Native advertising is growing in popularity, in part due to growing concerns around the effectiveness of some other forms of digital advertising. It can help to circumnavigate the rise of ad blocking software, and marketers and publishers are investing in models that prioritise high quality and valuable content.

Definition

Like an old-fashioned ‘advertorial’, native ads are often presented as content. They are placed in a way that is consistent in form and function (i.e. design, context and behaviour) with the online media platforms or publishers they appear in. In-stream ads, branded content, and paid search can be considered variations of native ads, though the term is increasingly used to specify brand-funded content published by third-party publishers. 

Key insights

1. Native ads are more effective than traditional banner ads

A 2018 study into native advertising by Verizon Media, which owns AOL, Yahoo, Tumblr and Huffington Post, found that “banner blindness” is at an all-time high. It also found consumers were very open to native ads, especially on mobile. For advertisers, native resulted in eight times higher click-through-rates and a 25% longer active view time compared to ‘traditional’ ads. A quarter of consumers were more likely to recommend brands seen in native ads and 15% were more likely to consider purchase themselves. Native formats triggered greater subconscious reaction, leading to a 10% lift in positive brand associations – this was even higher on mobile. In-feed native also proved to be better than bottom-of-the-page native.