Native is a term that’s thrown around frequently in advertising yet it doesn’t quite have a universal definition. Sharethrough, a native advertising platform, has defined native advertising as the “form of paid media where the ad experience follows the natural form and function of the user experience in which it is placed.” Despite some lack of understanding, it is one of the fastest growing mediums in digital advertising. It is predicted that advertisers will spend almost $14 billion in native in 2016.
Research performed by Triplelift shows that consumers like native for a variety of reasons. It provides consumers with information they may not have discovered otherwise, introduces them to new products and when done right, native is non-intrusive, fitting naturally within the online experience.
While native advertising is ever evolving, there are a few definite types of native –
- Social: Ads on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. They are served in-feed and match the style of the platform.
- Editorial content: Sponsored or custom content/articles promoting the brand while still mimicking the look and feel of a site.
- Image-based native: Visual ad experience that matches the look and feel of the site. These are typically in the form of recommendation widgets.
With native becoming a larger piece of most advertisers’ budgets here are a few best practices from Triplelift and Yahoo –
- First and foremost, it must be clear that this is advertising to ensure your abiding by FTC guidelines and ultimately so your audience doesn’t feel deceived.
- Logo presence is important as it helps with recall.
- Native advertising by nature should match the look and feel of site content.
- Ensure you’re adding value that resonates with consumers.
- People-based images tend to drive stronger engagement, especially on mobile.
- 15-second video ads are proven to drive greater recall and purchase intent than longer video units.
- Use multiple images and copy in order to optimize to the creative that performs the best.
- Ensure the landing page you drive consumers to is relevant to the ad that drove them there.