By Keith Trivitt | Director, Marketing and Communications
Native ads here, native there, native ads everywhere. That seems to be the prevailing theme of digital marketing nearly halfway through 2013. Native ads — or sponsored stories, or advertorials, or whatever is the trendy buzzword of the day — are all the rage at the moment.
A recent eMarketer report puts some numbers behind all of the hype. According to eMarketer, native ads are providing new ways for marketers to reach target audiences and new avenues of monetization for content sites that are under intense revenue pressure.
But, as we wrote back in February, native ads aren’t without their detractors. Some media and marketing executives are concerned about the potentially negative effects of blurring the lines between content and advertising. Others questions the return on investment of these ads, arguing that native ads cannot scale for multiple placements (we happen to agree on latter).
Despite those concerns, there is no doubt that native advertising has grabbed a significant foothold within the online marketing industry. eMarketer estimates that native ads will generate $4.57 billion in revenue in the U.S. by 2017, up from $1.63 billion in 2012.
So what makes for a great native ad? As my colleague Sultan Riaz wrote last February, a powerful native ad comes down to two crucial factors: a seamless blending with the editorial content and a non-disruptive message that is relevant to the consumer.
Below is an example of native advertising on Twitter.
By Sultan Riaz | Marketing Coordinator
One of the hottest trends in online marketing is native advertising. While not necessarily a new concept — the relatively old-school advertorial has been around for decades — it has seen a resurgence in the current content marketing era. Recent examples of native advertising can be seen with Google’s paid search results, YouTube’s sponsored videos and, to a lesser extent, trending topics on Twitter.
Content marketing has led to innovative forms of online advertising. With the online user experience key to a successful marketing campaign, this non-disruptive form of online advertising will continue to capture marketers’ addition — and advertising dollars — in 2013.
Native Advertising: The Basics
Native advertising is considered one of the newest forms of online marketing.
According to a September 2012 article in Mashable, the term didn’t take root until famed start-up investor Fred Wilson told an audience at OMMA Global in early 2012 about “native monetization” for Web properties, which he described as ads that were “unique and native to the experience” of a website.
Dan Greenberg, the CEO of Sharethrough, is credited with coining the actual term “native advertising.” Here’s Greenberg’s definition: “Native advertising is a form of media that’s built into the actual visual design and where the ads are part of the content.”
What separates native advertising from the equally hot trend of content marketing is a matter of debate. John LoGioco, SVP and general manager of content at Outbrain, recently told Mashable that the two are pretty much the same. “Native advertising seems to be the thing that most are able to hang on to and get it.”
What Makes for Great Native Ads
At its best, native advertising blends seamlessly with the editorial content of a website while providing content that is valuable to the target audience. Below is an example of native advertising on Twitter.