Native Advertising

Native Advertising: what it is and how to create engagement with innovative ad formats

Example of Native Advertising to engage your target with relevant contents

Today users are bombed by an average of 5 thousand advertising messages per day. The big challenge advertisers have to face is to grab the users’ attention in a context characterized by high advertising pressure and an evermore frequent use of adblockers that prevent announcements display.

Native advertising is born to address this matter. The wording “native advertising” defines the kind of advertising coherent in shape and content to the context where it is visualized being thus perceived as not invasive by users.

Starting from this definition, in 2013 the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) has identified 6 different kinds of “native” advertising formats:

  • In-Feed: paid announcements inserted in a publishing website’s listing of contents
  • Paid Search: paid announcements inserted in the result page of search engines
  • Native sponsored announcements within social networks (for example: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Youtube)
  • Recommendation widget: paid announcements that promote contents related to a piece (they are visualized on a side or at the bottom of the page and they are generally classified with the wording “you could also be interested in…”)
  • Promoted listings: paid announcements that are inserted in the listing of e-commerce products or classified (website with sales announcements)
  • In-Ad: contents that are inserted within a standard advertising format (for example: 300×250 format)
  • Custom: special tailor-made initiatives driven by a brand independently or in cooperation with a publisher (for example: sponsored pieces)

Differently from traditional advertising, that aims to distract readers from a website content in order to communicate a message, native advertising aims to not to be interruptive. The advertising message takes the same appearance as the content and becomes a natural part of it.

The objective is not only to grab the user’s attention but mainly to elicit engagement through relevant content able to give users a perceived added value.

It is important to specify that the aim of native advertising is not to cheat users and that native content must always be labelled as “sponsored”: it would be an unfair practice to hide banners among editorial contents or to dress up a public-editorial as an article.

Native Advertising represents an advantage for all players involved in the supply chain:

  • Publishers supply contents of quality and information that can be useful for their audience, without interfering with the user’s surfing experience;
  • Advertisers communicate only relevant contents for their audience and thus obtaining a better performance. The main KPIs to evaluate native campaigns effectiveness are: traffic building, time spent on a website and engagement;
  • Final users consider advertising communications not invasive and coherent with their interests.

In order to optimize results it is useful to follow some best practice, for example to use copy and images that do not refer to the brand but instead are able to arouse the user’s curiosity driving him/her to click on the advertising.

The whole scenario is definitely evolving, expecially in relation with the opportunity to buy native advertising spaces in programmatic mode allowing to optimize performances in real time directly through the platform.

Native advertising effectiveness is constantly growing: the integration of this type of advertising within the media mix allows driving quality traffic to a specific website and to increase user’s engagement. All this improves performances registered by conversion channels.

Let the user be more demanding! Go native!

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