The Beginner’s Guide To Native Advertising – A Public Fact Of The Digital Age




What is Native Advertising? Well, I'm pretty sure you've already seen one in action. However, many advertisers still don't know what Native Ads are. They also don't know how they can benefit a business, so I decided to write an article about Native Advertising as a guide for businesses.

Let's jump to it!

What Is Native Advertising?

There's a lot of Native Ads in online and offline marketing campaigns today.

Here's an example:

Native advertising a guide for businesses - Sample 1

By definition, Native Advertising is the method of using paid advertisements that match the appearance, feel, and purpose of the media format where they appear. You can find Native Ads in social media feeds like Facebook and Instagram, or as recommended content on a web page.

Here are a few more examples of Native Ads:

Native advertising a guide for businesses - Sample 2

Here's one from Forbes.

As you can see, unlike banner or display ads, Native Ads don't look like ads. They look like a part of the editorial flow of the page. 

Native advertising a guide for businesses - Sample 3

This one is from Twitter.

The secret to Native Advertising is that it is non-disruptive, meaning it exposes the user to ad content without trying so hard.

So why should advertisers go for Native Ads? Is there proof that Native Ads are a better alternative than other types of online advertising?

Let's dive into some essential statistics.

Important Native Advertising Statistics: A Guide For Businesses

These statistics prove that Native Ads can be very effective.

According to a survey conducted by Sharethrough:

  • Consumers looked at Native Ads 53% more frequently than display ads.
  • 25% more consumers were measured to look at in-feed Native Ad placements (the most common editorial Native Ad format) than display ad units.
  • Native Ads registered 18% higher lift in purchase intent and 9% lift for brand affinity responses than banner ads.
  • 32% of respondents said that a Native Ad "is an ad I would share with a friend or a family member" versus just 19% for display ads.

Here are some not so great stats about Native Advertising.

According to Copyblogger,

  • 49% of consumers don't know what Native Advertising is.
  • 51% of consumers are skeptical about Native Advertising.
  • 41% of publishers offer Native Advertising as an advertising or service option.
  • Only 19% of publishers said that their work consists of Native Advertising.

As you can see, these contrasting stats make Native Advertising a little controversial.

Advertisers love Native Ads, mainly because the click-through-rate (CTR) are much higher than regular ads. Also, engagement is usually much stronger with Native Ads.

However, not everyone is convinced with the power of Native Ads, especially consumers.

Take note that consumers (including the Federal Trade Commission) only want truth in advertisingtrickery, lying, and deception in exchange for money don't sit well with them.

There needs to be TRUST between the advertiser and the audience.


Get the outside eyes and feedback you need to get on the right path with your marketing.

Gain clarity and understanding. You'll leave your discovery call knowing where to focus your marketing efforts right now to get the best return on your investment.

Types Of Native Advertising

Right now, four core types of Native Ads units are most commonly used by brands to achieve Native Advertising objectives:

  • In-Feed Native Ads
  • Search And Promoted Listings
  • Content Recommendation Widgets
  • Custom Content Units

Let's discuss each type in great detail.


In-Feed Native Ads

In-Feed Native Ads are ads that appear in social media news feeds like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter feed.

Commonly used disclosure language for in-feed ads includes:

  • "Advertisement" or "AD" for Google and YouTube.
  • "Promoted" or "Promoted by [brand]" for Twitter.
  • "Sponsored" or "Sponsored by [brand]" or "Sponsored Content" for LinkedIn and Yahoo.
  • "Presented by [brand]" + "Featured Partner" tag for BuzzFeed and Huffington Post.
  • "Suggested Post" + a "Sponsored" tag for Facebook.

Search And Promoted Listings

Search and Promoted Listings are Native Ads that appear at the top of your Google search results, or in the sidebar.

Commonly used disclosure language for Search and Promoted ad listings are:

  • "Ads related to [Search Keyword]," shaded with AdChoices icon for Google.
  • "Ads related to [Search Keyword]," shaded for Yahoo.
  • "All links will open in new tabs. Click to opt-out." dark purple shading for Bing.

Content Recommendation Widgets

Content Recommendation Widgets are recommended articles or blogs that appear below the item that you just read.

This type of Native Ad contains up to three disclosure signals.

  • Signal #1: The sections will say "You might also like," "You might like," "Elsewhere from around the web," "From around the web," "You may have missed," or "Recommended for you."
  • Signal #2: The name of the sponsor or landing site shows after the visual and headline in the content. It will also say that the material may contain both local and third-party content in the same overall unit. 
  • Signal #3: If a third party sponsors the content, you will see the company name or logo of the third party to indicate that the material is not from the publisher.

Custom Content Units

An advertiser and publisher can work together on custom content ads. There is no limit to the possibilities when an advertiser and publisher work together on custom units.

Custom Content Units involve ad examples that don't exactly fit into one of the above Native Ad types.

This group includes examples that don't neatly fit into one of the above groups, or, as in the case of custom playlists, are too platform-specific to warrant their own category but need to be on a marketer's radar as native advertising options

The Best Examples of Native Advertising

Now that we are a little familiar with Native Advertising, let's take a look at some real world examples.


"Woman Going to Take Quick Break After Filling Out Name, Address on Tax Forms" by The Onion

The Best Native Ads - Sample from The Onion

This content worked because even if it isn't about H&R Block specifically, it still addresses the typically dull, dry topic of taxes in a relatable and highly entertaining way. After that, it creates a positive connection with the advertiser.

The primary goal of the ad campaign was to increase H&R Block's brand awareness further.


"Infographic: UPS's 2012 Change in the (Supply) Chain Survey," by The Fast Company

The Best Native Ads - Sample from The Fast Company 1
The Best Native Ads - Sample from The Fast Company 2

This Native Ad infographic content works because it is so far away from the typical Fast Company content.

See that tiny gray "Advertisement" text at the top? It's easy to miss, but I think it is there for clever reasons.

The infographic's use of UPS' color scheme further strengthens the content’s brand messaging subtly. It also succeeds in pushing UPS' services in the proven "problem/solution" format.


"Hennessy Fuels Our Chase for the Wild Rabbit … But What Does It All Mean?" by Vanity Fair

The Best Native Ads - Sample from Vanity Fair

This Native Ad works because the content piece is awe-inspiring. It draws a smart yet stunning comparison between two brands -Campbell's adventurous spirit and Hennessy's "Wild Rabbit" campaign.

The ad content's product placement is handled correctly, and it doesn't feel unnecessarily positioned beside the subject matter.

Finally, the content piece is as stylish as a usual Vanity Fair feature, which provides a very engaging experience for readers.

And that's my piece about Native Advertising.

This article will guide you on the basic principles you need to know about Native Advertising if you are a beginner.

I put together a list of recommended resources below to give you more insights about this topic. Also, don't hesitate to TALK TO US TODAY if you want to learn more about Native Advertising.

Recommended Native Advertising Resources

What is Native Advertising and Why Is It So Powerful?

What You Need to Know About Native Advertising

19 Amazing Native Advertising Ad Examples

So what do you think about this article? Are you ready to launch a Native Ad campaign?

Leave a comment below and let's chat!

As always, it will be a great honor if you think this article is worth the SHARE. Stay safe and healthy, everyone!

Are you looking for more online advertising help? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Online Advertising for Small Businesses.


Get the outside eyes and feedback you need to get on the right path with your marketing.

Gain clarity and understanding. You'll leave your discovery call knowing where to focus your marketing efforts right now to get the best return on your investment.

Header image courtesy of JumpStory.

About the author, Tim Fitzpatrick

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