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Native Advertising is sponsored content designed to be perfectly positioned within a publisher’s editorial content.
I know what you’re thinking. “Oh, so like an advertorial?” Well, yes and no. Because there isn’t an industry-wide definition or metric, some publishers are putting native into the “advertorial bucket.” The trouble with this definition is that native advertising can be so much more than that.
Publishers are defining native in more ways than one–sponsored infographics, tweets, and nonstandard ad units, to name a few. The US Federal Trade Commission, or FTC, defines Native Advertising as "blending advertisements with news, entertainment, and other editorial content in digital media." No matter how you define it, the goal is to drive engagement through what is considered a natural, organic environment.
While there could be better clarity around the actual definition, as a publisher, it might be time to start incorporating native options if you haven’t already. We already know that successful ad placement generally does not disrupt the reader’s experience. With native, that’s just the intention. It should not only feel like part of the editorial, but rather enhance the experience. When we enhance a user experience, we earn their attention–which then leads to (you guessed it) premium pricing. Earning a reader’s attention might be the most valuable action a publisher can ask for.
Premium content has always helped set the great publishers apart from the not so great. Integrating native should be a no-brainer for sites bursting with great editorial. No matter how you want to define it, eMarketer forecasts that advertisers will devote almost two-thirds of display budgets to native ads by the end of 2020. That’s enough to make both publishers and advertisers start paying attention!