Native Advertising — The Next Big Thing

9 mins read

Sooner or later, everything old is new again — a famous quote by Stephen Edwin King is literally true; at least in the context of advertising. The concept of native advertising was first introduced in 2011, but the principle has already been around for even much longer time. People from 80’s or 90’s must-have remembered Reese’s Pieces used in the movie E.T! That smart placement of product was native advertising. It was presented so naturally within the content of the movie that viewers didn’t even get to know that they were being marketed to.

Native advertising is becoming the trending topic among marketers and publishers. Within a short span of time, it has become the hottest new traffic strategy in digital marketing. Paid advertising has been one of the essential pillars of digital marketing. Marketers have been invested billions of dollars in all kinds of ads — display ads, pop up ads, and so on. Soon they realized that only a small portion of online users clicks on these ads; giving them very minimal return from the investment. Native advertising provides them the opportunity to target the customers in the form they are familiar and comfortable with. So what is native advertising then? Why is it gaining so much popularity?

To put it simple, native advertising is a paid ad that fits naturally with the look and feel of the content of the media on which it appears. The ultimate goal of a native ad is to merge the marketing message to the content that is published on the same platform. This helps the advertisers to promote their brand with less distracting advertising experience to the consumer. According to the latest statistics, in the US only, the spending amount in native advertising is increasing every year and is expected to raise $41.14 billion by the end of 2019

Below are some of the examples of Native Advertising:

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Universal Types of Native Ads

  1. In-feed Ads: This type of advertising is mostly seen on social media platforms. They look like rest of the page’s content typically listed as “sponsored post.” In-feed ads are gaining popularity because the native content doesn’t get merged with the other kinds of ads. If implemented correctly, this type of ad generates ten times higher CTR as compared to other banner ads.

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  1. Paid Search Units: These are the types of ads that appear on the top of the search engine results page. Such ads are designed to appear when a consumer is looking for any product or query.

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  1. Promoted Listings: These ads are typically used by the e-commerce portals for featured products. They look and behave just like standard listings but are labeled as an advertisement.


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  1. In-Ad with Native Element Units: These ads are similar to banner ads, but the thing that makes this kind of ad “native” is that the content is contextually relevant to the rest of the page. For instance, cake companies might promote their own designs or recipes on websites that publish user-generated recipes. Your product image and logo design plays vital role in engagement. whether you create logo on your own by online logo maker or by any designer, your logo plays a vital role in making your ad and brand memorable in In-Ad.

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  1. Custom Ads: As the name suggest, these are those types of ads where publishers have the option to create their own ads as per their format by defining a custom list of assets.

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Native Advertising is a hit because:

  1. They don’t distract: Customers hate bad ads either because of the distractions or because of false information. When consumers do web surfing, they are either looking for entertainment or solutions to their problems. They are technically not always looking for a new product or services. For instance, if a person is looking for a video on how to cook pasta and suddenly a pop up shows up highlighting the website from where he can buy pasta. This will disturb his/her experience and raise negative feeling resulting in either leaving the site or feel irritated. 
  2. They know their audience: Ads are not for your brand but your audience. Therefore, it becomes necessary for you to know your audience well to create a compelling ad that can leave a lasting impression on them. For instance, if a packaging design company wants to promote its services among product manufacturers, a native ad featuring “How brands fail because of bad packaging design” paired with an offer to choose your product for service will be more effective than a direct call to action landing at your website.

  3. They are great for branding: Native advertisement provides an excellent opportunity for brands to share their brand story. The combination of headline, image, destination URL, logo, etc. allows brands to communicate their message clearly, give extra information on the benefits, values, and story behind the product or services.

Future of Native Advertising
According to BI Intelligence, the significant growth of native advertising will be on mobile. It is estimated that 63% of mobile display ad revenue will be generated through native ads by 2020. Since customers are sharing more content on social media platforms, companies will continue to spend more into these platforms. According to the estimates, there is 20-60% more clicks and shares on mobile native ads than mobile banner ads. The programmatic networks and exchanges like Yahoo, Google, and AOL will automate the ad buying process that can help the advertisers to achieve the large scale from their native campaigns.

In European countries also it is expected to grow 156% by 2020. In mobile native advertising, the forecast estimates a future to spend €8.8bn (£6.8bn) in 2020. In social networks, native advertising spends will increase to €6.3bn (£4.92bn) in 2020. In-stream video is set to double from the current €2.4bn (£1.87bn) to €5.1bn (£3.98bn).


It is clear that native advertising will be very promising for the future. When it comes to delivering the relevant content to the right audience, this is where the native advertisement takes a lead. If you want to stay ahead, start tracking the number of shares and engagement on your content. If you are getting an engagement from the relevant audience, it means you are in a great situation.