It is nowadays widely accepted that native advertising presents an exciting opportunity for brands. Native advertising currently accounts for over 20% of digital display ads in the UK with spend reaching £216 million, while global native advertising spend on social media alone is expected to reach $5 billion by 2017 (source E-marketer).

To explain native advertising in a few words, it’s simply paid content used to increase brand awareness and user engagement without being as disruptive as other ad formats. Native ads are designed to be cohesive with page content, and are consistent with the style and voice of the publication, allowing users to feel the ads are an integral part of the content. N

Native advertising is becoming popular among publishing companies, but also among marketers as click through rates and levels of user engagement are relatively high.

So how can marketers make the most of their native advertising campaigns?

Fit with the native platform 

Native content should be specific and tailored to the native platform. It should align with the publication or site’s established editorial style and tone, and must provide the kind of information that their audience expects.

Be upfront about advertising 

– meet the IAB guidelines. These state that native advertising should carry a visible disclosure showing the advertising has been paid for so viewers can distinguish between paid advertising and editorial content.

– promote the brand. If an ad is so obscure it doesn’t look like advertising and the consumer doesn’t know what brand it relates to, it misses the point.

Provide valuable content

Native advertising should provide valuable content that the audience will find useful, educational, or entertaining. As well as being more acceptable to consumers than more traditional forms of advertising, this type of content is more likely to be shared.

Engage the user

Native advertising can engage the user in a variety of ways. Interactive features such as quizzes are a good example. Good native advertisements must have a strong call to action without directly forcing a sale.

Be relevant to the brand

To reach out perfectly your target audience try to be appropriate and coherent with your brand identity and your product.

Paid content may be the simple definition of native advertising, but successful native adv is something else: they contain valuable, engaging content that is relevant to the brand’s target audience and work seamlessly with the editorial style of the platform, driving brand awareness and audience engagement without being as obtrusive as other advertising formats.