As someone who started her content career in traditional journalism, I took some time lớn come to lớn terms with the concept of native advertising. I bristled at the thought of paid ads masquerading as editorial content, violating the church-and-state division I was taught.

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But, lượt thích it or not, the rules of publishing have changed. The lines between media và marketing have blurred, & brands have sầu more power, influence, and opportunities lớn communicate directly with audiences. And new tools and strategies have sầu emerged và disrupted the game.

Like any good species in a survival-of-the-fitchạy thử world, I’ve sầu come around to see significant value in native advertising – when it’s executed smartly and strategically.

What is native advertising, in a nutshell

As Robert Rose, CMI’s chief strategy advisor, recently explained, the classic term for native sầu advertising is “advertorial” – an advertisement in a newspaper or magazine appearing in the style of an editorial or journalistic article. But, with the prevalence of digital truyền thông, marketers’ view of the technique and how it can be applied has expanded, và with it, so too has CMI’s definition:

Native sầu advertising is a paid/third-tiệc nhỏ advertising format that supports either brvà or direct-response goals, & is where the content matches the khung, feel, function, and unique of the content of the truyền thông media on which it appears.

Let’s unpaông chồng that, looking at the three defining principles at play in native ads: 

They are a direct-paid opportunity. Native advertising is pay to play. Brands pay for the placement of nội dung on platforms outside of their owned truyền thông properties.They’re typically information-based rather than overtly product-focused. Ideally, the content in a native chiến dịch should be useful, interesting, and highly targeted to the truyền thông media channel’s audience.They’re delivered in stream. Native advertising doesn’t disrupt the user experience because it’s featured in a way that does not impede the user’s normal behavior on that channel.#NativeAdvertising doesn’t disrupt the user experience, says
joderama. Click To Tweet

Think of native sầu advertising as a way of distributing your high-unique nội dung so it can get discovered by consumers who might not yet know enough about your brvà khổng lồ engage with that nội dung on your owned truyền thông media channels.

Types và transparency tips

Though native ads can take many forms, these are most commonly used in content marketing:

Recommendation widgets create a designated spot for sponsored stories to lớn appear on a site’s pages, usually underneath or alongside the site’s organic editorial content.

Base decisions on which units khổng lồ use on your strategic nội dung kinh doanh goals, as well as the capabilities of your target publication. Regardless of the format, native sầu advertising campaigns must follow the same disclosure rules that govern other advertising. You’ll find the FTC guidelines here. Pay attention to lớn these core principles:

Do not try khổng lồ deceive sầu the audience or misrepresent the nature of these promoted materials in any way.Identify clearly & prominently any sponsored or branded nội dung (i.e., clearly label it as advertising).Clearly label sponsored or branded #content as #advertising, says
joderama. Clichồng To TweetDiscđại bại prominently any clarifying information khổng lồ avoid deception (e.g., the content comes from your brvà and not the publisher).

A native sầu edge

Native ads are designed lớn give your content greater visibility than it might receive on your owned channels. They also provide greater relevance & authority than other digital advertising. Native sầu ads achieve sầu this in two key ways:

Placing your content on trusted & reputable information sources offers a svào potential lớn engage a broader audience. Because the content is built to lớn tóm tắt br& insights và perspectives rather than khổng lồ hawk your wares, it’s more likely lớn plant seeds of positive perception for your business in the minds of audience members.The implied endorsement from those publishing sites helps your nội dung break through the “banner blindness” that increasingly occurs with digital advertising.

Native advertising also offers a high degree of creative flexibility. You can incorporate text, đoạn phim, photos, data visualizations, và even interactive sầu features into lớn your native ad campaigns. You can provide a rich, engaging nội dung experience that blends inkhổng lồ the publisher’s organic offerings. And, because native sầu advertising campaigns are often managed through the publisher’s versatile self-service tools, they can be developed, launched, and optimized quickly, và customized khổng lồ fit just about any budget.

Unlượt thích banner ads or customized, co-produced branded content initiatives, native ads are an igiảm giá way khổng lồ repurpose content. You don’t necessarily need to develop new assets (though you certainly can, as you’ll see in the Washington College example below). 

