Native advertising is a marketing buzzword that gained momentum and popularity in 2013 - and is only going to grow in 2014 and beyond. The concept, which first emerged in late 2012, has been generating a significant amount of advertising revenue for big names like Forbes and Huffington Post, and is trending in such a way that it will continue to do so well into the future. As a marketing professional or business owner in the Washington DC area, native advertising is a concept you need to know about because it proving to be a beneficial asset in digital marketing strategies.
What is native advertising?
While there is no one agreed-upon definition for native advertising, it is generally described as sponsored content that looks a lot like editorial content, or content that is "native" to the particular site. The popular social content site Buzzfeed has mastered the art of native advertising. Their sponsored posts make up all of their advertising and it has become a commodity for advertisers - some of whom are willing to spend $100,000 for four or five sponsored posts, according to Mashable. While some Buzzfeed sponsorships carry a hefty price tag, many other popular sites are offering native advertising at a more affordable rate, which allow advertisers to get in on this new digital advertising trend. A local example of native advertising comes from WTOP.com, who recently ran a native advertising campaign sponsored by Jiffy Lube that featured a photo gallery of car-related “top 10” lists, including top 10 cars at the Detroit Auto Show and top cars featured in movies.
How is native advertising helping advertisers?
As digital and mobile marketing continue to grow, native advertising has a particular appeal among advertisers and consumers alike. A recent report from Sharethrough and research company IPG found that consumers looked at native ads 53% more frequently than display ads, and 32% of the surveyed respondents said they would share a native ad with a family member.
These statistics align with information from digital news site Mashable about their success with native advertising. According to Mashable, on average their readers spend 50% more time on articles created as part of a custom content program versus organic posts. In addition, they found that their readers click on the ads associated with the custom content about twice as much as they do on non-contextual advertising. This shows is that readers are being given content they enjoy, and advertisers are not only reaching their target audience, but that audience is engaging with the advertiser!
Even though native advertising is catching on in the marketing world and has many more success stories, some advertisers still question native advertising’s integrity and are concerned with deceiving consumers. If you are considering a native advertising campaign, it is an important best practice to make sure your content is clearly noted as a sponsorship and that the content provided is that which you are proud to associate your brand with.
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