Yet another marketing phrase, ‘Native Advertising’ has managed to capture the attention of everyone in the marketing world and it has received a lot of attention from media, brands and publishers. After cutting through this hype, one question still remains unclear to many and that is, what does it actually mean?
The phrase ‘Native Advertising’ encompasses any customized advertisement that integrates uniquely with a website. The concept of Native Advertising is not new. Traditionally, some of the most effective Ad formats have been those that match the form & function of the user experience, including Search Ads, Promoted Listings, Promoted Videos, and Sponsored Posts. However, what takes native advertising one step further is that it seamlessly integrates brands into a medium, so much so that the consumer gets more value from the advertising as part of a greater content consumption experience. Many consumers have a hard time pinpointing the last time they saw a native Ad. This happens because these Ads are purposefully disguised so that they blend in with the user experience of the site.
Positives of Native ads are:
- They are seamless and non invasive.
- The content they display is very relevant and it is flexible to the devices that customers use.
- Leads to increased traffic, better engagement and enhances social sharing.
Some of the drawbacks of Native Advertising are:
- Consumers often confuse native ads with regular articles and updates, and once they realize that these are Ads, they have unfavorable opinions towards the products or services that are being promoted.
- Native ads are also considered nothing more than repackaged advertorials with a minor online twist.
- These Ads are more complex to execute and get right.
The major factor of failure for these ads is an inability to consistently establish a positive relationship between the advertiser, publisher, and end user that translates into sales. This disconnect is what marketers still need to overcome when utilizing native ads and sponsored content. Blending their brand’s messaging and imagery with a publication’s editorial content is great, but if the business purpose between the article and the sponsor is not clear, the ad will do very little to convert potential customers into buyers.
While Native Ads help publishers generate much-needed online ad dollars, advertisers are left with campaigns that are often difficult to measure, particularly in securing new customers.
Until marketers realize that online advertising has to be attractive, engaging and shareable, but also send a clear message and call to action that can consistently produce results and generate leads, Native Advertising will just be another overhyped marketing term.