Native advertising is a form of content distribution based on a pay-to-play model. It works by blending the ad in with the look and format of the surrounding content – KPMG’s ‘The Great Rewrite’ campaign is a good example. Native advertising is by no means new, and it guarantees content placement and visibility in some websites outside of a brand’s owned media. A survey found that spending on native advertising in the United States has grown by more than 200% between 2013 and 2015.
Among the factors driving the revived interest in native ad formats are advertisers optimizing the performance of their digital portfolio. Content consumption on mobile phones encourages the use of native in-stream ads like promoted Instagram posts and sponsored Tweets. Companies such as BuzzFeed and VICE built their business models almost entirely around native content. Even established publishers such as The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal came to embrace native advertising.
Consumers, ultimately, drive the rise of native advertising because of their appetite for more information. It was found that more than 70% of consumers prefer learning about a product or service through content rather than traditional advertising. Native advertising neither displaces digital banner advertising, nor does it subsume content marketing initiatives. It is, however, enjoying a major revival with publishers embracing them again because it places them into a direct relationship with the advertising brand. With this growing trend, it seems like native advertising is here to stay.