Native Advertising

What is Native Advertising? Advantages and Success Stories

By David Tomas, on 5 December 2018

What is Native Advertising? To explain we will start off with an example… Envision two different situations. You are relaxed, calming surfing you favorite website and all of a sudden you come across advertising banners left, right, above and even below. You change websites and start reading a thrilling article and, once you are finished, the website itself recommends you read different, yet related content which was made by another brand. Which one inspires more trust in you? If you feel inclined to chose the latter… you have fallen into the sweet embrace of native advertising.

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Content advertising and native advertising stems from putting yourself in the consumer’s shoes and look for a way to make advertising which connects with the consumer, offering them relevant information, in a non-intrusive way.

The advertising industry has found a fantastic niche to work in and multiply its benefits. It’s all about a format that improves the user’s navigation experience, and, in exchange, we gain their trust and their interest. For this reason, it is safe to say that we have a unique opportunity in front of us, and the marketing companies with great futuristic visions are already making the most of it.


Characteristics of Native Advertising

If you have not yet joined this revolution, you will need to know a little more about what characterizes this particular type of online advertising. 

  • Content advertising integrates online advertising into webpages by using the content as support. In order to do this, it respects the format and editorial style, but, and this is VERY IMPORTANT, it must be explicitly specified that it is in fact advertising content.
  • Native advertising will be successful if its content is brilliant and useful. It should be in line will the rest of the articles that are there. If we think, how do we sell our brand with an interesting, pleasant and entertaining story? If you are able to create content like this, you will increase the probability of your readers remembering your brand or your product/service.
  • In order to achieve this engagement, offer content (articles, videos…) where you first pin down the necessity of your potential client, and then present your service as a solution. If you start by listing all the benefits of your product, you will lose their interest. Capture their attention with highly valued information, which is so interesting and attractive that they will even want to share it with their contacts.
  • On the other hand, make sure to keep in mind to optimize and adapt this type of advertising to the different devices and platforms available. You can make the most of videos, images and other dynamic forms so that the user has the opportunity to respond to your content and engage in dialogue with your brand.

Take a look at this example of a native advertising campaign we developed for Switzerland Tourism. For other success stories, you can read this post: Three striking examples of Native Advertising.


Advantages of Native Advertising

In contrast to other, more traditional and invasive advertising formats, like banners or pop-ups which interrupt the internet user’s navigation, native advertising has the ability to attract much more attention from the readers. This is mainly due to the fact that native advertising uses the format and style of the digital content to promote a certain content or product. Like this, it is less noticeable. Furthermore, as it contains information which is useful and productive to the users, and as such is more likely to be shared on social media, increasing its reach and enabling the advertising message to reach as many potential clients as possible. 

With the appearance of social media, many traditional advertising formats have suffered a gradual decline in usage. On the other hand, Branded Content continues to rise due to the excellent results it offers, and its greater impact on users. This is demonstrated by an IPG study from Forbes. The people who consume this type of advertising have a better opinion of the companies who chose this format to promote their product or service. In the same way, the users of native advertising have a 41% better chance of actually acquiring the product or service in question.


Native Advertising likes consumers and brands

The many advantages that come with this new form of digital advertising, as we saw above, make native advertising one of the preferred forms of advertising, not only by the consumers who find useful content in appropriate environments, but also by the brands.

According to one of the latest studies done by OPA (Online Publishers Association):

  • 53% of the total amount of people surveyed assured that they felt a lot more attracted by this type of advertising as opposed to the rest of the traditional types of advertising.
  • In the same way, 52% of people said they would be willing to buy or acquire some of the products or services promoted in these types of digital content.
  • And as for the message being shared, 32% of the people who participated assured they felt sufficiently interested in these contents to share them on their social media, allowing the message to reach their friends and followers.

Once again, we see how this native advertising wins the battle between display formats or traditional advertising in these online environments. Native advertising messages are able to attract more attention that the rest and have a greater likelihood of going viral on social media, thanks to the consumers themselves sharing them. This then explains the increased interest of the editors of digital environments to offer this type of promoted content to companies.

According to the same study mentioned above, almost 75% of editors confirmed that they are offering this type of native advertising on their sites. Another 17% assured they were planning on doing it, and only 10% cast aside the thought of offering this type of advertising content in digital environments even with the decline being suffered by the rest of advertising formats.


