Written by: Pedro Campos, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
How many benefits of Native Ads do you know of? If you're new to this type of advertising, probably not many. It can also be easy to assume that it too is a new form of advertising. But that's actually not true. The first ever native ad dates back to the “cowboy era”, back in 1885. Since then, it is proven to be a sound investment, much like real estate. But more on that later. The question is: could it be a sound investment for you too? It might. Read on as we uncover the least-known benefits of native advertising and help you understand if it would be a good addition to your marketing mix.
Native Advertising Benefits
There are a lot of benefits to running native advertising campaigns. In this article, we'll cover the top 5. These will likely have the most impact on your business and overall ad performance. Also, the benefits are rated in order of importance. It all starts with good-old trust.
1. More trusted than social
Data privacy scandals, fake accounts, and a group of “less-ethical” businesses joining the platforms have tainted trust on social, especially on Facebook.
Let's face it. Social media has lost credibility. Don't believe me yet? Here are the facts.
A surprising study from Sharethrough revealed that only 41% of US consumers trust Facebook. If you look at Twitter, that number drops to 33%. While premium publishers, such as Time, CNN, and The Washington Post received as much as 65%.
This means that premium publishers (where native ads show) can be 32% more trustworthy than the most popular social platforms.
Low trust is also fueling another trend. A more recent report, from Facebook, shows a decline in its daily active users, a 1 million drop compared to Q4 2021 ‒ an unprecedented result in its 18-year history.
Bottom line: users are running away from social and advertisers are to follow.
2. Less cookie dependent
The announced cookie demise in 2024 is scaring a lot of advertisers. But not the native advertisers.
For years, native ad platforms have taken a proactive approach to mitigate the risks of cookie tracking. Why? Partly because some of the biggest companies in the world invest in native. These “giants” have pushed the networks, in a way, to adapt to their complex needs and requirements.
On the technical side, another reason is that native widget technology is integrated directly into the publishers' sites, making data tracking easier, more transparent, and more reliable.
You might be wondering: “is this too good to be true?” ‒ it's just native advertising.
The “iOS update devastation” left thousands of advertisers who depended solely on Facebook in big trouble. For companies investing heavily in native, it was “business as usual.”
For this very reason, I often suggest native as a Facebook ads alternative.
3. Almost immune to platform changes
Piggybacking on the troubles faced by social advertisers on Facebook, we can see how dangerous platform reliance really is.
One of my biggest life lessons is to not depend on a single thing.
The same can be said when it comes to digital advertising. Relying on just one or even a couple of ad platforms is dangerous at best and “suicidal” at worst.
If TikTok announces a big change tomorrow and you only advertise there, your business can be in serious trouble.
A huge benefit of native advertising is you can avoid that trouble. How? Network diversity.
Where can you buy TikTok ads? Correct ‒ only on TikTok. Where can you buy native ads? The choices can overwhelm you.
Out of the dozens of stand-alone ad networks and DSPs (demand-side platforms) that allow you to buy native ads programmatically, you can choose from, here's a short list, included in a guide explaining the pros and cons of native advertising.
“Don't put all your eggs in one basket” ‒ you've probably heard. Although not the absolute truth, it is a smart strategy in digital advertising.
4. Brand safe environment
Brand safety is one of the major reasons companies such as Samsung, Nestlé, L'Oréal, Michelin, and Honda invest in native advertising.
There's a lot at stake with these companies. They take brand reputation very seriously and native ad inventory provides them with a safe environment to reach engaged audiences on trusted sites, at scale.
You might not be in the “same league” as these companies. But you can benefit from the same pre-bid brand safety controls to protect your own “brand real estate.”
Without getting too technical, these controls allow you to block ads from showing on content topics not aligned with your brand values.
For instance, on Taboola, you can exclude content related to celebrity gossip, crime, drugs, or hate speech. It's worth mentioning these industry-leading brand safety controls are offered at no extra cost to the advertiser.
These controls are also very intuitive as they come integrated with the ad networks and don't require any third-party software.
5. Higher Purchase Intent
This might be one of the most surprising benefits. Native advertising has been linked, amongst others, to higher purchase intent.
The findings came from a study done between Sharethrough and IPG, showing a 9% higher lift in brand affinity and 18% higher lift for purchase intent, compared to traditional banner ads.
Another report from Outbrain in partnership with Content Marketing Institute revealed that native advertising using a softer trust-based approach to content marketing achieved between 5 and 10X higher average click-through rates than a more aggressive push marketing approach.
The fact that native ads blend in with the content that surrounds them can help explain higher purchase intent, which comes as a result of more trusted ad placements, as we've discussed before.
This can also be attributed to the user behavior on publishers' sites.
People visit them to discover interesting and valuable content that speaks to their needs, and in doing so, they discover your brand.
Native Advertising: “A No Money Down Deal?”
Unlike the first ever ad in a local newspaper, the “native ad world” of today is far from lacking scale and ability to measure performance.
Native advertising used to be more appealing to companies with huge brand awareness budgets.
These days, ad technology allows “everyday advertisers” access to premium ad placements and get the same or better performance compared to other channels.
Native delivers and does so at scale. Much like real estate, it is a proven investment that's been around for more than a century.
However, beware of folks that make it look too easy, kind of like a “no money down deal.” Being a placement traffic source, native advertising can be tough to do work, taking longer and requiring more budget than almost any other source.
Also, beware of the most common native advertising mistakes. If you can avoid the potholes, you'll be in a much better position to make this traffic source a success for you.
That being said, I always advise: trust but verify. Don't just take my word for it.
Before you “go into deep waters” and test native advertising, do your own due diligence. Balance the pros and cons, and make a smart, educated decision that is more likely than not to lead to business growth.
Pedro Campos, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Pedro is a Portuguese-born who fell into the media buying world by chance after watching an ad online. Despite being mentored by some of the best advertisers in the world early on, his first attempts to succeed at digital media left him bankrupt three times. He then realized in this industry, there was a bigger price to be paid to obtain mastery. That's the price he's helping companies avoid. He's the founder of Advertongue, a native advertising agency helping global brands grow and scale efficiently online. Over the years, he's been responsible for million-dollar budgets and made appearances in publications such as Content Marketing Institute, G2, and Funnel Magazine, to name a few.