Native sầu ads are an ideal way to lớn repurpose #nội dung, says
joderama. Cliông xã To Tweet

Incidentally, if you want a comprehensive explanation of where native advertising fits on the content sale spectrum, kiểm tra out this fantastic explainer Clip by Robert:

Native ad success

To achieve sầu the best results, bởi vì research before unleashing your nội dung on an unsuspecting audience. Many publishers use auction-based automated systems khổng lồ determine where & when native sầu campaigns appear. If you select content that doesn’t align with user intent or fail to configure your campaigns carefully, your br& might over up in the wrong place at the wrong time – or get noticed for the wrong reasons.

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Select #content that aligns with user intent for #nativeadvertising success, says
joderama. Cliông xã To Tweet

For example, in her presentation at Content Marketing World, StoryFuel founder Melanie Deziel described her experience of looking for wedding gown ideas on Pinterest. During her tìm kiếm, a pin sponsored by Dick’s Sporting Goods appeared. The native ad copied the format of the pins around it. Unfortunately, the content of the ad – hot-pink running shorts – clashed with Melanie’s intent that day. “It left a bad taste in my mouth,” she says.


How can brands create eye-catching, authentic, and click-worthy native sầu advertising that is as compelling as the organic nội dung experience audiences expect from their favorite media sites? Look at a few standout examples:

Washington College plants some seeds of love on BuzzFeed

Aspiring lớn connect with the lives of high school students starting lớn consider their college options, Washington College partnered with youth-friendly truyền thông media site BuzzFeed on a series of native posts focused on the theme You’ll Love sầu This Place. The topics spanned from life on Chesapeake Bay to incredible experiences as a freshman in college. The native sầu ads were distributed across BuzzFeed’s trang web and multichannel social media properties, giving the posts massive sầu reach, easy shareability, and mobile accessibility.


According khổng lồ Washington College, the campaign resulted in a 77% page-view increase on Facebook & a 94% page-view increase lớn its website trang chính page (year over year). It also generated 373 application inquiries on enrollment and earned the college a 2018 Content Marketing Award for native advertising/sponsored content.

Santander’s native sầu efforts lead customers through a journey of continual relevance

In his Content Marketing World presentation, Native sầu Advertising Institute CEO Jesper Laursen shared an excellent case study of how Spain-based financial services company Santander combined native sầu và traditional advertising lớn attract new leads và tư vấn informational needs from awareness through conversion.


Here are details on how the process worked:

(1) Prospect sees a sponsored article about how home improvements make a house more valuable, shared by Santander on Facebook.

(2) Prospect reads a related article from Santander about how khổng lồ get the best interest rates when borrowing for a home-improvement project.

(3) Santander drops a cookie on a reader’s computer và retargets hlặng or her with display ads on other sites.

(4) Prospect clicks on a display ad to lớn read about getting a home-improvement loan.

(5) Prospect conducts a search on Google where a native-tìm kiếm ad leads the person khổng lồ Santander’s trang web lớn start the loan application.

Abbvie adds an authentic native sầu voice khổng lồ an essential health care conversation

Ulcerative colitis (UC) is not a sexy topic that generates casual attention or open discussion. But lớn those who feel isolated because of their UC symptoms, hearing from others successfully managing the disease can help open their eyes lớn the benefits of treatment.

Recognizing the value of connecting with its target audience more personally than a typical ad spot could manage, pharmaceutical company Abbvie rose khổng lồ its kinh doanh challenge with a series of sponsored đoạn Clip posts for The Los Angeles Times. Each post features patient stories that someone who lives with UC can likely relate khổng lồ. Collectively, the campaign speaks to the brand’s goal of inspiring sufferers lớn act toward achieving remission.


10% Happier exercises creativity to lớn illustrate value

If you’re on Instagram, you scroll past dozens of ads each time you kiểm tra your feed. But brands are realizing it’s harder lớn pass by their promotions if they beg for your attention with a fun interactive activity. I recently came across a sponsored spot for the 10% Happier tiện ích, which challenged me lớn focus on a frantically bouncing red dot for 10 seconds as a lead-in khổng lồ learning more about gaining greater focus through meditation.


How vì chưng you plan khổng lồ go native?

These examples illustrate a few ways native sầu advertising can be used to lớn help brands increase their content’s visibility, build an engaged audience, & move sầu their kinh doanh goals forward. If you’ve sầu seen efforts that inspired you lớn consider this technique – or have sầu more questions about how lớn add it inlớn your marketing mix, we’d love for you to lớn mô tả your experience in the comments.

Are you growing or refocusing your content sale mix? Get the upper hvà by expanding your nội dung sale skills. Enroll in the spring semester of Content Marketing University before the March 31 deadline.