Infographics, articles, videos, and other similar content marketing methods can be seen everywhere these days. These methods of getting the word out about a product or service is called native advertising. To put it simply, native advertising is nothing but paid content. Paid ads are used to match the feel, function and look of the media formats, where the ads are meant to appear. Although digital advertising has been found to be a key marketing tool for engaging and reaching target audiences, native advertising is far more sophisticated in finding new ways to help brands/services get their messages across. 

How do native ads work?

Often found on social media feeds, these paid ads show up as suggested content on web pages. However, native ads don’t look the same as banner or display ads. Instead, they blend in with the editorial flow of the web page. This type of advertising is quite the popular pick due to its non-disruptive mode of operation, where it showcases the reader to the content being advertised without being very “in your face”. 

The content that native ads provide is usually similar to the information that the audience on the webpage/publication expects or are used to viewing. Hence, this also makes spotting of native ads a tad bit more difficult than regular advertisements. Native ads don’t adhere to any defined guidelines or rules, making transparency standards solely dependent on the type of webpage it is being published on. 

6 examples of native advertising

Native ads, similar to other types of advertising, have numerous formats. Each of these mediums come with their own set of advantages. 

  • The classic print ads: The advertorial is one of the oldest and widely used examples of native advertising. A quick glance at this type of ad and it looks the same as the editorial content on the platform you are on. Advertorial designs must also be in sync with the context design. Simply put, eliminating the brand name helps the ad fir in perfectly with the publication style.
  • In-feed units: When you see sponsored content appear on a publisher’s site or on your social media platforms, these are called in-feed units. These are nothing but paid placements that appear in coordination with the other posts, articles and editorial content. In-feed units differ from website to website, and are unique to each site’s user experience. 
  • Paid search units: A well-known and much-used advertising tool for search engines is native advertising. For example, the advertising placements found at the top of the page that you normally bid on are native ad placements. These top-paid results on the search engine are often made to look like organically searched results. 

Widget recommendations: Social media platforms, publisher sites and search engine pages have reserved spaces for recommendation widgets, yet another type of native advertisements. These are often found on the side of a publication or page online, or even as an ending to an article. It is used as a suggestion for additional content that you might enjoy viewing/reading, which is quite similar to the original content you are looking for.

Video advertorials: Videos are the crux of online advertising, especially when it is an advertorial. It is an intelligent way of supplying the reader with the information they are looking for, while also getting the advertised message relayed. Promoted listings: Most people today have the habit of shopping online. This elevates the need for native advertising in the form of promoted listings. For example, if you are looking for new books on a certain topic, the sponsored listings automatically appear on the site you are on. Despite the fact that the publishers of those books paid for the media placements, the ads are made to look or exhibited just as organic listings.

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