What is native advertising?

What is native advertising? Endemic, Contextual Advertising

Native has completely transformed digital advertising. But what is native advertising exactly? At its simplest, it's a form of paid media where the advertising experience follows the form and function of the user experience in which it's placed. Sometimes referred to as endemic advertising, it is ad placement that is native or natural to its context.

Marketers today rely on native advertising more and more because it builds trust and drives engagement better than traditional display. Studies have shown average click-through rates are 4x higher for premium native ads vs. non-native display ads on mobile devices.

Let's take a deeper look at how native advertising works

Native ads appear in a range of environments, including:

  • In-Feed, Content: Editorial feeds and streams on sites like the Yahoo homepage, Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Sports or in the suite of Verizon Media mobile apps that include both paid and unpaid content in various forms. Again, the ads look similar to the other content in the feed, but they're marked as sponsored.
  • In-Feed, Social: Social sites like Tumblr include user-generated posts along with sponsored content from advertisers. The ads look similar to the other social posts, except that they're marked as sponsored.
  • Custom: Usually features a variety of content customized for a specific brand experience. This content can include images, video, audio, editorial, or other interactive elements to help promote the brand or product sponsoring it.

Native advertising for mobile

Native is also an important part of any mobile strategy. Advertisers will need the right native experience to win at mobile. As consumers turn to their mobile devices for unique, informative and entertaining experiences they want more. This growing audience also presents an opportunity and native for mobile can help advertisers to organically intertwine with content of all types. We have formats designed to make every moment shoppable. These are some examples of the types of native advertising formats available to Verizon Media advertisers.


native advertising - mobile formats


Different types of native advertising

The look and feel of native ads is key, since the more they feel like a natural part of the user experience, the stronger their engagement becomes. In all cases, the ads are clearly marked as sponsored for users. Some of the most popular native ad formats currently used include:

Native Advertising - In-Stream In-Stream: These native display ads feature images and messages and live within the stream of other editorial content.
Native Advertising - In-Article In-Article: Native ads that show in an article and match the overall feel and theme of the site.
Native Advertising - Content Recommendation Content Recommendation: Content recommendation ads will typically show up at the bottom of an article. You can see examples of them on sites like Buzzfeed or HuffPost. These are the types of ads that are usually prefaced with "You may also like..." 
Native Advertising - Commerce Commerce: These are paid placements within shopping environments. You have probably seen them while shopping online. Like all native ads they are targeted based on the user and environment. 
Native Advertising - Video Native Video: These native video units are becoming a lot more common as video begins to take over the internet. 
Native Advertising - Custom Formats Custom Formats: There are a lot of new custom native options for advertisers including AR (augmented reality) and Dynamic Creative options. We expect this list to grow as technology evolves.
Native Advertising - In-Mail In-Mail: Web mail services such as Yahoo Mail present an opportunity for in-mail native ads. These are contextually targeted ads that show to a user browsing their email.
Native Advertising - Sponsored Content Sponsored Content: Sponsored content is a fusion of advertising and content. It's usually promoted by being inserted into the menu along with regular content and it's designed to fit there. In this case the advertiser and publisher typically work together to create a seamless experience that provides useful information and a real value to the user.

Many advertisers consider creating custom content for their native advertising, which can be effective but certainly not required. In fact, all native ad formats also provide a rich opportunity to use marketing content you've already created for other initiatives, saving you time and money. Many advertisers also use dynamic creative in tandem with custom content which can be incredibly effective.

When native ads are combined with powerful data insights and intent signals, as with our native marketplace, you have a highly effective mode of communicating with your best potential customers. Contextual and behavioral data empower native campaigns to become even more relevant and provide greater value to the audience. And programmatic buying, which is the automation of the decision-making process of media buying via demand side platforms and real-time bidding (RTB) technology, allows you to easily scale your native advertising campaigns.

How does Verizon Media approach native advertising?

In 2014, our native solution launched with the goal of giving advertisers the flexibility to buy ads however they want depending on their specific goals and objectives. Today, this native advertising platform, now a part of Verizon Media, accelerates user engagement by blending premium, trusted online content and advertising in a natural way that enriches the user's experience and delivers better returns for brands.

Advertisers can skillfully target consumers with native ads that fit in with the content they're experiencing, enabling the advertiser to reach over 2 billion viewable impressions every day across Verizon Media properties and our wider network. From the Yahoo homepage to a TechCrunch article, and across our massive syndicated publishing network, native ads seamlessly appear in the formats most suited for each environment.

Additionally, advertisers can extend the reach of their campaigns on our native marketplace to serve targeted native ads to users that have shown interest in their products. Search ads on native supply have yielded up to a 20% increase in clicks while maintaining or improving the ROI of search campaigns.

Native advertising shows no signs of slowing down and continues to experience exponential growth in all regions and across all devices. Whether your goal is to promote your brand, drive app installs or get new customers to your site, our native advertising solution offers a variety of creative and powerful ways to accomplish your marketing goals.

For more information about how Verizon Media can help you achieve your marketing goals, contact us today!

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