Native Advertising – What It Is & What It Isn’t

Native AdvertisingThere is currently a lot of buzz about native advertising being one of the big marketing trends in 2014. However what might not be so clear is what Native Advertising is and perhaps more importantly what it isn't!

Defining Native Advertising

To get to grips with what Native Advertising is let's look at a few key definitions. 

Wikipedia call it:

“A web advertising method in which the advertiser attempts to gain attention by providing content in the context of the user's experience. Native ad formats match both the form and the function of the user experience in which it is placed." define it as:

“The integration of marketing content with a website or service in such a way that it is not distinct from the rest of the material presented there in terms of its content, format, style or placement.”

Ian Schafer CEO of Deep Focus defines it as:

"Advertising that takes advantage of a platform in the ways consumers are actually using it". 

OK we can see from this some key elements about Native Advertising:

  • Tailored both visually and content wise to the location it appears on
  • Tailored both visually and content wise to the audience who will see it

In addition to these points being an ad in general implies that the content will be using a paid e.g. sponsored or promotional channel. 

Tailored Advertising

Not an Advertorial

At first glance it would be easy to think of Native Advertising as a fancy name for an Advertorial. Although there are some similarities it would be a mistake to see them as the same animal.

Advertorials often clearly marked as promotional or sponsored content can be seen in most magazines. They tend to be content that on the surface look like just another article but in fact have the sole purpose of selling you something.

My issue with advertorials is that even the best ones can make the reader feel tricked, when they get half way through the content and twig it's an ad your not happy. This is counterproductive if your aim to promote your business, would you use a business you felt was tricking you?

Native Advertising therefore needs to be different from advertorial in order to achieve its goals.

Yes Native Ads are tailored to their environment and the reader, but it should still be clear that they are promotional advertising. The key here is that the user doesn't feel tricked rather their interest is being cultivated through promotional content so they are happy to find out more.

Where to place your Native Ads

The key places currently for Native Ad promotion include:

  • Blog Posts
  • Articles
  • Facebook
  • Videos
  • Info-graphics

Other channels are also growing in popularity like Twitter and Pinterest plus new advertising channels are always becoming available.

The important thing to remember is to tailor your advertising to the channel you are using and its audience. Think of your content as a puzzle piece that needs to fit seamlessly into the page, that's not to say you don't want the ad to grab attention. Just make sure it's getting noticed for the right reasons not sticking out like a sore thumb.


help with online marketingNext Steps

If you're interested using Native Advertising to promote your business then talk to us. At ExtraDigital we have a wealth of experience in a wide variety of online marketing channels and techniques.

We can help you create the right online marketing strategy for your business that uses the best of the wide range of methods and channels available so you have a marketing solution completely tailored to you. Call us on +44(0)1227 68 68 98.

Sunday 9th February 2014

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