about the story. You may think that your new product line in made in Rosslyn is all that but the clients don't. The stories that grab them are the ones about the girl next door that used your product and won a marathon, or the article solving a problem that may have to do with a specific service you offer
Fact 7 Native advertising is controversial
Native advertising can be viewed as dishonest, advertising dressed as lamb when it is in fact the wolf. Not all sponsored content is what it pretends to be. Some companies don't label their native advertising, in fact as much as 9% of the advertising is not labeled as such, no sponsored content notices. The arguments proffered that a change of font makes it stand out from the background and that is enough.
Some think that there should be a company logo attached, others are happy with just a little notice marking it out as an ad or sponsored content. The most important thing to remember as an advertiser is tricking the audience will just aggravate them, and once you are in the spam box, you never come out.
As more and more visitors to websites use mobile devices, attention spans will become shorter and getting click throughs rarer. Native ads get attention and focus. They seem to be an effective method of getting the stories into the public eye. It is no longer branding that leads to clicks but stories of how the brand benefited others that are the new adverts.
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