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Native Advertising

Native advertising is a form of online advertising that matches the form and function of the platform on which it appears.

Native advertising is a method in which the merchant or advertiser tries to gain attention from the readers by providing content in the context of the reader’s experience. Native ads tend to match both the look and feel of the publisher’s editorial content.

This type of advertising has been gaining steam in the past years, with relevant publishers embarking on this type of content monetization as it does not affect user experience as much as banner ads and provides some value to the customers.

Native ads are appearing on all forms of online media, from prominent news organizations to smaller niche sites. On a news site for example, a native ad can be placed in the same context as a specific section of that site. Or the native ad can be made to look very similar to already existing content on that site.

For other online publishers such as bloggers, native ads can take the form of sponsored content, also known as sponsored posts. A blogger may team up with a brand or retailer and create a post centered around a certain product or campaign that matches the content already on his/her site.

This kind of post is written in the same tone/style as that of the publisher to make it as seamless of an experience as possible for the reader. A sponsored post has to be clearly stated as per FTC regulations. Some additional guidelines for UK bloggers can be found here and here. It’s best to find out what the regulations in your country of residence are if you’re planning on incorporating sponsored posts.

Native Advertising in practice

The NY Times ran a native ad promoting the Netflix show “Orange is the New Black.” The ad placement looked and felt very much like a typical long form piece that’s published on the NY Times and included real data and statistics in the context of an article discussing female inmates.

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