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In truth, the excitement isn’t so much to do with the content being delivered, but the fact that the digital and social revolution has enabled this content to be shared across so many interesting channels – the ‘native’ terminology specifically refers to the activity in an online context. And trade media outlets, newspapers such as the Atlantic and social media networks alike are all looking to generate revenues associated with native advertising.

But isn’t a banner ad good enough?

The rise of social media and the ubiquity of banner ads have meant that click through rates have gone down and advertisers have had to turn to increasingly more ‘in your face’ methods of advertising – such as big pop-ups and auto-roll movie banners – to have an impact.

Unfortunately, when used unwisely, these methods can dramatically reduce the quality of the user experience and have a negative effect on brand perception.

With the rise in interest in content marketing (and the continued struggles of the publishing sector), native advertising has come to the fore. And brands have found that such ‘native advertising’ content does not disrupt the user experience and provides new outlets for the great content – including articles, videos, podcasts, images, white papers and case studies – they have created.

Does it work?

As with any form of advertising, measuring the true value of individual initiatives can be difficult, as integrated programmes work together to provide results greater than the sum of the parts. However, research by IPG media lab has shown that native ads are viewed for the same amount of time as editorial content. What’s more, native ads are far more likely to be shared than banner ads.

So if you are looking for assistance with improving the performance of your advertising spend, please feel free to get in touch. At the very least, take a look at our free whitepaper containing 75 ideas for great content.

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