The Rise of Native Advertising

26-02-2016

Native advertising has risen to become one of the most successful and profitable mediums in the UK with the market set to be worth a staggering £2.8 billion by 2020. With a usage shift to smartphones and tablets for “content discovery and consumption”, the future of native advertising is looking bright.

What is native advertising? Native advertising is a type of paid media where the ad experience matches the design and function of the platform on which it appears. Native advertising doesn't disrupt the user experience and offers relevant information encouraging engagement and interaction.

So what makes native advertising so effective? It’s all about the content! Native ads enhance the user experience enabling brands to connect the right people with the right content. It’s ultimately a win-win for the industry; content publishers get relevant traffic, audiences get relevant content and brands get relevant audiences.

2016 has been identified as the year that will see a major reform for native advertising. Research suggests that 150 million people use some form of ad blocking software with 73 percent blocking ads because they’re interruptive. The battle against ad blocking methods is bound to continue well into 2016, but the result will be a more respectful native advertising experience for users. Ultimately, the end goal for advertisers cannot be to sell or promote but to inform and entertain.

The growth of native video is also set to continue this year. Silent autoplay videos, largely popularised by Facebook, are expected to become a normal part of people’s browsing experience. Native advertising videos contribute to brand recognition with statistics suggesting that people are likely to remember 50 percent more from a video in comparison to written content.

If you’re wondering how native advertising fits in with an overarching digital strategy; the answer is simple. Well designed and implemented ads have the potential to generate strong brand awareness by encouraging clicks, shares and comments. Interesting and engaging content is much more likely to encourage audience interaction and the targeted nature of native advertising ensures that ads are aimed at relevant and specific groups.

Netflix recently sponsored a paid post on 'The New York Times', linking the piece to its fictional, yet memoir based, series "Orange is the New Black." The advertisement is a brilliant example of how a native ad can look and feel like an organic piece of the publisher's site. Native advertising is perhaps one of the biggest trends in advertising right now and it's set to make up more than half of digital display advertising in Europe by 2020.