Advertisers have high expectations of native advertising and this is particularly true when it comes to mobile use. Due to the close relationship consumers have with their personal mobile devices and the associated intensity of use, better advertising results are expected on mobile devices than on desktops. However, more requirements have to be met for mobile implementation. Only specifically adapted native advertising formats, which are smoothly integrated in journalistic contexts, can succeed here.
What is native advertising?
Native advertising is advertising, which isn’t or shouldn’t be immediately perceived as such. Similar to advertorials, native ads can be placed in blogs as sponsored content and in the journalistic online offerings of familiar media.
This form of advertising content is difficult to distinguish from journalistic articles, because it thematically and visually blends in with the existing layout and sections of a website. This type of advertising is often only indicated as such using very small notes, which are usually placed in the article’s margin. They draw users’ attention to the content primarily by way of richly illustrated layouts.
Native advertising – not new, but relaunched
Native advertising is not a new trend. Advertorials already existed before the Internet, but they were clearly visually distinguished from other editorial content. But in the online world, even leading media outlets have been showing increased interest in this new form of advertising as a new source of revenue in the last few years. Marketeers enthusiastic about content marketing see an opportunity here to extend their content distribution into respectable media arenas that were previously out of reach. Content quality is particularly crucial here in order to convey a respectable journalistic approach not just at first glance, but throughout the entire native ad article. The effort seems worthwhile: forecasts show native advertising once again growing by up to 100 percent in the next two to three years by tapping into mobile devices alone. Simple text formats in the style of classic advertorials, which have been a familiar part of the online world for over ten years now, will most likely gradually give way to native formats in the respective site layout.
Native advertising – a curse or a blessing?
Critics see native ads as surreptitious advertising, which could harm a medium’s credibility. And when it comes to long-term reader and customer loyalty, trust and credibility are essential. This could suffer tremendous damage if journalistic content and sponsored formats are not clearly indicated. In the worst case, falsely presenting advertising as editorial content can not only have a negative impact on the publication, but on the advertised product itself.
Nonetheless, native advertising is considered to be the new reference product for an increasing number of publishers and in the media planning of communication managers. The diminishing returns of other online ad formats such as banners or promoted links are causing both sides to develop creative new solutions. And this is where native advertising comes in, because it allows for placement of content with a subtle and targeted message. If readers are then also provided with even more exciting and richer content, native advertising can have a great impact.