The rise and rise of Native Advertising

Whether you work in the advertising industry or not, chances are that you may have come across some form of native advertising on your browse through social media channels such as Facebook/Twitter or through your favourite website.

So what is “Native advertising”? It is simply a type of digital advertising where the advertising matches the look and form of the content around which it appears. In the above-mentioned examples, these can be identified by the “Sponsored” term in the case of Facebook or “Promoted” term in the case of Twitter.

As technology has evolved it is becoming clear that from a performance perspective native advertising reigns supreme over other digital means such as flashy banners, autoplay ads, and obnoxious pop-ups.

The widespread prevalence of this method (to generate awareness about products and offerings) to such an extent that one would typically experience this daily were the user connected to the internet is a factor that asserts this.

However, statistical data such as survey results by independent 3rd parties also adds credibility. A 2015 study for instance by Hubshout indicates that a user will twice as likely click on a native form of advertising as opposed to a banner.

High returns from increased earnings are no doubt in the minds of magazine publishers as more than 90 percent of them as per a ‘Native Advertising Institute’ report consider native advertising to be at the very least ‘as important’ with respect to their organizations.

Some other results from the report include data suggesting that 4 out of 5 publishers associate native advertising as positive and that more than 90 percent will likely or already have implemented it in their offering.

But why such optimism from publishers? From a logical perspective, it makes complete sense to have a form of advertising that does not disrupt the user experience nor metaphorically shove the product or service at hand down the user’s throat.

Indeed spend on native advertising has increased exponentially in recent years and now accounts for more than half of the digital ad spend and is worth 22 billion dollars in revenue for the previous calendar year. In mobile, especially which is where more ad dollars are now spent than on desktop native advertising will shoot up to more than 60 percent of the share of the digital advertising market which is a stark contrast of it’s less than 15 percent share just 5 years ago.

To summarise native advertising is here to stay and only going to become bigger so irrespective of whether one is a content publisher or an app developer the only question one needs to answer is how most effectively can I monetise my inventory through this means.

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