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What is Native Advertising? The Pros and Cons

June 8, 2021

Publishers are always looking for new and creative ways to monetize their content, diversify their revenue, and maximize potential income. However, before adopting a new advertising strategy, it’s critical to understand the pros and cons. The same is true for native advertising; as effective as the strategy can be, publishers should know whether it’ll fit their audience and content.

In this article, we’re going to:

  • Briefly explain native ads and some of the available types.
  • Cover the pros and cons of native advertising.
  • Share a few significant native ad statistics.

Should you use native ads to monetize your content? Read on to find out!

What Are Native Ads?

Native ads are advertisements that match the surrounding content’s function and form. For example, sponsored content or promoted social media posts would qualify as native ads.

Unlike quickly recognizable display or banner ads, native advertisements don’t really look like ads. Instead, they hide comfortably in the flow of page content, exposing visitors to promotional content without being disruptive.

Types of Native Advertising

One of the first things a publisher should know about native ads is that there’s a wide variety of ad formats. It’s critical to choose the correct format for your content so that the ads fit seamlessly in between your editorial content while maximizing potential revenue. 

  • “In-Feed” Ads, such as news feed advertisements.
  • Promoted Content, such as sponsored articles that appear at the top of your site or in the sidebar.
  • Content Recommendations, such as article or product recommendations that occur within or below an article.

Promoted Content on Softonic

These formats encompass a broad range of ad types, each with unique pros and cons. It may take a lot of time and research to decide on the suitable formats for your site.

The Pros of Native Ads

Compiling a list of the benefits of native ads is easy. There are many advantages to adopting native ads, from improved engagement to better revenue generation.

Combat Ad Fatigue

People get bored of seeing ads. After a while, they stop paying attention entirely – this is called ad fatigue. Native ads are cloaked as editorial content and, as long as they are interesting and relevant, they don’t tire out your visitors.

Contextual Targeting

One of the reasons why native ads perform so well is contextual targeting. For example, a sports gear brand knows they’ll be reaching the right audience if they place sponsored content on a fitness website. Similarly, a cookware store can target home cooks by placing their ads on a food publisher’s site since its readers have already shown an interest in cooking.

The Stats: Higher Engagement, Ctr, and Revenue Generation

Here are a few of the key stats that show just why so many publishers are integrating native ads into their monetization strategies:

  • 20% - 60% higher engagement rates
  • 18% increase in purchase intent
  • 53% more views than standard display ads
  • 40 times higher average click-through rate than classic display ads
  • 70% of visitors want to learn about a product through content rather than traditional ads

Since native ads successfully create purchase intent, advertisers are willing to pay to take advantage of the opportunity. According to PR Newswire, native ad spend is expected to rise by 372% by 2025, hitting $402 billion.

In short, native ads work, and the statistics prove it. That said, publishers can make a few mistakes that’ll negate the benefits of their native ads.

The Cons of Native Advertising

Rather than being true “cons,” most of the disadvantages are more like challenges. If you can prevent or overcome these problems, you’ll be in an excellent position to reap the many rewards that come with adopting a native ads strategy.

Displease Visitors

Have you ever noticed how publishers add a “Sponsored Content” tag to any promotional content? Visitors don’t want to feel like you’re trying to fool or take advantage of them by using “sneaky” advertising methods. That’s why publishers use that small disclaimer to clearly disclose that someone paid for the content to appear on their site.

Since native ads look like regular content, bodies like the FTC and IAB are attempting to regulate these ads to ensure that consumers aren’t purposefully misled.

Negative Brand Awareness

Not all advertisers provide users with a quality experience. It’s critical to screen sponsors before promoting them on your website. If you don’t, that poor experience may negatively affect your brand, and users may be less inclined to trust you.

Complex Performance Measurement

Are your native ads performing well? Do you know which metrics to use to determine if any changes are required? Measuring the right combination of metrics can be tricky, making it challenging to maximize your ad’s potential. Everything, from your visitors' behavior to your campaign goals, can affect how you should measure performance and make improvements.

Native Advertising With Rev·amp

You might feel a little overwhelmed with so many different types of native ads to choose from. Over the years, our team of ad experts used trial and error to learn which types of native ads would work best for our clients. Rev·Amp currently offers:

  • Sticky Leaderboard Ads
  • Notification Bars
  • Custom Interstitial Ads

Our advertising solutions have helped publishers improve their revenue generation and engagement rates. Best of all, we know that one solution won’t fit every site, and our team can create custom native ad strategies to help you get the most out of your website and visitors. 

Conclusion

There are many benefits to having a solid native advertising strategy. The pros undeniably outweigh the cons, particularly if you plan your content in a way that helps you overcome these common challenges. The statistics prove that native ads work, and advertisers are willing to pay to take advantage of the higher engagement and click-through rates that go hand-in-hand with native formats.

If you don’t include native ads in your advertising strategy yet, it may be time to do so.

is a digital advertising performance expert and the Director of Rev•Amp at Softonic. As a business unit leader, Fréderic is responsible for the monetization and the success of the Softonic Publisher Network. Within Rev•Amp, Fréderic oversees Product, Business Development, and Account Management functions.
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