Native Advertising Explained: Why Is It So Effective?

  • James Notaris

    CPA, ESQ, Legal Editor

  • Tyler Dikun

    Digital Marketer

    In Brief:

  • Natives have grown in popularity amongst digital advertisers due to their ability to blend seamlessly within content.

  • Unlike display ads or banner ads, native ads mimic the content they are advertising in leading to a better user experience.

  • Native ads are viewed on average 53% more than regular ads. Digital advertisers are estimated to spend over $85B in 2021 on native ads.

The ideal digital ad is one that is non-disruptive and doesn’t take away from the user experience. How many times have you immediately clicked off a website due to a noisey, blinking ad, that does nothing more than frustrate? Odds it’s happened quite a few times. Digital marketers now recognize that effective ads must blend seamlessly into the content they advertise on. Unlike display ads or banner ads that are immediately recognizable as ads, native ads look like social media posts or articles in an effort to advertise without frustrating. 

Examples of Native Ads

Native ads should look like the content they are advertising on. If native ads appear on your website, they should look like your articles. Native ads that appear on Twitter will look like tweets, instagram native ads will look like instagram posts, and so on. The bottomline of creating the perfect native ad is to make the ad appear as if it is not an ad. Sponsored social media posts, promoted search results, and promoted articles are all examples of native ads. As consumers become increasingly turned off to typical ads, native ads will only grow in popularity. According to one such study, the total, global spend on native ads for 2020 was over $85B.

How Can Site Visitors Tell Which Ads Are Native?

Although native ads are designed to blend into the content they’re advertised, advertisers must still disclose their use. The Federal Trade Commission has taken steps to ensure visitors know they’re clicking on an ad. Native ads may use the words “recommended”, “sponsored”, “boosted”, etc. Native ads typically include a small minimize or close button as well so that visitors can delete them from their feed. Advertisers target native ads towards visitors who fit a certain demographic. If someone clicks on several hiking articles, they may see a recommended article for a hiking-themed clothing store. 

Why Are Native Ads Increasing In Use?

The ability to sell without selling is a valuable commodity. Consumers strive for agency in their own lives. Ads that come off as demanding or manipulative may create the sense that the consumer is not in control of their own life. The stats prove consumers prefer native ads over display and banner ads. Native ads are viewed 53% more than regular ads and they increase purchase intent by an estimated 18%. Furthermore, native ads provide the opportunity for interesting content. Rather than show the same display and banner ads time after time, consumers may have no problem clicking on a sponsored post or recommended article if the content is appealing. 

Native ads signs

What Is The Future of Native Ads?

There is no doubt that native ads are here to stay. Digital advertisers are much more prone to use native ads due to their effectiveness and widespread acceptance amongst consumers. Digital advertisers have also started using programmatic native ads. In the scenario where a site uses a programmatic native ad, a Supply Side Platform (SSP) sends a bid via the publisher to advertisers. The Demand Side Publisher (DSP) bids for the ad space of the user on behalf of the advertiser. Through programmatic native advertising, native ads will become much more targeted leading to increased conversion rates and increased engagement.


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