Native ads are no fad

Why marketers, publishers, and consumers are on board with native advertising

Unless you’ve arrived here by some cruel error by way of typo, chances are you are familiar with native advertising – a piece of branded content which embodies the characteristics of a publisher’s or social network’s platform running within its editorial stream. Meanwhile, who is using it, how, and why may still reside in murky waters for some.

When it comes to those who use native advertising, there are three different sets of needs and uses. The marketers who use native ads as a platform for their branding and advertising efforts, the publishers who provide the space for these ads to appear, and the consumers who read, share, and participate in these content marketing efforts.


Though advertorials and their ilk are nothing new, native advertising defines itself through its penchant for interactivity. Engagement is the new metric through which campaigns are evaluated and native ads prove this through time spent on the site and the social sharing (likes, retweets, shares) which follows, not simply the click-through-rate.

Pam Horan, President of the Online Publishers association puts it succinctly: "Many of the metrics are more in line with how publishers are measuring the impact of their content."

Marketers can instead leverage the realtime data with sponsored content. Site usage can inform and help modify campaigns. In this interview with BuzzFeed's Aswini Anburajan, she explains how providing brands with analytics showing audiences reacting, reading, and sharing their sponsored content helps them adjust their campaigns for peak effectiveness.


For publishers, native advertising provides a monetization tool which scales from desktop to mobile

Resource allocation factors heavily in decision making in the publishing industry. Display advertising is often hardcoded into a publication and requires attention for each layout and story in which it may appear, as well as differing desktop vs mobile layouts (if that is even an option).

With native advertising that concern is rendered null – a scalable  piece of sponsored content emulates the look and feel of a publication; the advertising is as versatile as the publishers own content and monetization doesn’t depend on where it was viewed to achieve its value.

Just look at the problems publishers are having with mobile video revenue – perfecting the execution is cutting down on revenue opportunity.


Offers great sharable content which can help purchasing decisions and inform about brands or initiatives, while avoiding the pratfalls of obnoxious “required viewing” advertising which may prevent or interrupt their reading experience.

Alexandra Rees at memeburn equates it to, "taking an unsolicited seat at a stranger’s table at a restaurant and rifling through their handbag."

An integrated ad with great relevant content is invited to the table and asked to share desert.

Native advertising provides value and ease-of-use not just for the publishers and marketers using it on their sites, but the readers as well. A consumer is more likely to share and engage with this unobtrusive form, pleasing marketers looking for metrics, and publishers looking for a scalable solution to their advertising strategy.