Types of Native Advertising
To kick off our content marketing blog series, we’re taking a deeper dive into native advertising. In our previous post, we defined native advertising as a form of advertising that follows the format, function and style of the user experience in which it’s placed. But what does a native ad look like? If you’ve scrolled through your Facebook News Feed, or read an article on Forbes lately, you have probably seen one or two native ads.
Native advertising comes in various forms, so let’s take a look at the types of native content. According to the IAB, there are six types of native content:
- In-Feed Units – Stories that appear in the news feed
- Paid Search Units – Ads that appear in search
- Recommendation Units – Paid content recommendations based on what you are reading or searching
- Promoted Listings – Products promoted on sites like Etsy and Amazon
- In-ad with Native Element Units – IAB Standard units with content feeds or media company branding inside
- Custom or ‘Can’t Be Contained’ – Specialized, non-standard display ad units that fit into a publishers site
While consumers are still on the fence about the use of native advertising, many have come to know that sponsored content is here to stay. A study just released from Reuters’ revealed most respondents do not like sponsored content and often feel as though they’re being deceived by the ads. So, it’s more important than ever to choose the appropriate form of native advertising and label the content appropriately to avoid backlash from consumers.
At Fahlgren Mortine, we have implemented content marketing initiatives since before the content marketing revolution. Our most commonly used forms of native advertising include in-feed units, incorporating into various social media channels, and in-ad with native element units, with targeted publishers. Here are a couple examples.
In-feed units – RNspire
The Fahlgren Mortine team has assisted Cardinal Health, a Fortune 26 health services company, distribute native content through their online nurse appreciation program, RNspire. Targeting nurses, the team launched various ‘dark posts’ on Facebook to raise awareness of campaigns geared toward inspiring nurses. These in-feed ads helped drive users with an interest in nursing back to the RNspire Facebook page. The following dark post was extremely successful as it followed the format and tone the nursing community would expect to see on their Facebook News Feeds.
In-ad with native elements – TravelNevada
In the tourism space, we recently launched a native advertising program with TravelNevada and partner Nativo. The program curates TravelNevada articles to be served as native content within top tier publisher sites, including Newsweek, Fodor’s Travel, Women’s Health and Men’s Fitness. The articles mirror the type of content users would expect from the publisher’s site without taking them away from the site they’re visiting. So far, the program has been performing very well.
As you consider implementing native advertising programs, follow the basics of marketing (identifying goals, objectives and audience) and choose the appropriate type of native that aligns with your objectives. And, be sure to wrap a pretty bow on the content by labeling appropriately.