What is Native Advertising?

Native advertising image for article 4098498408408Native advertising is the art of creating paid media ads that fit seamlessly into the flow of content on a given platform. Most commonly, marketers deploy native advertisements on Facebook and Instagram. This allows them to reach their customers where they are already spending their time, rather than trying to bring them in by traditional ads.

Why Do Marketers Want to Use Native Advertising?

Simply put, they work.

  1. Consumers aren’t upset by native ads. More often than not, consumers know that native ads are ads… And they don’t care. All the user cares about is that it is going to ‘fit’ into their usage. For example, if they’re watching tennis videos and then a native ad saying ‘You may like this tennis training video’ pops up, the user will still click. Unlike typical ads, native advertising fits naturally into what the user is already doing and therefore- doesn’t leave them feeling ‘sold to’.
  2. Native ads overcome the adblocker mindset. We see so many ads on a given day. Users are tired of them. Can you blame them? Facebook lets advertisements interrupt videos, Youtube slams ads in the middle of content, and it’s only getting worse everywhere else. However, given that native ads flow more within the actual usage of the consumer, they’re not met with the ‘adblocker’ mindset.
  3. They work. According to outbrain.com, the average consumer views native ads 53% more than regular ads. Likewise, outbrain.com reports that 18% of people who consume native ads increase their purchase intent. If you’ve ever worked in traditional digital ads, you know that those numbers are impressive.

Long story short? There is less risk associated with native advertising than it’s traditional counterpart.

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According to DIRECTION.com: “Native Ads look much more like part of the website, thus the term ‘Native’.” (Image: adapted from https://direction.com/)

How to Get Started with Native Advertising

If you have a full ads team, you may be able to launch native advertisements yourself. If not (or you’re not confident in that team), you may want to hire an agency like Direction Inc that specializes in native advertising. Though it can be tempting to turn to your internal team, there are two main issues with that:

  1. Unlike hiring a company, you cannot hold your team to an expectation of results.
  2. You may not have the time for your team to learn the art of native advertising.

All in all, it’s typically a better decision to hire out for native advertising if your business is not a marketing agency. Though it is true that you can learn these subjects, you probably don’t want to wait or take the chance on ads created by novice level marketers. More importantly, the more ‘new’ tasks you put on your marketing team- the less time they have to perfect their day-to-day responsibility.

To get the most from your team, have them focus on their superpowers! And hire out for the rest. Not only does this allow you to have an expectation of results, but your team will also be able to get the slow introduction they need to understand native advertising at large.


Native advertising can be extremely profitable when used properly. You do NOT want to approach native advertising with misleading ads. Instead, you want to fit the opportunity with genuine needs. For example, if you’re trying to sell a cookbook as your end goal- a good native advertising plan would be to push native ads that discuss master skills associated with cooking. To test your ads, ask your consumers! Surveys are not dead.

Are you one of the many who are leveraging native advertising? Do you find that it has a better return on investment than other forms of advertising? Share your story in the comments.


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