You'd be hard pressed to find anyone who thinks digital is overrated or unnecessary anymore, and in the next few years, we'll be saying that about native advertising. Native advertising is any type of branded content that appears in line and matches the organic content that surrounds it, allowing brands to interact with consumers in a natural setting ' to be part of the conversation rather than interrupting it.
It's really at the core of a shift in how people think about brands: Is this brand valuable to me if I buy their product/service? vs. Is this brand valuable to me?
Some, including Mashable, argue that the biggest driver of native advertising was the creation and proliferation of the feed. Remember when Facebook launched the News Feed in 2006 and people completely freaked out about it? Eight years later, that's my first and often only stop on the platform. Twitter, Buzzfeed, Tumblr, Pinterest, LinkedIn ' all feed-based. This is how users are now digesting and interacting with content, and therefore this is where advertisers need to be.
Native advertising can come in many different forms, and IAB does a great job of breaking them out for us according to the following criteria:
Many of the different types aren't necessarily what come to mind when we think of native ' things like paid search and promoted listings. It's something for all of us as marketers to really consider ' brands are already likely engaged in some of these, which are not only established but essentially required. So it's not such a leap to dive into some of the more custom, interactive and even user-generated types of native ads.
In fact, this may be the key to help educate clients about some of the more custom native ad opportunities. Working in new channels is always a challenge, especially when success can be difficult to nail down, but the value is clear, even if measuring success may not be.
And not to get all 'Purchase Funnel'? with you guys, but when brands are looking to achieve awareness and consideration among their target consumers, that's where I believe native is a clear choice. In a relatively cost-effective way, brands can show personality. Not every brand has a Geico-sized marketing budget to achieve these things via TV spots.
In my opinion, the most exciting part is the creativity that native invites. It gives brands permission to poke fun of themselves, to make themselves the heroes, and do it all with a focus on the consumer. Good content is good content. Consumers are hungry for it, and when brands provide it, they can reap the benefits. According to HubShout, 72.8% of consumers find equal or more value in sponsored articles compared to non-sponsored articles, which speaks volumes about the ability to build trust with consumers through relevant, useful content. When consumers see a brand as generous, as a brand that offers value to them, that positive connection is immensely valuable.
Native advertising invites an exciting opportunity for brands and consumers ' let's take advantage of it.