Types of Native Advertising

According to IAB Spain’s classification, there are two types of native advertising in digital environments: 

  • 1# Open: Consists in promoting the same content on various platforms or pages that share the same topic. This type of advertising, shared on various platforms at once, is possible thanks to informatics systems such as Taboola or Outbrain.
  • 2# Closed: As opposed to open advertising, the form of native advertising is one which is published by a specific page or environment, and is formatted according to the style of the environment itself. Like, for example, a post on a specific blog, or an advertising message on a social network, such as Twitter or Facebook.

According to the classification established by IAB USA in their recent guide “Native Advertising Playbook”, native advertising can be divided into 6 different types:

  • #1 Advertisment integrated in the editorial content: All content which includes a sponsored message and which are perfectly integrated in to the environment, following its format and style. These integrated advertisements can be of 3 kinds. On one note, we can find content, which has been created by the advertisers themselves and by the editors. These types of messages blend in perfectly, as if it were a piece of content of the website like any other. Aesthetically, they comply with the format and style of what’s around them, which allows them to go unnoticed. These ads allow users to interact with them normally, without having to leave to page nor interrupt their navigation.
  • #2 Advertisements on search engines: The most popular search engines amongst users, such as Google or Yahoo, allow users to highlight their links in the results obtained by the users search. These sponsored links, which come with a disclaimer that identifies the brand or page, appear at the top of the page of results, just above the naturally obtained links.
  • #3 Recommendation Widgets: As opposed to the others, these advertisements do not adopt the format of the rest of the content of the page, even though they blend in, and contain something that sets them apart, such as “don’t miss this” or “we recommend”. Some of the recommendation widgets most used by advertisers are Taboola or Outbrain.
  • #4 Promoted lists: In this case, the advertised messages integrate and blend in perfectly with the rest of the page’s content. In other words, They are presented identically to the other products that can be found on the page. Amazon would be the best example of a page that uses the promoted lists to include objects with link which direct to the brand’s page.
  • #5 Standard advertisements, integrated with native advertising: These types of announcements are found outside of the editorial area of the page and do not share the format of the rest of the content, instead, they present themselves as an ad similar to display, even though it is set apart from the rest of the page by an identifying label. Furthermore, these advertisements are linked and redirect to a page external to the advertiser itself.
  • #6 Tailored Native Advertising: This is, beyond measure of a doubt, the most creative form of branded content. In contrast to the formats mentioned and explained above, this one is agreed on and created by the editorial teams of the environment and the advertiser. It can take on many creative shapes and types, allowing for total creative freedom.


Native Advertising on social networks

How do we include native advertising on social media? Certainly the most common nowadays is to include native messages in editorial environments, whether its as sponsored articles or posts on blogs, but what happens on social networks? There are increasingly more advertisers who decide to invest just as much in these new social medias in order to include their native messages.

  • Facebook: This type of advertising can be found, since last year, on Facebook’s NewsFeed. The increase in this type of advertisements on social media can be proved by looking at the numbers. Last year, the Branded content on Facebook accounted for between 5% and 10% , which is equivalent to 60% of total company revenue of the same year.
  • Google: The most popular search engine between users introduced this form of advertising through TrueView on Youtube. Like this, many of its advertisers were able to overcome the 4% ratio of CTR. A big success.
  • Twitter: Twitter was one of the first social networks to include these kind of native messages. The advertising brand were able to hire three different kinds of advertisements; Promoted Trends (promoted news that appear just above the Trending Topics of the country), Tweet Cards (appear related to some tweets to complete the information about certain products with images or descriptions) and Lead Cards (similar to tweet cards but, they allow advertisers to interact the followers of a determined product).
  • Linkedin: From July 2013 onwards, Linkedin began to include native messages in this social network which was created to boost its users professional profiles.
  • Pintrest: Some of Pintrest’s famous pins are sponsored by advertisers. Like this, it’s as if Pintrest includes native messages on the network and puts them within reach of all its users.


To finalize, I would just like to emphasize the essence of Native Advertising: that it offers high quality, useful and up to date information to the final user, using publication platforms such as social media, prestigious blogs and digital communication environments – and therefore is a great benefit for all of those involved: the final consumer, the advertisers and all of those in between.

