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Native Advertising: Bridging the Gap Between Content and Promotion + Examples

Native advertising is a must in 2023! If you are not familiar with the concept, here you will find out what that is and get to see some inspiring examples.

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Customer Success Team
September 8, 2023

In today's digital, immersive environment, where traditional advertising methods are becoming less effective, businesses are constantly seeking innovative ways to engage with their target audience. When an audience already has a habit of being active on one type of platform and consuming content in a specific way, that could be exploited but with mutual benefits — both for marketers and the audiences. So it came naturally to think of a way to combine content that the target loves and ads that are seamlessly blended into that type of content.

Native advertising has emerged as a powerful tool for brands to seamlessly integrate promotional content within the context of the user experience. In this blog post, we will explore what native advertising is, go over some examples, look at its benefits, and how it is reshaping the advertising industry.

Why Did Native Ads Come to Be?

We live in a world where technology has so much progressed in the past decades. And, alongside tech, various ways of entertainment and leisure have risen. And where is entertainment, there is content, and also ads. But, let's leave this aside for a moment.

How about we have a kind of chronological overview first? There is a counterpart to every phenomenon. So, when new ways to have fun on the internet arose, so did ads, which have moved from TV to a multimedia and interactive environment.

However, users found a way to avoid ads just like they were coming up with methods in the old days and with older media. And then there were ad blockers, and then software for blocking them back. And so on, you know the story. 

That is the circulus vitiosus of the modern era, or at least one of many. And with all this being said, it is expected that marketers have, today more than ever before, a hard time drawing the attention of their target audience even to their content, let alone ads. And those are the circumstances in which native advertising had to emerge.

One of the effective methods for drawing the attention of customers is by using native ads.

What Exactly is Native Advertising?

Traditional advertising is more so outbound. Those are, for example, pop-ups, banners, and every other form of advertisement where ads are pushed in the faces of people. Unlike those overwhelming types of ads, native advertising is a form of paid media that blends in with its surrounding content, making it appear as a natural part of the user experience.

A native ad is indistinguishable from the rest of the content.

That is a perfect way to blend together the two that have been seen as opposites for too long. Native advertising is a form of paid media where promotional content is designed to mimic the format and style of the platform it appears on. It's intended to match the user experience of the platform, making it less interruptive. Therefore this type of ad is equally engaging and interesting as regular content. They provide valuable and non-disruptive content that aligns with the interests and preferences of the target audience. Native ads don’t have to, so to say, fight for the audience's attention — they’ll easily draw it to themselves.

Let’s Go Over Some Inspiring Examples…

  1. Creating stories, and experiences while providing value… Promotion through articles is an excellent example of native advertising. The View From Above: Why Our Future May Depend On the Fate of Birds is just that. Within the partnership with Allbirds, The New York Times made an article, and to be exact a paid post, where they write about the significance of birds to our environment and the well-being of the whole planet. This article combined the phenomenal skills of the writers from the established paper and was sponsored by Allbirds and provided with incredible animations and a beautiful soundtrack. It really is a special experience and everyone who at least slightly likes reading will not resist it. It gives a unique perspective to the problem and accents it in the right way so that it raises awareness. On the other hand, it is very engaging and keeps the attention of the reader, but has a strong CTA moment in the form of a ‘’What You Can Do to Help’’ section.
  2. An obvious one is using songs as TikTok sounds, or even making songs to be TikTok-worthy. With this approach, you can utilize trends and popular audio. A good example of using TikTok trends to a maximum for their branding is Duolingo. Duolingo gave its mascot a personality and character traits and found trends that fit that persona like a glove, or modified some of them to fit. 

That is no accident. By analyzing it becomes clear that Duolingo had a planned-out strategy and a distinct goal. When typing in some combination of words like ‘’language’’ and ‘’learning’’, Duolingo is to show up as the first result on Google Play and Apple Store.

  1. Another great example is The Great Rewrite in which case its creator Leonard Brody partnered up with Forbes and KPMG. It is important to mention that KPMG uses Forbes BrandVoice. Forbes went a step further with native advertising by creating this content solution that many brands today use. The Great Rewrite is aimed to be a guide to many academics, entrepreneurs, and consultants from various industries on their journey of facing all the post-innovation challenges.

It is provided in the form of a series of short video episodes and articles and a fantastic example of combining the native content,  in this case — Forbes’ articles and an ad for the guide and KPMG’s services. The intro sparks the reader’s interest, yet doesn’t spoil the experience. This is an example of native ads and how to use a publisher’s creativity so that you can promote your business and that they get great content.

  1. Using traditional communication channels is another way of using native advertising. We’re used to television and video formats in general. Land Rover took advantage of just that. They made a short movie — Dragon Challenge, that is about the vehicle climbing the stairs to Heaven’s Gave in China with all the 99 turns and then 999 steps. It is a full story with an exposition, rising action, climax, and resolution. The short movie is at first eye-catching and keeps the viewer’s attention with its story, phenomenal visuals and interviews, and nail-biting moments.

What Does the Future Hold?

Native advertising has revolutionized the way brands connect with their target audience by seamlessly integrating promotional content into the experience users are used to. With its ability to enhance user experience, increase engagement, and deliver targeted messaging, native advertising has become an essential tool in the modern marketer's arsenal.

In the future, there will be more mobile-native advertising.

As technology continues to advance, we can expect native advertising to evolve further. Mobile-native and advanced personalization are just some of the things that are predicted to skyrocket in the future. Don’t limit your business in any way and be brave and creative. There are as many ways for native advertising as there are communication channels and maybe even more than that.

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