What Is Native Advertising & Why Does It Need Data?
Native advertising is on the rise. Business Insider reports that native advertising in the US will account for an estimated 74% share of all US display ad revenue by 2021. That’s a pretty large leap from its current 56% share (reported in 2016).
In other words, if you’re not utilizing native ads yet, you should be. If you’re not sure where to start, or even how this concept differs from your traditional advertising strategies, take a look below for guidance on what native ads accomplish, why they are successful, and how you can start planning to use them effectively.
What Is Native Advertising?
Native advertising is a type of paid advertising — usually online — that is designed with the form and function of the publication in mind. Native ads take into account the user’s experience, and are placed to blend in with the natural content of a website.
Keep in mind that even though native ads are designed to blend with the content around them, disclosure is necessary. Sponsored content, for example, should clearly be labeled “Sponsored.”
Native advertising can come in many forms. Some examples include:
- Promoted tweets
- Sponsored Facebook posts
- Sponsored blog posts
- Branded content
- Product placement
- Content recommendation widgets
- Google text ads
Native advertising works hand-in-hand with content marketing. In a content marketing campaign, your brand is the publisher — you use your brand’s content as a means for building engagement and trust with your customers. Native advertising supports your content marketing, by driving consumer eyes to your brand’s content, expanding your company’s reach, and improving customer trust.
When you boil it down to the basics, native advertising is all about companies working with online publications to reach people in their natural setting.
How Does This Differ From Traditional Ads?
The main difference between native advertising and traditional advertising is that native ads are integrated into the flow of existing editorial content. When you think of traditional ads, you might imagine video ads that play before the actual video content begins. With a native advertising approach, brands instead work with the content creators to place their product (or a mention of their product) within the video itself. In simple terms, traditional ads interrupt the flow of content, while native ads work with the flow.
Why Native Ads are Important for Businesses
With the proven effectiveness of native ads, your business can’t ignore this up-and-coming marketing tactic. In addition to growing revenue through native advertising, research shows that:
- People view native ads 53% more than display ads.
- Native ads drive higher brand lift by 9% more — and higher lift for purchase intent by 18% more — than traditional ads.
- 32% of people say they would share native ads with friends and family members, versus only 19% who say the same thing about display ads.
If that’s not enough, an impressive 97% of mobile media buyers say that native ads are somewhat or very effective in achieving brand goals.
The research is clear. Native advertising works, and if businesses want a share of that 74% of display ad revenue by 2021, they must start focusing on native advertising.
Why Data is Important for Native Ads
To see success in native advertising, you still need data to inform your strategy — just as you do with traditional advertising. You need to know who your customer is; by understanding your target audience’s likes, dislikes, demographics, behaviors, and more.
The success of a native ad depends on placing the ad in front of the right consumers, matching it alongside (or within) relevant and appropriate publications, and designing the ad to flow smoothly with the publication’s content. What online publications do your target consumers often visit, and on which platforms? What types of content do they engage with the most, and at what times of day?
Once you understand your target market, you can get a better idea of your audience’s buying behaviors, and what types of ads and content they’ll respond to. You’ll also get a better idea of what types of online publications you should be working with, to reach your ideal customer. Outlining this research to guide your strategy will save you money — and mistakes — in the long-run, allowing you to reach a greater return on investment.
Are you ready to get started building your native advertising strategy?