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Native Advertising

Advertising in today’s scenario is omnipresent and on every possible platform, this has created a clutter in the digital space and digital marketers are suffering from differentiating their advertisements from their adversaries. To bridge this gap a new form of advertisement came into the picture known as “Native Advertising”.

What exactly is Native Advertising?

It is a form of paid-media advertising which intermingles advertisement and content to deliver value to readers and users. This genius of blending an editorial piece into an advertisement and creating an advertorial is what native advertising is all about.

Native advertising provides a non-disruptive user experience, as the reader’s experience of the advertisement is not abandoned by directing to a different site. Designed to blend into the scenery of content, it offers helpful information about products similar to other content available online and is more enriching and engaging.
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), the essential association in charge of growing promotion industry principles and leading business research, distributed a report in 2013 itemizing six unique classifications for native advertising:-

In-feed Ad Units: In-Feed advertisements are units situated inside the site’s ordinary content which look as if they have been written in partnership with the publisher so as to camouflage itself.

• Search Ads: These are a list of advertisements that appear as a Golden Triangle in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) on top of the organic results.

• Recommended Content: They are a part of the content of the site and usually recognized by words or sentences which imply external reference like, “From around the Web” or “Recommended for you”, etc. Content recommendation engines like- Outbrain and Taboola can make this happen.

• Promoted Listings: Also known as Sponsored content, here articles and recordings showing up on big time publisher sites like Buzzfeed and Wired firmly emulate publication content with a promotional intent.

• In-ad standard

• Custom: This category is the last one when none of the above can be confirmed.

Why go Native?

People tend to ignore advertisements and digital marketers have been able to monitor the same over the years due to a sharp decline in the Click through rates(CTR). Digital ads have seen falling CTR since 2008. Native ads don’t get ignored like traditional ads because they don’t look like ads. Native advertising is an important arsenal for digital marketing because unlike traditional advertisements the attention rate is higher.

According to a study by Sharethrough and IPG Media, one-fourth of the total consumers view native advertising more than traditional ads. This leads to increased CTR which eventually leads to higher conversion rates. A study revealed that native ads registered 18% greater lift in purchase intent than traditional banner ads.

As per a Business Insider (BI) feature, native advertisements will drive 74% of all revenue by 2021. Additionally, it also recommends that spending on native advertising in the United States will reach $21 billion by 2018.


• Netflix (Cocainenomics by the Wall Street Journal): To promote its web series “Narcos”, Netflix collaborated with The Wall Street Journal and created an interactive portal which depicted the international trade route of the Medellin cartel. This is one of the finest examples of Native advertising featuring well-designed maps, quiz, etc.

• General Electric (The Message): GE’s 8-week-long podcast arrangement “The Message” investigates parts of sound innovation through a science fiction account about a new kid on the block podcaster and a gathering of cryptographers decoding an ominous message from space. The podcast achieved wide media approval and won the 2016 Webby Award for Best Use of Native Advertising.

• Ikea(The Telegraph): The Telegraph scores again with a particular A-Z test from Ikea that gives users tips on the best way to get a good night’s sleep. Unlike other native advertisings where the focus is on an individual product, this campaign aims at strengthening Ikea’s brand association.

All the above examples show that native advertising is different from following the bandwagon, it is about curating content and amalgamating the same along with advertising on an online platform.

To sum up, native marketing is one way of delivering content across a wide variety of audiences without disturbing the user experience. It helps in engaging readers as well as aids in building a link for search engine optimization (SEO).

– Sweta Roy Choudhury

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