Before diving into any new advertising strategy, it’s important to understand its benefits and drawbacks. This way, you can prepare to increase the results of your marketing efforts and take the best approach for your business needs. Enter: the advantages and disadvantages of native advertising.

First off, what is native advertising? It’s the process of creating ads that match the form and function of their surrounding content. Promoted social media posts are native ads, for example, as is sponsored recommended content at the ends of articles.

Now, is native advertising good? According to many native advertising examples and statistics, it is. Native ads drive 8.8 times higher CTR and 18% higher purchase intent than traditional display ads.

Still, there are advantages and disadvantages to native advertising. Here, we break down the pros and cons of this strategy and provide tips on how to make native advertising work for your brand.

The Pros of Native Advertising

It’s easy to compile the advantages of native advertising. There are many benefits to using this strategy for building awareness, engagement, and revenue.

Grab Your Audience’s Attention

It’s easier to build brand awareness with native advertising than traditional display ads. According to Acquisio, native ads receive 53% more views than their traditional counterparts. Why? Because they’re more seamlessly integrated into the customer experience. They blend into the content that surrounds them instead of jumping out at readers and saying, This is an ad! Look at me!

Drive Better Campaign Performance

The effectiveness of native ads can’t be overstated. These ads just perform better overall when compared with many other ad formats — helping advertisers drive conversions and revenue. In fact, 71% of consumers say they personally identify with brands that launch native ads. Only 50% of consumers say the same about display ads.

Optimize Targeting Capabilities

Native ads can be contextually targeted towards specific audience segments, so advertisers know they have the greatest chance at generating engagement from their impressions.

Consider native ads on publisher sites, for instance. A makeup retailer can launch an article or video ad on a fashion-news site, targeting people who’ve already consumed an article about makeup and are interested in content and products in this category. Or, an athletic-wear brand can distribute native ads on a sports publisher site, reaching readers who’ve expressed interest in learning about fitness gear. The advertiser drives traffic and customers enjoy seamless, personalized ad experiences.

Build Trust Among Your Customers

Trust is critical in digital advertising, with frequent scandals around data breaches, fake news, and corporate corruption. According to a recent report from Ford, 77% of US consumers find it difficult to trust companies.

That’s why native advertising is so important. It helps brands build trust among their audiences and share valuable content, without resorting to annoying pop-ups or intrusive messages. As Adweek reported, two out of three Gen X and Z consumers trust branded content more than traditional ads.

Increase Clickthrough Rates

Here’s another statistic in the battle of native ads vs. display ads: native ads drive a 40 times higher clickthrough rate (CTR) compared to traditional display ads. More specifically, native ad CTR is particularly high in the categories of pets, food & drink, and family & parenting.

Source: eMarketer

The Cons of Native Advertising

The disadvantages of native advertising are more like challenges. If you can overcome these potential obstacles, you’re in a great position to reap the many rewards of this valuable advertising strategy.

There Are Too Many Tools To Choose From

Many companies are getting in on the native advertising game. Choosing which to use to execute your strategy is tough.

Taboola makes it easier for you. As the world’s leading native-discovery platform, Taboola helps you engage over one billion users across premium publisher websites. You know you’re gaining some of the widest reach and best targeting capabilities that native advertising provides.

Measuring Performance Is Complex

Since native ads have a unique format, it can seem tricky to gauge their performance, but you just need the right tools and metrics. You might, for example, measure impressions, clicks, and CTR. And once readers click through to your site, you can measure views, time on site, re-engagement rates, conversions, cost-per-action, and return on investment.

Finding the right mix of native advertising metrics will depend on your campaign goals and audience behaviors.

Creating Native Ads Is Time-Consuming

Since native ads are more engaging than traditional ads, they are more complex to produce. They must blend into their surrounding content — be it an article page, social feed, or search result. At the same time, they must grab people’s attention by providing value in an instant and inspiring people to click through and learn more.

Creating native ads involves many people, including advertisers, marketing managers, copywriters, creative directors, and publishing partners.

Native Ads Can Seem Deceptive

There’s a fine line between an ad that is creatively mapped to its environment and an ad that tricks the user. Native ads don’t want to deceive. They want to provide a seamless transition between consuming organic and paid content. That’s why native ads should always be labeled with disclaimers, such as PaidSponsored, or, most simply, Ad.

Refining Your Customer Targeting Seems Complicated

Since native advertising helps brands reach their most relevant audiences, they may need to rethink their approach to customer targeting. That is, they need to consider how native advertising can enable them to launch hyper-targeting campaigns across channels. To do so, they may need to pull more customer data, create unique audience segments, and ensure their content is personalized to each demographic’s interests and behaviors.

Landing Pages Must Be Updated to Handle Increased Engagement

Native advertising yields increased engagement, so brands must be ready to deliver when they start to see those clickthrough rates go up. One of the best ways to do this is to optimize landing pages and articles, making sure that all post-click content matches its corresponding ad and delivers comprehensive, seamless customer experiences.

Preparing Your Funnel for Expanded Awareness is a Must

With native advertising, brands can generate awareness about their products and services. They just have to be prepared to move those new potential customers through the next stages of the marketing funnel, including the consideration, decision, and retention phases. After generating awareness with blog posts and videos, for example, an advertiser might educate audiences with how-to articles and demo reels. Then they might inspire people to purchase with customer testimonials. And finally, they can retain customers and build loyalty with personalized follow-ups and recommendations.

How to Make Native Advertising Work

The benefits of a solid native-advertising strategy are plenty. You can use native ads to increase engagement, optimize targeting, build trust, and drive traffic to your site. You just need the right native-advertising platforms and best practices to guide you and bring your strategy to life.

That’s why Taboola exists — to help advertisers launch native-ad campaigns across the world’s top publisher sites, including NBC, Bloomberg, CBS News, and Business Insider. Because you deserve to share your messages in trusted, brand-safe environments and reach readers who are ready to consume your content — making the most of what native advertising has to offer.

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