Native advertising is at the heart of a current movement in digital advertising, with many publishers utilising this format because of its ability to match the form and function of an editorial or product experience. For consumers, native ads provide less disruptive and more engaging advertising. For advertisers, there is now a new way to communicate their marketing messages in a more natural way.
As digital and mobile consumption continue to increase and evolve, so too will the opportunity for native advertising. The next generation of digital experiences will be much more visual, feed-driven and personalised. Native ads will evolve in a similar way.
As an industry, it’s important that we nurture this budding opportunity and are careful not to stifle the growth of native advertising by too narrowly defining the space. Native advertising comes in many types, ranging from search advertising (the earliest form of native), to in-stream advertising, to in-game native formats and beyond.
Content marketing and native advertising are often closely associated, and sometimes even considered synonymous, because of how often content marketers use native advertising to distribute their content. While closely related, native advertising is not only an opportunity to distribute content, but is actually a way for all marketers to speak with their target consumers in a new way.
A good example of this is represented by the broad range of native advertising we all encounter every day via 'in-stream' advertising, the marketing messages that appear in the stream of content when we visit our favorite social platforms or content sites. In-stream advertising has a healthy mix of messages from marketers, whether it's timely sales offers, application downloads or video content, as well as content marketing messages.
Modern consumers expect these streams to deliver them the best content and information, and advertising messages should be personalised, relevant and geared towards what they are likely to respond to. Transparency is key to maintaining consumer trust and it is important that advertising is clearly marked as such, so that consumers are able to distinguish between editorial and advertising.
At Yahoo, while we see many of our content marketing partners using native advertising for content distribution, we also see native advertising widely used by a lot of our search and display advertising partners to deliver their messages in a native context.
As the industry evolves and marketers, publishers and consumers get even more immersed in native advertising, we’ll see the format draw yet more appeal from an even wider range of marketers. It’s important that we as an industry support this broad interest from the market to allow for greater innovation around advertising and the continued funding of amazing digital experiences for all of us.
Patrick Albano is VP Advertising Solutions EMEA at Yahoo