realistic-apple-devicesTraditional display advertising, such as banners, pop-ups or overlays, are increasingly perceived by users as a nuisance or not noticed at all ("banner blindness"), a situation the so-called “Native Advertising” intends to change, pepping up the click-through rates.

What is different about Native Advertising?

Instead of the usual graphical banners with short and intrusive advertising and call-to-actions like "click here" or "buy now", real content replaces this space. Such "Advertorials" or "Sponsored Posts" then appear in blogs, news sites and thematic portals. The trick is that this type of advertising doesn’t looks like advertising at first glance, but more like an editorial article. Only by doing a double take, the differences to actual blog posts become evident, as the promotional note "Featured Partner" or "Sponsored Post" at the end of lead is usually almost inconspicuous.

Not really new, but increasingly successful

In the USA alone the interest in Native Advertising increased by 87% over the past two years and in Asia innovative marketers advertise as well already for quite some time with the packaging "content" - in the form of sponsored posts or guest articles on thematic portals.

Meanwhile, however, there is not only an increase, but almost a penetration of marketing with Native Advertising - with impressive success rates – as editorial coverage gives a topic or product more credibility that way. Because native ads are surrounded by an editorial aura, this form of advertising is less striking than graphical banner, and therefore achieve impressive results, according to studies.

IPG Media Lab, for instance, shows in a study that native ads are perceived by users up to 52% more often than standard banners; or Nielsen Research found out that natively embedded videos can enhance the reputation of a brand by 82%. In comparison, widespread video advertising formats, such as pre-rolls, reached so far only 2%.

Interference-free: Mobile Ads

Especially on mobile devices native ads should score and support a company’s content marketing, as due to the smaller screen size users perceive the banner advertising more disruptive there than on large desktop screens. In the worst case, the brand is even perceived negatively, because of the disruption. But since native ads present themselves as additional content on mobile as well, they don’t really have a negative effect, rather are perceived at best positively, which in turn can increase brand awareness, as well as the image and the reach of a brand.

Native Advertising does not only seem to be natural, but at the same time supportive for communicative approaches with the target audience or getting in touch with consumers. Therefore, stay away from putting banal advertising slogans in the foreground. The point is to spread valuable content in the network and pick up the user where he already deals with topics.

Thus, native ads enable targeted distribution of content to specific portals and websites where interested readers are looking for that particular topic, even beyond their own platforms – which is what works only to an extent with standard ad formats. The aim must therefore be to organize native advertising campaigns similar to the traditional large display campaigns on sophisticated technology - such as special ad server, agencies or service providers - so as to keep the costs low. In addition, native ads can of course complement the old online advertising formats such as Skyscraper, pre-Rolls or text ads, with the format "Content”.

With the necessary budget to afford the luxury of an agency, you have obvious advantages: Imagine, that the advertising content can be played automatically from a central location via an ad server on the partner portals of the agency. Ideally, the ad server has intelligent targeting and real-time optimization technology that supports the accurate targeting in the delivery of content. The billing can take place via fixed price or CPC (cost per click), just to give you an idea. But, we will see how native advertising will continue to develop.

By Daniela La Marca