The Future is Native Advertising

Once upon a time, advertising was simple. Buying a half-page newspaper ad or a 30-second TV spot would allow an advertiser to reach thousands, if not millions, of people, and consumers weren’t overwhelmed or oversaturated with advertising. Over the years, more television channels arose and that quickly turned into more media channels, making it even more difficult to make an impactful impression on a consumer. The average consumer is inundated with over 5,000 brand exposures every day, 362 of which are advertisements, and sadly, a mere 12 actually make an impression. Because of this lack of effectiveness, a new advertisement concept has emerged: Native Ads.

Native advertising is paid content that is created to fit the same format as a publisher’s organic content. There are two factors that play a role in the recent success of native advertising. First, the Internet is now a way of life. The average adult spends more than six hours a day online consuming content, so the audience is already there. And second, having it look similar to a publisher’s organic content makes it less intrusive than other type of advertising. These native ads appear as sponsored or paid posts in the same stream as regular content. Some examples would be newsfeed Facebook ads or promoted Tweets. They appear mixed in with all the other content your friends and followers are posting.

Here is an example of a recent native video ad that appeared on BuzzFeed, which is one of the top online content publishers. This native ad for Tidy Cats appeared mixed in with other non-sponsored content and has been viewed over 9.7 million times.

See how it was entertaining and informative with a subtle hint of branding?

Native advertising has already taken off and is expected to quadruple by 2018, bringing in roughly $21 billion. According to Inc., 70% of consumers would rather learn about products through content rather than traditional advertising. Also, people view native ads 53% more than banner ads, and people who click on native ads have 52% higher purchase intent. In addition, these ad placements also have a 54% lower cost-per-click, 49 times higher click-through rate and can generate up to 82% increase in brand lift

Sixty-two percent of publishers currently offer native advertising placements with new ones being added almost daily. Forty-one percent of brands and 34 percent of agencies are already taking advantage of the benefits of native advertising. Will you be next?