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Native Ads: What They Are and How to Use Them

Native Ads: What They Are and How to Use Them

By smallbiztrends, Guest Blogger
Published: December 14, 2017 Updated: December 14, 2017

Native ads are one of the hottest types of ads out there.  These are online ads that blend in and resemble a site’s content rather than a traditional banner ad style. 

Native ads can be very effective because they look like content, and captivate attention through intriguing the reader to want to consume more.  Native ads commonly appear as blocks of suggested additional reading at the bottom of blog articles or in sidebars, or as sponsored products in ecommerce sites.

Native ads may offer a better user experience than traditional ads.  Native ads tend to be less interruptive.

Often they use an interesting editorial-style image, rather than a product image.  Native ads may not get blocked as frequently by ad blocker software used by some website visitors.

Native ads are especially popular to complement a content marketing campaign.  Some businesses use native ads to highlight and promote content, such as blog posts and videos, to get a wider audience for it.  It works because people may view the native ad in part as relevant content or helpful resources, rather than simply a commercial message. 

For example “in feed” native ads appear inserted in the stream of a publication’s other content. Another example is “promoted listings” that highlight certain products on a product search page.

REQUIRED DISCLOSURE

However, while it’s good that these ads blend in, it’s also important that they clearly be disclosed as sponsored or advertising. 

The Federal Trade Commission requires advertising content to be disclosed as paid for at all times.  Typical disclosure words include “Sponsored Content,” “Paid Content,” “Advertisement,” “Sponsored Links,” “Promoted Product” or “Promoted Post.”

Native ads can also appear on social media channels.  Here again, disclosure is crucial — even in a short tweet.  Recommended types of disclosures in social media include using hashtags such as #sponsored and #ad, or similar sponsorship language.

COST 

There are several ways the price of native ads are calculated, including:

  • Cost per click (each time someone clicks through)
  • CPM basis (cost per thousand impressions)
  • Flat fee

Often the price is pennies per click on sites like Facebook or YouTube.

Native ads are sold on the websites where you want your message to appear. Or you can go through networks such as Taboola and Outbrain — even Google AdWords and Amazon accommodate native ads. 

However, keep in mind that some ad networks have gotten a reputation for low-quality native ads. Your native ad may appear next to a racy or sensational image. That may not be in keeping with the image you want to convey.

Native ads aren’t the answer for every advertising situation.  But for some businesses they can be cost effective and powerful. Executed well, native ads help people learn or be entertained, and in turn more receptive to hearing about your products and services.

About the Author:

smallbiztrends
Anita Campbell

Guest Blogger

My name is Anita Campbell. I run online communities and information websites reaching over 6 million small business owners, stakeholders and entrepreneurs annually, including Small Business Trends, a daily publication about small business issues, and BizSugar.com, a small business social media site.