How to Successfully Use Native Advertising

Online audiences and consumers, in general, are becoming increasingly critical and discerning in their consumption of content. It seems like they can spot an ad from a mile away, and it leaves marketers and digital advertisers wondering what they can do to stand apart and make sure their messages are being seen and heard when their audiences are so resistant.

One option being used by a lot of advertisers are native ads.

Native ads refer to a digital advertising strategy that places ads within a site or content so that it matches the look and style, and seems like it is part of what’s around it, rather than being an obvious ad.

It’s growing in popularity, with Business Insider predicting native ad spending will grow to $21 billion by 2018.

The following are some tips to make native advertising work well.

Realize What It’s Not

Before you can really be successful with native advertising, understanding what it’s not is as important as knowing what it is.

First and foremost, native advertising isn’t content marketing. It’s unique and needs to be approached as such.

While it’s not content marketing, native advertising is rich with content. You’ll need to work with a professional copywriter if you don’t already have someone on your team because so much of the success of a native ad is about delivering the right wording in a way that brings a sense of value, which is discussed a bit more below.

You’ll need to create content guidelines and standards, just as you would if you were producing editorial content. If you can keep a sense of consistency in content standards across platforms, it will be beneficial with native advertising.

Work with Publishers

In many cases with native advertising you’ll work with publishers, and if you’re not, it can be valuable to do so. You can reach out to publishers to collaborate on the creation of content, and make sure everyone’s thinking is cohesive. This will help your ads be more continuous with the rest of the content on the publisher’s site.

The User Experience

The objective with successful native advertising is the best possible user experience. You want your audience to either not realize or forget that you’re advertising to them and creating a smooth, seamless and pleasant experience is integral to that.

When you’re thinking about the user experience, you need to look at everything from the copy you’re using, to the colors, overall look, and user-friendliness of the ad. You also need to be somehow able to incorporate a sense of value into it for the user.

Programmatic Advertising

With native advertising and really all online advertising, it can be tough to keep up with what’s available. Unless you have a massive, dedicated team, you’re just not going to be able to source and monitor all of the opportunities, which is why programmatic advertising is so valuable.

With programmatic advertising you have access to real-time inventory, only at the prices you’re able to pay. You can use technology to find the demand for native advertising within your budget, quickly and efficiently.

Native advertising can be somewhat tricky to get right, but with testing and strategizing it can be a really valuable approach for digital marketers.


Carmelo is a marketing writer and blogger helping small and medium size businesses craft winning content strategies. She's always scouting the web for new social media strategies and is slightly addicted to apps. When not tapping the keyboard, you are likely to find her in the park playing with her uncontrollably friendly Irish setter or trying out new vegan recipes.

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