The Complete Guide to Native Advertising

Native Advertising: How to start a campaign

We have spent some time talking about Native advertising. Explaining what it is and its benefits. Actually, it is advertising for those who are not lovers of advertising, to seduce the audience most resistant to influence from direct mail. Here I will speak in detail how you can start a Native Advertising campaign. It starts with the correct definition of what the target audience is, and ends with preforming the management of expectations well.
  • It defines your audience well
Defining and deeply knowing our target audience is essential for the content advertising to be effective. Only in this way we can reel off what their interests are and create content that really provide them a value and help us differentiate ourselves from our competition.
  • Pay special attention when creating content
Once we have a clear definition of our audience, we create content that perfectly suits that audience. Remember that our main goal is not to promote the benefits of our product or service, but separate us from the competition by offering a value or utility.
Therefore, the content that we believe to be related to our environment and still be useful to the user for example, if we are an airline, instead of repeating once again our offers could talk about our destinations and give tips to Users-. We also take care of the design and choice of images to enhance the user experience on the tour. Finally, work on the composition and position of the CTA's, as are those who help us achieve our ultimate goal.
  • Periodically analyze
The analysis is the foundation of any successful strategy. The main metrics to measure are the number of visits received in each of the content, click through rates and bounce rate they present. Only with this data we can obtain valuable information about which content generates more interest and, instead, what content does not provide any added value to our audience. We must also be attentive to repeated patterns in the sources of traffic - Where do most of our readers come from? - Or the seasonality of our visits – Do we get more traffic one day or month of the year in particular? -.
  • React if necessary      
The purpose of conducting a comprehensive analysis of the results is not merely informative, but we have to help find errors or areas for improvement in our campaign. Once you detect the weak spots, try to find the reasons, react as soon as possible and reanalyze the improvements. And do so continuously.
Do we observe that one of our contents has a bounce rate that is too high? Perhaps we should improve the content, present it in a way that does not create many expectations or delete it directly. Is this the right choice? Test, analyze and react.
  • Properly manage expectations
Orientating a native advertising campaign or advertising content to a sales target is probably one of the worst mistakes we can make. We should note that this is a slow process, and that the goal in these cases is to be useful to the user and to inject such value, as will the need arises, they will think of us as the first choice.
That is, it is a mistake to measure the results on sales or leads generated, but must also take into account the benefit we are reporting to the mark in terms of their reputation, occurrences of our recommended content and the growth of direct searches we will experience in the medium / long term.

6 Tips to create titles that attract in a native advertising campaign

It isn’t new when we say that, given the current situation of the most traditional formats of online marketing, the native advertising (and more specifically, the Content Advertising) is positioned as one of the methods with more growth for qualified site traffic. The user is bored with being interrupted and impacted with offers, and now expects a slower process in which the brand offers added value through content. So much so, that the clicks generated to root content are 5 times more likely to end in conversion.

While it is necessary to develop a comprehensive Content Advertising strategy (which includes everything from the featured content, to the line graph or sites in which it is displayed), working on the title is crucial to the success of the campaign. And you wonder why is this so important? In these types of campaigns, the title is usually the first online interaction between users and the brand. The title is, therefore, the first (and perhaps the only) chance to attract the attention of your target audience.

Here we give you six tips when creating attractive headlines that can attract the traffic you expect to your site:

  • The title is best short, simple and direct. The title must arouse the reader's attention, so we must create it concise and clear enough so that the reader would want to continue reading. If we extend or use too complicated puns, we can distract the reader and cause the opposite effect.
  • Do not deceive the user, but highlight the benefits. A misleading title may help you get a good CTR but if after the reader doesn’t find what they were expecting, this may impair the reputation of the brand. In contrast, the benefits that the user can get from reading your content are positive.
  • Numbered lists obtain better click ratios. A list has the advantage of describing very concisely what you are going to find and what the length of the content you're clicking will be. As an example; the headline "The 10 places you can not miss if you go to Paris with children" got a 75% CTR over the headline "What to visit in Paris if you go with children."
  • Try to use specific words. If we want the title to be concise and explanatory enough, you have to do all that is needed to work on it. Don’t always use the same puns and the use of generic words like "things".
  • To create urgency and necessity in perspective is positive. Including a touch of urgency and / or necessity (e.g. expressions like "only 15 minutes", "must", "you have to see”...) helps to intrigue the user and enhance the rate of clicks. Still, do not abuse this resource, since the user is looking for information utility that provides added value, but not universal and unchanging laws. Thus, the use of terms such as "everything you need to know" or "incredible" show a CTR between 24% and 44% lower than items that do not contain them

While these tips may be helpful to create a catchy title and attract users, do not forget that each sector is different and each target can respond to some or other stimuli. Therefore, it is essential to analyze periodically the most relevant metrics (CTR, time of visit, bounce rate) and make all changes and tests necessary for finding the most appropriate title.

