What Is Native Advertising And Why Should You Care?

What Is Native Advertising And Why Should You Care?

858 600 Kamila Łuksza

Native ads became marketers’ best friends a while ago. With their non-invasive form and format, this type of ads brings remarkable results. According to Wordstream, 90% of publishers already use them in their campaigns or plan to do so. Intrigued? Let’s take a more in-depth look into this buzzy marketing trend.

Ever since ad-blockers gained high popularity and users developed incurable banner-blindness, it became much harder to make the conversion happen with traditional display ads. That’s when this new type of ad was presented by Google in search results. It wasn’t long until other giants joined the new hype.

What is native advertising?

Native advertising is a paid content that matches both the style and form of organic content on a particular media channel. It is a type of ad that should be consistent with the visual design of the publication, website, or app. They need to provide the kind of content that the audience is normally expecting from the channel. When the user clicks on the ad, she/he should be presented with the sales page, containing valuable information about the product.

All in all, native ads should seem natural and shouldn’t disrupt user experience on a website. In order to do so, they need to be created specifically for the chosen media channel.

Proper Native Ads

See the native ad? No? That’s because it’s made properly. Source: Time.com

Types of native advertising

You might come across different types of native ads on the web but the two most important ones are in-feed ads and recommended content.

In-feed ads are the ones you mostly see on social media. As advertisements need to be always labeled, you might come across different disclosures such as “advertisement” or “AD” on Google or YouTube, “sponsored” or “sponsored by [brand]” on LinkedIn and finally “Suggested post” or “Sponsored” tag on Facebook. As you probably have noticed, the number of in-feed ads are growing rapidly and it is not expected to slow down anytime soon.

In-Feed Native Ad

In-Feed Native Ad, Source: yahoo.com

Wrong Native Ad

See the native ad? Of course, you do. It’s wrong – although we made this ‘mockup’. Source: eurosport.com

Recommended content is the second most common native ad format. It looks like real recommendations from a webpage but is actually a source of revenue for the publisher. Widgets are often labeled as “recommended for you” or “you also might like”. These ads are mostly shown on rich-site media, so users are more likely to click on them.

Recommended content

Recommended content – popular and non-distruptive. Source: time.com


You might also bump into other types of native ads such as:

  • Paid search – AdWords ads displayed on top of the organic search results;
  • Promoted listings – Ads used by eCommerce sites like eBay, Amazon or Empik;
  • Sponsored content – content created by journalists and brand owners, distributed on publishers’ platforms;  
  • Branded content – Content written by companies, published on their own platforms.

One of my personal favorites is Taco Bell’s native campaign prepared for Mexican-American holiday in may this year. Fast food giant sponsored Snapchat’s custom lens with huge taco-face-mask. They definitely broke the record with this one, gaining over 224 million views in a single day.

Taco Bell Snapchat Filter

Example 9 – Taco Bell’s Snapchat Filter (Source)

So… why should you care?

Okay, you already know what native ads are and you can name a few types. So… what’s the buzz? Why are they so important?

Nowadays, the biggest brands like Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr are creating their whole monetization strategies around native advertising. It should not be surprising, as they generate up to 49% higher CTR than traditional display advertisements (Business Insider). In Voluum DSP, this type of ad brings the highest conversion rates as well.

Marketers definitely love native ads. For users, it is more of a “love-hate relationship”. On one hand, they deliver personalized content in a pretty bearable form and format. On the other, native ads can be easily mistaken for natural content. How many times have you caught yourself on clicking a sponsored link on your Facebook feed instead of a real article…?

As the shift in native advertising from publishers to social media is more and more visible, this might be happening more often. Native ads’ budget spent on social media in 2016 was 14% higher than a year before. For comparison, the budget allocated to publishers from the same category in 2016 was 25% lower than allocation in 2015. Are we all on the way to develop a new form of advertisement-blindness? Who knows? For now, it’s definitely worth to keep up. According to Business Insider predictions, native ads are supposed to generate 74% of display advertising revenue on US market till 2021.

Would you like to get yourself a slice of that cake…? Why not start a native campaign today? 

Key takeaways:

  • With the banner blindness of Internet users, it’s hard to make them convert with display ads
  • A native ad is a paid content that blends into the style and form of the organic content it is displayed with
  • They should seem natural and not interrupt the user experience
  • There are a few types of native ads, like paid search, promoted listings, sponsored content, and branded content.
  • Native ads generate up to 49% higher CTR
  • By 2021, native advertising will generate 74% of display ads revenue on the US market.

Kamila Łuksza

Voluum Blog Manager

All stories by:Kamila Łuksza