The marketing and advertising world is ever changing. We’re constantly keeping up with current trends while also predicting what the next big thing will be. Marketers have found that consumers don’t like advertisements that try too hard to sell to them. When consumers don’t feel like they’re being sold to, they’re more likely to interact and engage with the ad. This is where native advertising comes in to play.

What exactly is Native Advertising?

Native advertisements are paid media where the ad follows the natural form of the third-party site where it’s been placed. Whether it be a sponsored photo on Instagram, or an article on Facebook, these posts blend in perfectly with a newsfeed and it’s less noticeable that it’s an ad.

IPG Media Labs reported that users look at native ads at a 53% higher rate than banner ads. Banner ads are no where near as successful as they used to be. They also found that 32% of the individuals would share the native advertisement with their followers as well. This is huge. Consumers rarely share advertisements so creating an ad that is so good they’re willing to share it, is a major win. By 2021 native ads will drive 74% of all ad revenue.

Where and Why is Native Advertising Successful?

Social media was very quick to get behind native advertising. Native advertisements on social media can be difficult to spot and have become the new normal. The ads must have “sponsored” or another warning label attached to them, ensuring the paid placement is totally transparent. The ads subtly blend right into a newsfeed and appear to be from an account the user follows. In the past year, native ads have become more intricate and personal rather than looking “ad like”.

Feeling like a part of the brand’s story is important to the consumer and using native advertising makes it possible. Native ads boost brand credibility. The consumers can like, comment, or share the post and it’ll reach their social media followers. This shows followers they have positive feelings towards the brand and they’re organically liking the brand’s content. Consumers are aware of influencers who are paid to endorse a product and know they may not truly use it. But when users see their Facebook friend “liked” a brand’s photo, they know their friend must truly enjoy or use that particular brand or product. When native advertisements are done well, as a user scrolls through their feeds, they’ll click on the ad because they see content matching their interests.

As mobile has increased in importance, native ads have begun to rise in popularity here as well. Native ads help to monetize an app and have caught the attention of developers. When the ads within an app are done correctly, they can feel like they are an extension of the app rather than another ad users are bombarded with. An advertisement becoming a part of the app’s content leads to more engagement with the brand and leads to brand credibility.

Going Back to the Good Ol’ Days

Native advertising differs from other types of advertising because it’s focuses on content first. The content fits seamlessly within a newsfeed or on a page and does not interrupt it. This type of advertising is just another way for brands to distribute their content.

But native advertising isn’t the hyper modern idea you may think it is. Cases have been made for instances of native advertising that dates back to as early as the late 19th century.  Then came the interruptive model of TV and radio ads, along with the newer incarnations of YouTube pre- and mid-roll advertisements. Web advertising, with all the ubiquitous banner and sidebar ads gave advertisers more freedom on where their ads were placed on a page. Now we are back to our ads fitting inside a box — or a square if it’s Instagram.