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The nature of native advertising

By Abey & PH

In this blog Abey and PH take a closer look at one of the most talked about content marketing form which has caught the imagination of most publishers in the world, native advertising.

Abey (Abraham Mathew)

The last two years has seen the rise of a new advertising format: Native advertisements. What exactly are native ads and is it really new? To me, native advertising is a new term for advertorials. A more sophisticated term perhaps but at the core it is the same. It is placing promotional content along with the other regular content of the publisher or platform in an effort to avoid the readers" tendency to skip ads.

In the advertorial days, brands used to create one content piece and have that released in multiple publishing platforms. In other words it was a case of "one size fits all". And publishers used various terms like special feature, focus feature, etc. in a bid to avoid the word advertorial.

Let us look at how the native ads of today have evolved from the advertorial era. Firstly, they are perhaps a little more neutral in tone. Secondly, they are custom made or tailor made for each publication. In other words, the content from the advertiser will vary depending on the audience profile. Thirdly, native ads are seen more in the online media and therefore more measurable. And lastly native ads can be rendered in multiple formats such as text, tweet, video etc.

Native ads are a sub set of content marketing. A way to reach the large audience that media brands have built over the years. Handled right they are effective and if handled badly, it will affect the brand that is advertising and the media brand. Revenue growth from native ads was impressive last year and that should continue in 2015 and perhaps 2016. After that, marketers and publishers will begin to think of a new term.

PH (Prashanth Hebbar)

Native advertising typically uses real-time analytics tools to identify appropriate trending content across the publisher"s platform. Content marketers pour over their analytics tools to gain understanding of how audiences are interacting with their content and where they are coming from --- by platform, source and geographical location.

Most effective native advertising have taken a well-defined campaign route. In this form most content will be reactive, based on the most popular stories and user behaviour surfaced by the analytics tools. The very nature of this form makes the exercise iterative.

A screenshot from which offers native advertising analytics.

Native advertising's success hinges on this delicate collaboration of the brand, content and analytics and is expected to deliver deeper engagement to create and optimise branded content in real time.

Henceforth, if you hear native, you should think analytics.