Blending In to Stand Out

Improve Engagement with Native Advertising

Clutter (ˈklə-tər)

noun: a crowded or confused mass or collection. Advertising or marketing clutter refers to the large volume of advertising messages that the average consumer is exposed to on a daily basis.

Digital advertising is a necessity in modern marketing strategies, and everyone is competing for limited space. While new ad formats and rich media solutions can provide more dynamic placements, breaking through the clutter and getting your audience to interact with your ads can be challenging. Native ads that blend in seamlessly with the content around them are less likely to be “filtered out” by users actively ignoring ads and more likely to be read or clicked on in a feed. “Native ads differ from other digital media formats because their placement blurs the line between advertising and content,” said Blair Michael, Account Executive. “It can be a great placement for advertisers who are looking to drive a boost in CTR performance.”

What is Native Advertising? How Effective are Native As?

Native Advertising is a type of paid advertisement that is integrated into the natural editorial style or content of a website or news platform. Both the organic format and targeted placement of native ads contribute to their high performance. The industry average CTR for digital campaigns is 0.09%, while native campaigns have an average CTR of 0.45% (Division-D internal data, Aug 2021). “When the main goal is CTR, I will always suggest Native,” said Hannah Carmichael, Manager of Campaign Operations. “These rates are always really strong because these ads draw the user in with engaging text and images matching the content around it.”

The success of any native campaign depends on the targeting strategies used, ensuring that your ad appears next to relevant content. “It’s important to think on the verticals that you’re running your native ads against,” said Brooke Summers, Senior Account Manager. “For example, a B2B native ad is likely going to perform better on business and finance sites rather than health and beauty sites.”

Native advertising has been around for years, but industry developments in the pandemic era allowed this format to grow dramatically. According to a recent projection from eMarketer, native ad spending is set to increase by 21% in 2021.

Native Advertising Formats & Best Practices

Like most digital advertising channels, native ads have several available formats to best suit your content and goal for each campaign. “I recommend native placements to advertisers who have content-heavy creative assets, as it can be a great way to leverage blog-like material,” said Michael. Examples and in-depth visualizations of these formats can be found on our LinkedIn page.

  • In-Feed Native: Flagship native format seamlessly integrated into a feed alongside contextually relevant content.
  • Native Carousel: Unique native format utilized for showing various products, rotating multiple images/videos within a single unit.
  • Sponsored Article: A native branded article, featuring both an in-feed teaser and editorial landing page.

If you’re looking to develop a successful native campaign, the next step is ensuring you have enough of the right content to optimize performance. Best practices for native advertising include recommendations for both images and accompanying copy. “I would recommend testing different variations of your creative, as this is key,” said Summers. “Short and catchy titles and descriptions are just as important as the imagery for this type of placement.”

Native Best Practices – Imagery

  • Use photos reflecting emotion vs. inauthentic/stock imagery
  • Highlight the experience vs. product-only shots
  • Use high-res shots with eye-catching colors vs. low-quality or stretched photos

Native Best Practices – Text

  • Use active voice and clear, concise messaging
  • Speak directly to your audience
  • Test several variations of short and lengthy content

Improve Performance with Native Advertising

Native advertising is a versatile placement that can be used as a stand-alone or additive tactic to any digital campaign. By aligning your marketing message, creative elements, and vertical targeting, you can cut through digital advertising clutter to reach your target audience. “It’s imperative to be organized in the creation and collection of these moving parts for a successful Native campaign,” said Michael.

Information for today’s blog came from eMarketer. See our Native one-sheeter to learn more about our offering and follow us on LinkedIn to stay up-to-date on the latest industry trends!

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Division-D is a leading full-service digital media partner, specializing in programmatic, search, social, and influencer marketing to deliver superior results for advertising agencies and brands. With over 20 years in business, our dedicated team of 100+ digital media professionals operates from eight national offices, ensuring widespread coverage and comprehensive support for our clients.

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