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What is Native Advertising? - A closer look at how Advertorials have morphed in the Digital age

Updated: Oct 24, 2023

Native Advertising is essentially Advertorial, that may appear as editorials, or sit and blend in together with relevant editorials. We will take a closer look later in the article where these blend-ins are on the digital sphere. Perhaps you never really noticed them, or you did. But first, let's take a look at the Guinness Guide to Cheese below. If say you flip a magazine and come across this page, it could easily be mistaken as an editorial on cheese. But in actual fact, it is a masked advertisement in an editorial form, but of course, when we look at this example in this day and age, it could be obvious to us that it is an advertorial as opposed to an editorial. But let's see if your eye is keen on the differentiation of the digital sphere.

Editorial vs Advertorial
Editorial vs Advertorial

In the Buzz Feed article below, you could be lured in by what they call 'Clickbait', which is basically something that makes you curious to click in to see what the fuss is about. So sifting through your websites or social media and suddenly you see the title below, and think no way, what photos are those? And then when you get in there is a crazy photo with a Taco Bell stuffed somewhere and then gets you to share that crazy photo. But that would be you as a consumer interacting with the advertiser in a Native Advertising format. In a way that they know gets you ticked and going to share and push their goal, in this case, likely brand and product awareness.


And then you scan through your favourite Business Insider articles and you come across a title that reads like the one below, and click on to read the article, and get impressed. Were you aware that it is an advertorial by UPS? When scanning through quickly, one may not realize and take clear notice of it.


The example below shows how within articles, one of them is an advertisement by Emirates and Loft. So don't forget to keep those eyes peeled, the ads are not just up in banners and pop-ups anymore, they're all over the place.


Another Buzz Feed example is here below. The titles are written in ways that make you think it's an editorial. Always inspect for the 'Promoted', 'Ad', or Sponsor' buttons.


A study by Digital analyst BrightEdge in 2014 shows that 51% of all website visitors for B2B and B2C businesses come from Organic Search, rather than PPC. But we may see the trends changing, with more Native Advertising around.

15 Benefits of Native Advertising

Native advertising offers several benefits for both advertisers and publishers. It blends seamlessly with the content and design of the platform, making it less intrusive and more engaging for users. Here are the key benefits of native advertising:

  1. Enhanced User Engagement: Native ads feel less like traditional advertising and more like content, which results in higher user engagement. Users are more likely to interact with native ads, click on them, and view them for longer periods.

  2. Improved User Experience: Native ads are non-disruptive and fit naturally within the user experience. They don't interrupt the flow of content, which helps maintain a positive user experience.

  3. Higher Click-Through Rates (CTR): Due to their non-intrusive nature, native ads tend to have higher CTRs compared to traditional display ads. Users are more inclined to click on an ad that doesn't look like an ad.

  4. Brand Awareness: Native advertising allows advertisers to create brand awareness without the aggressive push associated with traditional ads. It helps in brand recognition and recall.

  5. Relevance: Native ads can be highly targeted based on user behavior, interests, and demographics. This increases the relevance of the ads to the audience, leading to better results.

  6. Ad Blocker Resistance: Native ads are less likely to be blocked by ad blockers since they often blend with the content, making it more challenging for ad blockers to identify them.

  7. Ad Format Versatility: Native ads can take various forms, such as in-feed ads, sponsored content, promoted listings, and recommendation widgets. Advertisers can choose the format that best suits their goals and the platform they are using.

  8. Content Marketing Integration: Native ads can be a part of a broader content marketing strategy. They provide an opportunity to distribute valuable, informative content to a wider audience, increasing content visibility.

  9. Higher Conversions: The non-disruptive nature of native ads contributes to higher conversion rates. When users engage with a native ad, they are more likely to take the desired action, such as signing up for a newsletter or making a purchase.

  10. Supports Editorial Integrity: Publishers can maintain the integrity of their content while monetizing their platforms through native advertising. They can control the quality and relevance of the ads that appear alongside their content.

  11. Better Ad Performance Metrics: Native advertising typically results in improved ad performance metrics, including lower bounce rates, longer time spent on the site, and improved ad viewability.

  12. Increased Revenue for Publishers: Publishers can benefit from native advertising by monetizing their content effectively. Since native ads are more attractive to advertisers, publishers can often command higher ad rates.

  13. Easier Mobile Integration: Native ads seamlessly integrate with mobile content, making them suitable for mobile advertising, which is crucial in today's mobile-driven digital landscape.

  14. Educational Value: Native ads can educate users about products, services, or industry trends, especially when used for sponsored content that provides valuable information.

  15. Long-Term Relationships: Native advertising fosters stronger, long-term relationships between advertisers and publishers as they work together to create content that resonates with the audience.

While native advertising offers numerous benefits, it's essential for advertisers and publishers to maintain transparency, clearly label native ads as such, and adhere to ethical guidelines to ensure a positive and trustworthy user experience.

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