Native advertising for you and your clients

Put simply, native advertising fits the form and function of the space it appears in. This extends across many advertising channels, everywhere from Facebook’s News Feed to the pages of your favourite magazine.

So what does this mean for your business and your clients? We take a look.

Why am I suddenly hearing about it?

With ad block software on the rise, and young consumers in particular becoming more comfortable with sponsored content, native advertising is seen as the solution to many of the problems facing marketers today.

Native ads are almost as old as advertising itself. Brands have always put their name to content that informs the reader as much as it advertises the brand’s product or service.

Cadillac sponsored one of the first so-called “advertorials” in the US in 1914 in The Saturday Evening Post, and Guinness created its famous Guide to Oysters in the 1950s.

While press can be a great home for native advertising, the renewed rush of interest originates with the huge variety of opportunities now available to advertisers online. Sponsored content on websites like Buzzfeed and Huffington Post, and blink-and-you’ll-miss-it ads in Facebook’s News Feed are just a couple of examples.

Is it effective?

In the hyper-measurable world of online advertising, the benefits of native advertising are clear. A study by eMarketer showed that:

• Consumers look at native ads 53% more frequently than display ads.
• 25% more consumers look at in-feed native ad placements (the most common editorial native ad format) than display ad units.
• Native ads see 18% higher increase in intent to purchase than display ads
• 32% of respondents said the native ad in the study was something they would share with family and friends compared to just 19% for display ads.

Native ads for your business

While there are some pitfalls to avoid, native advertising in online spaces can help you reach new clients and demonstrate your services in a new way.

Here are some things to think about to ensure you get the most from native advertising:

Choose your platform wisely
Consider where your audience is likely to see your ad. Is Facebook a good choice? How about Twitter or LinkedIn? Could you publish a sponsored piece in a blog or magazine relevant to your industry?

Consider where your authority lies
What’s the product or service you really excel in? Stick to this topic. Don’t be tempted to pick a popular topic you known nothing about. You might reach a big new audience, but you could damage your reputation, and the publication that hosts your content.

Make sure it’s clear that your ad is an ad
Consumers could easily be deceived if they think something is written in an unbiased way, only to learn it was written by a brand with vested interests. The ASA now has strict rules about labelling native ads.

Native ads for your clients

Native ads in print have been looked down on in the past as deceptive, with “advertorial” sometimes being viewed as a pejorative term.

However, attitudes are changing and prestigious publications like the New York Times are creating high profile native ads with international brands, so the time to step into native ads in the press has never been better.

Some things to consider:

Be clear
As above, make sure it’s clear that the ad is paid for by your client. This builds trust with the audience and puts your client in good stead to share their content.

Consider the quality
One of the main reasons that many publications can be reluctant to public native advertising is the quality. If it doesn’t deliver a good experience to the reader, it damages the reputation of the whole publication.

Focus on the reader
Native ads work best when they say what the customer needs or wants to learn, rather than what the brand wants to say. Brand-heavy messages are best confined to more traditional forms of advertising.

Whether it’s a new direction for you, or your clients, native advertising is a great way to increase engagement and grow a business.


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