If you use social media sites like Facebook or Instagram, then you have most likely seen a native ad. Native advertising could be the smiling, bright-eyed family of four splashings down a water slide on your Facebook feed or the impeccably dressed couple clinking wine glasses on a balcony at sunset on your Instagram feed.

We’ve entered a new era, and the lines between organic content and paid content are very blurred. Nobody wants to create content that has red arrows and flashing lights, pointing to the fact that content is an ad. Social media has left many people seeking out products, brands, services, and experiences that have that social stamp of approval. Native advertising is a way that marketers can create that word-of-mouth, shared-by-friends vibe using just a few smart images and a good headline. It also allows for ads that appear to be part of the content distribution on popular websites. That’s why successful brands are shifting a significant amount of their digital media budgets to native advertising.

Is your marketing strategy built for the social-media, information-hungry age? Native ads may help you get there.

What is native advertising?

Let’s give a quick native advertising definition first. It is a strategy that uses ads that blend in on platforms and often look like organic posts or official content. Native advertising has been around since 2012. However, the trend has graduated from being a secondary strategy for becoming the primary digital strategy for many brands today. It is essential to know that this form of advertising is highly adaptable, and it will look vastly different across platforms.

Why do marketers need native advertising?

You’ve probably seen native advertising in action thousands of times without realizing it. That’s the real goal of native marketing! A native ad should be designed to blend in with its surroundings. The most effective native ads are the ones that make you think is a post by a friend, family member, or media entity at first glass. A native and is at its core a paid advertisement that matches the look, language, and function of whatever platform is displayed. These ads are chameleons.

The goal of a native ad is to provide a way to advertise that won’t jolt viewers out of the experience they are having. Here are the numbers behind why you need to pay attention:

  • 70 percent of consumers say they would prefer to learn about products through content instead of through traditional advertising.
  • 85 percent of Internet users don’t feel hindered by native ads when browsing online.
  • 67 percent of users are more likely to click on sponsored articles than banner ads.
  • Spending on native ads accounts for close to 85 percent of all digital ad spending in the United States.

It’s almost as though consumers want to see native ads. That’s because seeing a product displayed realistically helps consumers to form impressions and make purchasing decisions. The three significant ways to execute native ads are to create ads that provide information, give viewers something to relate to or give viewers something to strive for.

What makes native ads so powerful?

It’s easy to think that native ads are simply tricking the audience into paying attention. However, the strength of this type of ad goes much deeper than that. Native ads help to fight one of the biggest obstacles marketers face. That obstacle is something called banner blindness.

Viewers subconsciously avoid looking at the tops, sides, and bottoms of their screens because they have been trained to avoid ads. A native ad offers a way around banner blindness because it gets embedded in the spot where users look for content and engage with others.

Why are native ads so effective for marketers?

Native ads help marketers to get more juice for their dollars because they are so precise. A platform like Facebook shows ads that are related to the interests of users. That means that they see ads that fit in with their news feeds naturally. The same goes for Instagram, news sites, media sites, or any other platform where you’re choosing to put your advertising dollars. You are being allowed to build ads for specific landscapes that flow and function properly in those landscapes. That means finally saying goodbye to ads that stick out like sore thumbs or take viewers out of the flow.

Which sites are using native advertising?

What does native advertising look like? There are several ways that brands are using native content to create non-obtrusive, organic-looking ads. The goal is to entice your audience to click on the ad intuitively because they are discovering content that appeals to them. Here are the main ways native advertising is embedded:

  • Search and promoted listings.
  • Content recommendations.
  • In-feed ads.

Why are marketers spending more budget on native marketing?

Think of native marketing as a gentle nudge instead of a shove. The big reason why you need native advertising is that it works. This type of ad display boosts both engagement and purchasing intent among customers. What’s more, you don’t have to worry about casting too wide a net and missing the actual audience you want to engage.

There’s another reason why skipping native marketing just isn’t going to cut it. Many people now use ad-blocking software and apps. Native ads offer a flexible, unobtrusive way to make sure your ads will be served and seen because they are part of the content.

What are the top native advertising platforms and companies for native marketing?

What are some of the best native advertising companies that you can use? Outbrain and Taboola are considered by many to be two of the top networks for native ads. One of the big reasons is that Outbrain and Taboola have an excellent grasp on quality motioning for its ads. Redirect.com is another one of the bigger fish out there. Taboola, one of the biggest in terms of scale and is known as the largest content-discovery platform. It caters to both large media outlets and small niche websites.

Where are people viewing native ads? They are extremely common on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Also, all news sites and places where people seek entertainment, media, and information on the Internet are now fully immersed in this type of ad experience. The importance of knowing how to create ads for the right kind of user-end platform should not be overstated.

The time to embrace native marketing is now

Going native is the key to creating on-the-ball marketing content. What makes native ads effective is that they act as part of the user experience instead of nuisances that take users out of the experience. The task of marketers going forward is to find customers where they are and serve content that is relevant, interesting, and engaging.

If you’re interested in our programmatic audio marketing and advertising services, contact us to discuss your campaign goals.

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