The Complete Guide to Native Advertising

Native Advertising: How to be native

Do you want to be native? If your goal is to become a great expert in Native Advertising and start using this marketing solution and attracting advertising to generate traffic to your website, here are the keys. The are three principles to keep in mind to create a good and native ad are: 
  • Content: display advertising should present as if it were media content, therefore it must have quality, arouse interest and be related to the publishing of the medium.
  • Adaptation: advertising should reach all users therefore it should be adapted to the different existing electronic devices on the market: android, latest phones, e-readers, tablets, etc.
  • Engagement: the user must not only be attracted by a good headline, the content will be to engage them, it should be able to attract attention and make you spend your time reading this information. For it is essential to create original, quality items that are well written and well developed.
 The product to sell is determined by the strategy to be developed. On the other hand, the contents of the website where the product is advertised must have the same target to make the campaign a success. As for the writing, if you are looking to create sponsored posts, look for quality and originality. A good article should be written without spelling mistakes, with a title that will attract and content that hooks you. The text must be agile and clear for that it is better to write short paragraphs where there are links to expand information or support statistical data. Express clear and precise ideas emphasized by captions and never forget to introduce the most searched words referred to the issue and to help you have a good search engine optimization. If you have chosen to make a native advertising campaign video, include calls to attention about the product and watch your design. Display an entertaining video that merges with the environment where it appears, to the point that if you removed the brand name, it would pass through media content.

Why the need arises for native advertising before the advance of AdBlock

In a context of progressive saturation of traditional online marketing channels and in which sales targets do not stop, we are presented with the challenge of finding alternative ways to attract new potential customers. Many of these consumers are tired of intrusive advertising and for this reason applications that block this type of content are installed: such as Adblock. They block malware domains, banners, popups and video ads- including Facebook and YouTube. Hence why there is a need for Native Advertising before the advance of AdBlock.
Users have been saturated with traditional formats that interrupt their navigation display and prefer advertising that offers relevant information. Native advertising is ideal for advertisers to reach their target audience in a positive position, with quality that generates engagement, and the prospect is perfect since they themselves decide whether to consume this type of advertising or not and feel they are offered content that arouses interest them.
If the ads are found within the content then they cannot be blocked, as with AdBlock.A recent study by Adobe and PageFair exposes the number of people who install extensions in their browsers to get rid of annoying advertising. According to the data, there are 144 million consumers of AdBlock, i.e. 5% of users. Many people install these solutions due to the highly intrusive ads, such as windows 'popovers' and 'interstitials' sections that last for a limited time and usually obscure the page you are trying to view. More and more direct conversion costs.
Therefore, publishers and marketers increasingly propose campaigns with content advertising to improve participation and bring higher returns for the brand and the advertiser. With these advertisements we get into the skin of consumers and seek an advertising solution that connects to them by offering valuable content with which to interact and learn.
David Tomas @davidtomas gave a very interesting presentation on Native Advertising during the last edition of Inbound Marketing Made in Madrid 2015.
The Complete Guide to Native Advertising

David Tomas

CEO y cofundador de Cyberclick. Cuenta con más de 20 años de experiencia en el mundo online. Es ingeniero y cursó un programa de Entrepreneurship en MIT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. En 2012 fue nombrado uno de los 20 emprendedores más influyentes en España, menores de 40 años, según la Global Entrepreneurship Week 2012 e IESE. Autor de "La empresa más feliz del mundo" y "Diario de un Millennial". ______________________________________________________________________ CEO and co-founder of Cyberclick. David Tomas has more than 20 years of experience in the online world. He is an engineer and completed an Entrepreneurship program at MIT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2012 he was named one of the 20 most influential entrepreneurs in Spain, under the age of 40, according to Global Entrepreneurship Week 2012 and IESE. Author of "The Happiest Company in the World" and "Diary of a Millennial".