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There are many different varieties of native ads, from in-stream social media ads on Facebook, promoted accounts on Twitter, Google AdWords, to sponsored articles on Forbes. All of these marketing platforms and publishers are responding to marketers’ demand for more relevancy and engagement with these native ad formats. Marketers are incorporating native advertising as part of their overall marketing strategy because native ads are more effective and contextually relevant, thus better for brands to tell their story.
It’s no secret that brands are looking for new and creative ways to tell their stories. Native advertising is giving brands new options for how to engage with an audience, beyond the placement of an ad. Through native ads, brands can communicate relevant content, tell a story and capture a viewer’s interest by way of content marketing.
One challenge facing native advertising is the fact that ad content should provide as much value to the reader as publisher/editorial content. These in-stream ads, which blend in with the viewer’s online and contextual experience, give brands the possibility to cultivate their stories and introduce helpful, engaging, and informative content that people will readily read and share.
For example, the Washington Post has recently introduced a new sponsored content feature called WP BrandConnect. Clients using this new feature include Audi, Mercedes Benz, and the National Dairy Council.
More companies are adopting a “mobile first” marketing strategy as so many people today are now accessing the web via their smartphones and mobile devices. According to a study from Google and Nielsen, 77% of mobile searches happen at work or home – meaning that even when people are in a location where a computer available to them, more people tend to prefer using their mobile devices even while at home. “Mobile first” is a leading concept in web design, social media interaction, and app development, as it often makes sense to develop a site that works well on mobile platforms instead of building a separate “mobile version” of a website.
With all of these broader trends underway, it makes sense that native advertising will lead the way toward the new world of “mobile first” marketing. Native ads (also known as “in-stream advertising” or “sponsored content” depending on the publisher or format) are marketing messages that appear in native format alongside or within streams of editorial content. In a world where more people are accessing the web via mobile devices, native advertising is becoming the new normal in online marketing – and native advertising reinforces the need for advertisers and publishers to think in terms of “mobile first.”