Native advertising is a method of advertising that is heavily immersed and presented in the context of the user experience. Native advertising aims to be a less disruptive form of advertising. The idea is to show the consumers an ad but with value. Therefore, they will be more engaged in their consumption of the ad and it will be overall more effective.
A few examples of native advertising are promoted videos, posts, music, and other media. Twitter’s promoted tweets and Facebook’s promoted stories are both a form of native advertising. Search ads that are displayed alongside regular search results are also a form of native advertising. These are paid ads but its contents are relevant to other content in the audience’s feeds. The idea is to provide value and interesting content in a way that’s immersive with the other content that the audience is consuming. The greater the relevancy, the greater the likelihood that the audience will click and consume that piece of native ad. The audience knows it’s an ad, but if it’s interesting and relevant to them, they’ll read or watch it anyway.
Another very good example of native advertising is sponsored stories from Buzzfeed or The Oatmeal. Both edge a bit closer to the side of an advertorial but are fantastic examples of native ads done well. With Buzzfeed, the sponsored stories are created by Buzzfeed itself in their specific voice and style to prevent alienating the audience. This makes sure the quality of the content is maximized. The Oatmeal is the same way. The two media sites only accept projects that can be of value to its readers. Minimize disruption and optimize for engagement, that is the goal of native advertising.
To learn more, check out this infographic from Solve Media.