The Rise of Native Advertising

Ever spotted a sponsored social post as you scrolled down your Facebook? Maybe you’ve seen an Apple product or can of Coca Cola in a film? If you have, you’ve probably just stumbled across an example of native advertising. As a breed of marketing, it’s one that’s continuing to grow in popularity. But, what are its limitations and when is it not a good idea? Here we take a look at native advertising, and how you can introduce it to your business.

What is native advertising?

Essentially, native advertising is the placement of an ad in an environment where it doesn’t appear to be an advertisement. Confused? Well, an example could be something like a sponsored blog or product placement in a film – as long as it feels natural and isn’t obtrusive, it’s native.

When it works, it works

When it works, native advertising can surpass expectations. For example, we developed a range of native ads for NCP’s ParkPass product. When using the Waze travel app, driver’s would be alerted to the NCP ParkPass as well as the nearest NCP car park. The alert would also feature directions to the car park, and how many minutes it would add to their journey. After a few seconds, the alert would drop, ensuring there was limited disruption to the driver’s journey. By being helpful and acting like another of Waze’s alerts, this proved to be a successful example of native advertising.

When it goes wrong

The more and more savvy customers get, the more likely they’re able to seek out adverts in a ‘native’ environment. A key example of native advertising gone bad is paid reviews, which are a big no-no – especially when it comes to SEO. Not only does it bend the rules, it’s something customers are very against, as they don’t like the thought of being tricked.  

Another big mistake is not doing enough research. The reason why the NCP ad on Waze worked is because they’re connected – if you’re driving, you’re probably going to need to park somewhere. A bad example would be if somebody started advertising an online clothing store. People will immediately be jarred by how irrelevant it is to the app, leading them to be annoyed and put off visiting the online shop.

The future

Looking ahead, native advertising will be better suited to the world of social media, where paid advertising is becoming the norm without affecting user experience. With social in mind, clear labelling, such as #Ad, is going to be the rule rather than the exception. This will ensure that all users know when content is an advert or not, keeping them informed at all times.

A final, and key, point to take away is that native advertising is not about sneaking in as many ads as you can without your customers noticing. It’s about creating worthwhile content that will be both useful and entertaining. From interesting blogs to helpful tips popping up on apps, it’s time to get smart with native.

If you think native advertising is something you’d like to introduce to your marketing plan, make sure you get in touch with a member of our team today.