Native Advertising – What’s the Buzz About?

Native advertising has been the latest buzz lately in the world of advertising.  It has been around for years, but now more and more brands are adopting this media and breaking through the clutter of banner ads, that at times can be somewhat intrusive or completely ignored.

Defined by columnist Felix Salmon
of  “A Native ad is something that consumers read, interact with, even share — it fills up their attention space, for a certain period of time, in a way that banner ads never do.”  Native ad’s are digital ads created as content to be a part of the site that they appear on: “Put simply, native ads follow the format, style and voice of whatever platform they appear on. “

A great example of Native Advertising can be found on my Facebook Feed.

Scrolling through my Facebook homepage, I take a glimpse at the sponsored ads that are found on the right of my homepage.  These sponsored ads are based on my Facebook profile and Facebook activity.  Based on this data gathered, Facebook has concluded that I am a foodie who loves music and enjoys traveling.  The sponsored ads that appear are related to food, music and travel.  Even though these sponsored ads are right in my wheelhouse, they are not enough to get me to click on them.  Even worse, the sponsored ad may be ignored all together.

Continuing to scroll through my newsfeed, a sponsored post catches my attention.  Not to be confused with sponsored ads, sponsored posts appear as a part of your Facebook newsfeed.  The sponsored post appears on my newsfeed for a new restaurant along with a deal available for purchase.  I continue to read the post and view what other Facebook users have commented about the restaurant.   With 5-star reviews and food recommendations, my interest is peaked and I want to find out what all the rave is about.  I proceed to like, comment and share the post with my Facebook community.  Ultimately I purchase the deal.  Just like that, the sponsored post has led me to take multiple actions that I may not have necessarily done with the initial sponsored ads.

Below is a example of a sponsored post advertising Bonobos pants and a deal available for purchase:

Based on a new study conducted by Sharethrough and IPG Media Lab called “Benchmarking the Effectiveness of Native Advertising“, below are some highlights on Native Advertising:

•     Native ads registered an 18% higher lift for purchase intent, and 9% higher lift for brand affinity, than banner ads.

•     Consumers looked at in-feed native ad placements 25% more than banner ad units.

•     32% of respondents said a native ad “is an ad I would share with a friend or family member” versus just 19% for banner ads.

•     71% of consumers viewing native ads who had previously bought a product from an advertiser said the brand was one they “personally identify with,” compared with just 50% for banner ads.

While native ads are great at generating engagement on Facebook, marketers still need the help of other media vehicles to drive traffic websites before someone is able to view a native ad.  For example, a native ad on Mashable’s will only be viewed if someone is on their site.   Native ads can amplify a brand to the next level, but they still need the help of a  banner ads to drive traffic to the various websites.  While native ads are great in generating engagement, brands still need the help of other media vehicles to generate recognition and awareness to their brand to the masses.

Cindy Nguy
Just Media, Inc. 

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