Native advertising is currently one of the most popular digital marketing methods among brands and advertisers. Several major digital advertising platforms have implemented it in creative ways to provide more effective ways for businesses to establish closer connections with customers and increase return on investment. But where did this novel advertising solution come from and why?
Although it’s a much newer concept than other forms of digital marketing, the roots of native advertising go back to the early 20th century. Obviously, there wasn’t such a thing called digital advertising back then, and the primary marketing ways for businesses included physical ads, print ads, and TV promotions. The first signs of native advertising emerged from print media.
Large companies started ordering “promotional articles” from magazines and newspapers that were different than simple print ads. These advertorials looked more like authentic journalistic features that didn’t directly promote a brand. Instead, they focused on bringing value or entertaining readers by telling a story or explaining a solution to a common problem and low-key promoted the sponsor brand.
As time passed by, native advertising gained increasing importance. The marketing landscape has vastly expanded since then and dozens of different advertising methods have become available. This looks like a good thing for businesses. They found more and better ways to reach their customers after all. But it also means that ads and promotional content began taking over the world. Ads have found their way into almost every aspect of people’s everyday lives, leading to a major issue called ad fatigue. In simple words, people have gotten sick of seeing so many intrusive ads everywhere.
From daily commutes, newspapers, and TV, to almost everywhere on the Internet and social apps. Ad fatigue has had a significantly negative impact on advertising, resulting in target audiences ignoring ads or even actively trying to block them in whatever way they can. This is a serious concern for the multi-billion-dollar advertising industry, especially in the digital section where the market is much bigger and it’s way easier to block ads.
Luckily, native advertising has come to the rescue. It’s a brilliant remedy to the ad fatigue problem and it’s a great way to promote a brand without making people sick of seeing ads. Companies have greatly embraced this novel advertising method, and we’re witnessing year-over-year increases in native advertising spend which is expected to reach a whopping $98 billion dollars in 2023. Let’s dive deeper into how native advertising works and how you could make the best out of it for your business with a highly effective trick.
Right now, native advertising covers a much wider spectrum of ads than advertorials, all of which share the same approach: Low-key promotion without disrupting the viewer’s experience on digital media. Native ads are successful in promoting a business by disguising organic content and having as small an impact as possible on the user experience as possible. To achieve this, native ads fit perfectly in the environment of the platform they’re being served on and have almost the exact same look and feel as the surrounding organic content. However, it’s not to say that they look 100% like them.
There’s always an indicator that gives away their promotional nature. But that’s what makes them so impressive: Even though native ads try to somehow “deceive” the viewer by appearing like normal posts, users still put much more trust in them than in other ad types. Multiple factors have played a role in the surprising success: Native ads are way easier to understand. They’re less annoying and salesy, and in order to make them appealing, advertisers have to prioritize providing value over blatant promotion. This has resulted in higher click-through rates, impressions, and trust for native ads compared to other types of ads.
Google paid search advertising is one of the best examples of modern native advertising. When the user enters a search query in Google, the first few links on the search engine result pages are paid promotions, meaning the advertiser has paid Google to show its link higher than organic search results. These ads are almost identical to other results, with the only difference being the tiny “Ad” or “Ads” icon above or below them. TikTok ads are also terrific native advertising examples. Ads on TikTok are only in video format, just like the other content you find on the app, and even on the content side, they are more focused on entertaining viewers or bringing value to them. They appear right between videos in your friend without breaking your experience and you might not even notice that you’re watching an ad in the first few seconds.
Running a native advertising campaign is usually trickier than traditional digital marketing campaigns. Since the whole point is to be non-disruptive, you need to test different combinations of ad copy, headlines, and creative assets to find out which one works best. In addition to having a smaller impact on people’s online experience, good native ads bring value. Successful native campaigns focus on what the reader/viewer wants to see. Capturing the essence of native ads might be more difficult than you’d think. Every day, people are becoming more elusive toward ads, and native ads are no exception.
Generating that sense of trust and not sounding pushy and aggressive with a native advertisement requires extensive knowledge of the people you are advertising to, and a sheer amount of creativity to write engaging, interesting copies and create eye-catchy assets. In other words, you’ll have to go through a lengthy and costly learning curve and experiment with different combinations and platforms to come up with optimal, high-converting native campaigns; A luxury that many businesses could not afford. However, there is a way to skip this whole process and have a head start against your rivals in the native advertising landscape, and that is taking advantage of a native ad spy tool.
Spy tools have gathered a lot of prominence in the digital marketing landscape in the past few years, probably because they provide advertisers with several extremely useful tools and features to enhance their campaigns in one reasonably-priced package. As the name suggests, these spy tools let you find and inspect advertisements from other businesses across different platforms and networks. They usually provide performance analysis tools, campaign monitoring and tracking, and even the ability to download ads and landing pages. They’re basically like gold mines and could bring enormous benefits to advertisers.
In native advertising’s case, they can discover the most profitable native ad networks, monitor their direct competitors in the market, and check out the latest trends and tricks smart advertisers use in their native ads to attract more attention. AdFlex native ads spy tool is a great example of how one of these tools lets you search for native ads in a massive database with various filters to narrow down your search. With a competent ad spy tool, you can skip the aforementioned learning curve and learn from the best native advertisers. You can keep up with the latest trends and native advertising techniques, discover the most profitable networks to run your native campaigns on, find out how to shape your ad and your target audience, and most importantly, keep tabs on your competitors.